Osprey birds have claimed a set of stadium lights at Hickory and St. Stephens high schools as their homes. They are set to be safely evicted on Monday.
Ospreys, birds of prey, stand between 21-24 inches tall and have a wingspan of up to 6 feet, according to the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission website. The birds are also known to nest on man-made structures. This rings true for Hickory and St. Stephens high schools.
Each school has a set of osprey birds that have made nests and laid eggs in the stadium lights of the football stadium. Ospreys are a protected species, and their presence has prevented the schools from turning on the stadium lights.
Beverly Snowden, director of communications at Hickory Public Schools, said the eggs at Hickory High School have hatched.
“We have a concert on the field Monday night and of course, we hope the family of ospreys is secured safely and taken to the sanctuary in Charlotte,” said Snowden.
Professionals with the Carolina Raptor Center in Charlotte plan to remove the birds from each school on Monday.
Emily Willis is a general assignment and education reporter at the Hickory Daily Record.