By Dillon Thomas

LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4) – Two juveniles in Northern Colorado could soon face charges after Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers linked them to the poaching of a protected raptor. Recently an osprey was killed near Boedecker Lake, west of Loveland, where CPW has been working for years to help the hawk species thrive.

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Three different manmade structures in the Boedecker Lake property were built to give the hawks somewhere to safely build their nests. Five of the structures were built in the region and the Ospreys have quickly started to thrive.

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Residents in the area have come to love watching the birds as they multiplied, one of the nests even featured a nest cam which allowed the public to watch as the chicks hatched.

So, when residents like Nan Brown heard one of the birds was killed she was heartbroken.

“It was devastating. It is quite a tragedy for the osprey,” Brown said. “My husband and I have been tracking them for years and just love them.”

(credit: CBS)

The deceased osprey left behind a chick that was still young enough to be staying alongside its parent. Jason Clay, spokesperson for CPW, said the chick was in the tail-end of its upbringing and should be able to survive on its own, though it is still continuing to stay by the nest it was raised in.

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Two juveniles have been connected to the death of the raptor. Clay could not say how the bird died due to the ongoing investigation but did say the juveniles could face serious charges.

“(The death of a protected raptor) is something, when it is reported, that we take seriously,” Clay said. “You cannot kill a raptor in Colorado.”

The juveniles could face several hundred dollars in fines, and would likely have a minimum of 10 points each taken from their hunting and fishing licenses. Illegally killing a raptor could result in your hunting and fishing license being suspended or revoked in most states throughout the country.

(credit: CBS)

Clay said anyone who sees suspicious or illegal activity around the raptors should not hesitate to call the local police department, sheriff’s office or CPW.

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“If people are out there seeing illegal activity, report it to authorities,” Clay said.

Dillon Thomas