Shawn Steele, a birding enthusiast who lives near Robb Field, was driving across the Sunset Cliffs Bridge on the afternoon of December 7 when he saw an osprey carcass in the road.
“It did not look like it was hit by a car,” Steele said. “No loose feathers. I stopped my car and got a good look at it and could not tell the cause of death.”
On December 14, Sarah Whorley of Project Wildlife said the animal rescue group took in an osprey that appeared to have died earlier that day near a roost by San Diego Bay.
“We scanned the body for metal and didn’t find any,” Whorley said in an email. The osprey “was bleeding from its mouth, but this could be indicative of any number of injuries.”
The two recent osprey deaths come after a dead osprey with a dart in its chest was found this summer, also on Sunset Cliffs Bridge.
“In the ten years I have been birding in the area, I have seen a total of two dead birds in the river,” Steele said. “In the last month, I have found ten,” including “three western grebes, one bufflehead, one Pacific loon and three seagulls.”
Pictured: Osprey nest near Sunset Cliffs Bridge, 2009