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Osprey removal delayed at Hickory High, St. Stephens
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Osprey removal delayed at Hickory High, St. Stephens

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This story was updated at 3:50 p.m. on May 4.

The ospreys nesting in the stadium lights at Hickory and St. Stephens high schools will be extending their stays.

Members of the Carolina Raptor Society were originally scheduled to come out to the schools to remove the birds on Monday.

However, it has been decided the birds at Hickory High will not be removed at least until their eggs have been laid, Hickory Public Schools Director of Communications Beverly Snowden said.

Initially, the school believed the birds had already laid their eggs but they later determined this was not the case.

“We will leave the osprey family alone for now,” Hickory High Principal Rebecca Tuttle said via a statement. “If we can find out they have laid eggs, will we contact the Raptor Center in Charlotte for possible relocation. If that doesn’t work out or is not in the best interest of the ospreys, we will let the ospreys stay till they hatch and fledge.”

The school will look to set up other lighting for upcoming evening events to avoid disturbing the ospreys.

Once all the birds have left, the school would take down the nest and put measures in place to prevent future nesting.

At the same time, the school is also hoping to get a grant to allow them to set up a safe nesting space, Snowden said.

The weather pushed back the removal of the ospreys at St. Stephens but the school now expects the Raptor Society to come on Thursday.

Kevin Griffin is the City of Hickory reporter at the Hickory Daily Record.

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