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Ospreys are an indicator species. The health of their population has implications for the health our coastal ecosystems.

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Barnegat Light Osprey Cam

Our osprey cam was first installed at Forsythe NWR in 2013. In the spring of 2019, we installed a new camera at a nest in Barnegat Light.


Welcome to the home of the Barnegat Light Osprey Cam! We decided to pursue the installation of a camera system at this tall nest so that we can share the intimate life of ospreys with everyone from the Long Beach Island region and worldwide. This is the third year for this pair of ospreys at this nest site (second year of cam). In 2018, they produced two young and three in 2019. In 2020, the pair produced three young. All young have been banded for future tracking. So far the pair has been the same. We know by their distinct plumage, iris, and the male's band. Female is unbanded and male will be 16 years old (band 788-49033) if he returns. He originated from a nest that is less than 2 miles to the north from where he now nests.

As many know, ospreys are an important bioindicator species and reflect the health of their surrounding environment. A healthy coastal ecosystem equals a booming shore economy and the ospreys indicate that we're doing a good job of protecting our coastal areas. There are still many threats to ospreys, even though they have recovered from the effects of DDT and habitat loss. You can make a difference and help ospreys by reducing your dependence on single use plastics, eating sustainable/local caught seafood and by not releasing balloons. You can also help ospreys by participating in coastal cleanups or by picking up plastic litter that you see.

Our goal is to increase awareness and protection of ospreys in New Jersey and learn more about their prey.

Nest Cam News:

January 30

Image of Shout out to Ben P. and Rory M. w/ Pine Barrens Tree for stopping by the nest to clean out any plastic marine debris! Shout out to Ben P. and Rory M. w/ Pine Barrens Tree for stopping by the nest to clean out any plastic marine debris!

The countdown to the spring arrival of migratory ospreys has begun! Only ~35 days until ospreys begin arriving back in New Jersey on spring migration, though one has been observed at Lake of the Lilies in Ocean County for several weeks this winter...!

Special thanks to Rory & Ben from Pine Barrens Tree Service for devoting some time and use of their bucket truck to clean out any remnant plastic marine debris from the nest here. Some viewers had asked if we would clean out the dangerous plastics, including white balloon ribbon, plastic film and other plastics that were brought into the nest last summer. Thankfully the guys from PBT were working up in the Barnegat Light area and decided to stop by to clean it out. Thanks so much for their help to ensure that Daisy & Duke return to a safe, clean home.

With that said, from now until April 1 is when we finish any nest maintenance and repairs. This also includes cleaning out excess nesting material, including any and all harmful plastics. Hoping to put together a short video showcasing some of this off season work to engage more volunteers to help do the same to their local nests. BW

January 3, 2023

Image of Osprey 93/H photographed on 7/26/22 near Loveladies, NJ.Osprey 93/H photographed on 7/26/22 near Loveladies, NJ.

Happy New Year, BL Osprey Cam fans! As I work to finalize osprey survey data and write our report from 2022, I thought I'd share some BL Osprey Cam alumni news. During one of my surveys near LBI last summer, I photographed a red banded osprey in flight. Thankfully the red band was readable, 93/H. This was one of seven red banded ospreys that I re-sighted last summer. I didn't realize it at the time, but this was a young bird that had fledged from the BL Osprey Cam nest (122-B-021) in 2018! This was one of two that were produced at this nest and the first at this location. This was also the year before we upgraded the nest platform and install the camera system.

Image of Osprey 93/H after being banded on July 9, 2018 in Barnegat Light, NJ.Osprey 93/H after being banded on July 9, 2018 in Barnegat Light, NJ.

When I looked back at my data and the date banded (July 9, 2018), I then realized that this was the epic day that we filmed footage for the NJ Osprey Project trailer, "New Jersey's Ospreys: A Symbol of a Healthy Coast" with Oak Leaf Media, Northside Jim & AC Electric. The banding of 93/H at the future BL Osprey Cam is seen near the end of the video.

This is not the first time that 93/H has been re-sighted either. He was re-sighted after fledging in Barnegat Light in late September. Since he is only 4 years old, he is likely not settled down at a nest yet, but since he is a male, he will be returning to establish a nest in the Barnegat Light area in the future. We will have to keep our eyes peeled for him to make an appearance at the BL Osprey Cam this year. I know I will be looking for him on the bay this spring and summer!

Lastly, you may have seen the live stream stop, start, etc several times today. I am trying to stream at 1080P again for that great HD picture we all love. We have received warnings from Comcast about using too much bandwidth last year, so we decided to reduce resolution of the stream. Well, time to bump it up again and see how things go. We would love to stream at 1080P (or even 4K w/ a new camera) but are not sure if the added internet cost is worth it. Either way, we are always looking for ways to get reduced rates from our ISP! -BW

CHRONOLOGY:

2018: This platform was first used in 2018 after being installed many years ago by the Garden Club of LBI. We knew this would be the perfect site for a camera, with access to power and internet. We received a generous grant from the Osprey Foundation to install a new camera at this location in late 2018.

Early 2019: We presented our idea for a nest cam to the Town Council of the Borough of Barnegat Light and they enthusiastically approved.

February: We consulted with an electrian, ITS Electric Service LLC and they helped obtain construction permits and install service for us.

Late-March: Electric service was installed and the camera and associated equipment was attached to the osprey nest platform, after that was repaired by adding a new nest box.

LEARN MORE:
CONTACT US:

Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager: Email

REFERENCES:
  • Lofts, B. & Murton, R.K. 1973. Reproduction in birds. in Avian Biology, Vol. 3, ed. D. Farner & R.K. Murton. NY: Academic Press.
  • Poole, Alan F. 1989. Ospreys: A Natural and Unnatural History. NY. Cambridge Unv. Press.

Find Related Info: Osprey

Report Prey Deliveries!

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You can help ospreys by reporting fish that are caught at this nest by reporting your observations using the form linked to below. Everyone who contributes will be entered into a contest to win a CWF/New Jersey Osprey Project t-shirt!

 

With Support From:

 

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