Hunger Forces Osprey to Abandon Eggs in McEuen Park

May 26, 2015

A wildlife story which began happily in Coeur d'Alene's McEuen Park has ended sadly. Several weeks ago, a pair of migrating osprey moved into a nesting platform high above the city park, doing everything necessary to start a new family.

Canadian geese first took over the nests in early spring, 2015.
Credit City of Coeur d'Alene

They lined the platform with large sticks, and then padded the interior with soft down and feathers to make i an ideal site for egg incubation.

And before long, three reddish, speckled eggs were laid and carefully tended by the pair.

But something happened to one of the adult birds. City parks director Steve Anthony confirmed that one of the big fish hawks disappeared, but no one knows what happened. IT might have been injured or sick, he said, we just don't know.

That left only one adult to keep the eggs warm - an impossible task for just one bird. Predator biologist Janie Fink Veltkamp of Birds of Prey Northwest said the one remaining osprey was forced to leave the nest to avoid starving to death, meaning the eggs cooled to a lethal temperature. As she put it - the sad fact is that the offspring will not likely survive with only one parent bird.

Another osprey pair has been flirting with a nearby high platform in the park - and with each other - but so far, no eggs have appeared in that one.

The eggs in the first nest are still there - abandoned and still.