An osprey mom “frantically” circled over her nest as it burned with her babies inside of it, rescuers in Utah said.
The nest was resting on top of a power pole when it caught on fire at about 8:17 p.m. July 20 near Interstate 84, the Morgan County Fire and EMS said in a Facebook post.
Rescuers said the fire started when the power line malfunctioned, “causing heat to build under the dry nest.”
Initially, the fire couldn’t be extinguished because of the charged voltage line, rescuers said.
The mom osprey stayed near the nest “until the end.”
The fire department said birds nested on the power line along I-84 every year.
“Let’s hold on to the hope these beautiful birds will return next year to build a new home,” rescuers said.
Morgan County is about 50 miles northeast of Salt Lake City.
What to know about ospreys
An osprey can be spotted by its white head and brown stripe that runs through their yellow eyes, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said in a news release.
Ospreys are found near bodies of water, including rivers, lakes and coastlines because their diets include mostly fish, according to the National Audubon Society.
They nest on top of trees and utility poles. A female osprey lays about two to four eggs each year.
In Utah, the “largest breeding osprey colony” returns to the Flaming Gorge every year, which is in northeastern Utah and borders Wyoming, the Utah wildlife agency said.
Massive osprey nests measuring 10 feet wide are common at the gorge.
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