Distraught fans of the KGW/Audubon Raptor Cam awoke Saturday morning to see that one of the three chicks had died.
The chick appeared to have been in distress for several days. The live video Saturday morning was a startling reminder to many regular viewers who post comments of what happens all the time in nature.
Bob Sallinger of the Audubon Society confirmed the death on his raptor cam blog.
It is possible that he succumbed to the same ailment that took a nestling a couple of years back. In that case the nestling died from a protozoan infection know as Trichomoniasis. Trichomoniasis is commonly carried by pigeons and young raptors can become exposed when they are fed infected pigeons.
Despite pleas for intervention to the Audubon Society from cam fans to help the ailing chick, Sallinger said it their policy to let nature take its course.
Our policy is not to interfere in these types of situations. It is incredibly hard to watch it happen, but it is not our place to go in an interfere with natural processes. Not every egg hatches and not every baby bird survives. Their road ahead is even more precarious---studies have placed red-tail mortality rates as high as 60% and 70% during their first year of life. Most of that mortality occurs after they fledge. If they survive the first year, their odds of survival over the next several years increase dramatically.