Monday, Nov. 1, 2010
Tornado obliterates osprey nest
Staff Photo by John Rawlston
A trio of young ospreys are visible as the River Explorer passes near their nest atop a navigation marker on the Tennessee River.
The tornado that slammed into Chickamauga Dam on Tuesday not only damaged the area but also destroyed the homes of some of Chattanooga's seasonal dwellers: ospreys.
According to Riverwalk Bird Club member Harold Sharp, the twister blew away what some local birders believe is the highest osprey nest on record. The nest was located on a tower near the locks. Ospreys have already migrated south for the winter but will return to the area in the spring, Sharp said.
"We filed a claim with Guinness World Records claiming this as the tallest osprey nest in the world at 297 feet above the water," Sharp reported. "Guinness has yet to confirm this. They replied that they would research it for a price."
The nest had been there for two years, Sharp said.
"We believe they'll come back next spring and rebuild this nest because it has been at this location for two years," he said.
According to a TVA website, ospreys once were considered endangered, but environmental laws and endangered species programs have restored the population throughout the country.