Police are hunting for vandals who used a chainsaw to destroy the perch of two nesting ospreys in north Wales.
The attack took place on Friday at a nesting platform set up by the Brenig Osprey Project with the North Wales Wildlife Trust.
The platform at Brenig Lake had been hosting a breeding pair that had laid their first egg.
North Wales Police rural crime team said they believed the vandals arrived at the platform by boat at about 9.45pm and that they had a "strong motive" to get rid of the ospreys on the lake.
On Twitter they wrote: "We are following up a number of inquiries and also using the latest technology to help us move this investigation in the right direction.
"Motives are a huge clue for this crime and a phone call today has given us one that we hadn’t considered."
Rob Taylor, the team’s manager, said in a video on Twitter: "Ospreys are a very rare, highly protected schedule 1 bird – the greatest protection in the UK.
"They’re very iconic in Wales, we literally until a few years ago only had one breeding pair and now we have a handful of breeding pairs and this was one of them.
"Their first egg had been laid yesterday."
Mr Taylor said the team had footage of the act because there were cameras on the platform, adding: "We’re pulling all the stops out to try and catch the person or persons responsible for this."
"Believe me they will receive the full force of the law if we do catch them.
"The whole team are absolutely devastated and I am sure the whole community are – these birds give a lot of people a lot of pleasure.
"I can’t understand how anybody would do something like that."
Brenig Osprey Project said they had cleared one of the nearby platforms that was not in use to see if the breeding pair would relocate to it, and potentially lay another egg.
They said: "Until we know whether they’ll use it, our protection measures will be mostly reactive and there may be limitations on what can be delivered at the new platform."
Anyone with information should contact North Wales Police quoting crime reference number Z059732.