Did You know:
Young ospreys only have a 50% chance of reaching adulthood.
Enjoy the View?
Please consider making a tax-dedectible donation to support the Forsythe NWR Osprey Cam!
Thank you to everyone who has watched and supported the Osprey Cam at Edwin B. Forsythe NWR in Oceanville. It streams 24/7 (when there is sufficient power supply) and is powered by solar charged batteries. The camera system is offline for the remainder of 2018.
The camera you're watching was installed by Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey staff and volunteers in the spring of 2013. It is a high resolution, wireless camera (with sound!) on this osprey nest at Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Oceanville, NJ. The purpose of this camera is to engage the public in osprey protection and to educate them about the challenges to osprey recovery. The live feed is broadcast here 24/7 during the nesting season for ospreys from March through August. Educational content is currently being developed.
The use of this camera will also be used to help identify the breeding pair of ospreys by their leg bands (if they can be read). This information will help us determine their site fidelity, age, and migration routes. It will also be used to gain more useful information on the use of trash as nesting material and its link to their reproductive success. We also plan to develop a detailed installation guide with the tools and resources for other land managers and biologists to install this same type of remote camera system at other locations, which is in the works.
Our goal is to increase awareness and protection of ospreys in New Jersey.
The development of an educational program will help viewers and future conservationists learn about ospreys and the challenges they face in the future. It will focus on osprey identification, habitat preferences, their historic decline (and why they need nesting platforms now), prey availability and links to reproductive success, and how people can help by reducing disturbance and monitoring nest sites.
Nest Cam News:
After losing the camera stream around April 13-14 we haven't had a chance to properly diagnose the reason for it to go down/offline. Today we finally got that chance and we have good and bad news. The bad news is that we did not fix the problem, so the camera will remain offline. The good news is that it is working and that the osprey pair are incubating three eggs (see above). After consulting with our camera supplier and Axis Communications support, we've determined that part of the system is corrupt and that problem lies out at the nest. Basically the cameras are not accepting the IP address that should be assigned to them and have "gone rogue" with a corrupt IP address that we cannot change.
With that said, we will be unable to do any more work to fix the problem since it seems to occurring out at the nest. With three eggs that are now being incubated, we can't go out to fix the problem. On the positive side, anyone who accesses the cameras via the local/corrupt IP addresses at Forsythe NWR can view the live feed, save photos, and will hopefully keep us all updated as to their progress. As you can see from the photo pulled from the camera above, they've brought in a good amount of plastic marine debris, including that mesh bag, which I watched the female struggle with as her talon got stuck in it.
We're sorry for this not-so-positive news, but if you've followed this camera with us over the years then you know that with technology that is installed in such a remote location that something is bound to fail at some point. It is a shame that it happened now, at the start of the nesting season, so we are going to propose to move the camera, all components, and the osprey platform closer to a nearby boardwalk where the cameras network equipment can be housed and away from the nest (camera will then be attached directly to the nest platform. Thank you all for tuned in and supporting this effort over the years! --Ben
Wow, time flies! Sorry for my lack of updates here. It's clear that things have been going on and the pair is back!! I have been busy with plenty of fieldwork (that is arguably much more important than writing here) to ensure many ospreys are returning to a safe and secure nest site... Trust me, it has kept myself and several dedicated volunteers busy! There are still platforms that are in need of repairs, but we are counting on our volunteers to help us help these ospreys.
As for this nest. The female, who looks the same as the beginning of this camera, returned on March 28 which is 8-9 days later than she did in 2015 & 2016. An interesting thing happened here where we had an interloping/new male show up a day later. We could tell he was new b/c of his markings on his breast. The old male lacks these markings. The interloper hung out on the nest for several days and caught fish, added nesting material, mated with the female, but never really seemed to connect with the female, who at times was begging like crazy for him to share the fish he caught. Instead, he just took naps... No doubt this osprey, was a young adult and not a part of a mated pair. Then around April 1 the old male returned and the interloper was gone.
Now that the mated pair is back together, they have been very busy with sprucing up their nest. The earliest an egg has been laid here was on April 16 and latest on April 19, so I think it's a safe bet that an egg will be laid around that time. We will see the female stay closer to the nest and in the nest bowl, which they will line with spartina grasses, before laying. Join the conversation with us over on the interaction page! --Ben
March 17, 2018
Spring is only days away and our harbingers of the new season of warmth and growth are headed north. In the past couple weeks we worked to get the osprey cam back online. Last year the camera(s) were "friendly" hacked and we lost administrative controls. Luckily we were still able to control the camera and stream it, but were unable to make any administrative changes. We had to manually reset the camera by dropping it (to the ground) and then updating the network settings. We also used the opportunity to clean off the lens cover and evicting plenty of spiders and their webs...
After one last visit on March 16, we now have both cameras streaming online. Despite this good news, we've found that so far, the batteries are not holding a charge long into the night. Over the past couple weeks since we've re-gained online access to the cameras, they have not lasted past 9:00pm. We're not sure what is going on, but it appears that the batteries (current batteries were installed in March 2016, so they are not that old...) are giving us problems. We still have time before eggs are laid, so we MIGHT consider purchasing/replacing the batteries in the next 7-10 days.
Otherwise, the pair returned the earliest on March 19 in 2015, so we should be seeing some more activity at the nest in the coming days. Otherwise, there has been plenty of eagle and falcon activity on the nest. Check out our Interaction page to see plenty of screenshots of such activity.
Here are photos of the adults from last year. Will the same pair be back? Time will tell! -BW
- Summer 2012 - Acquired funding to purchase and install wireless HD camera
- Fall 2012 - Atlantic white-cedar pole for camera mounting donated by Schairer Brothers Sawmill in Egg Harbor City
- October 2012 - E.B. Forsythe NWR Wildlife Drive impacted by Hurricane Sandy
- January 2013 - Camera system designed by JES Hardware Solutions, video hardware installed in Forsythe NWR Visitor's Center, and solar panels prepped for install
- February 2013 - Solar panels, battery components, data transfer equipment, and camera were installed and wired
- March 2013 - Live feed began streaming
- 2014 Osprey Project Report
- New Jersey Osprey Monitoring Project (NJOP): information about how we help monitor and manage the state population in partnership with NJ Fish & Wildlife's Endangered and Nongame Species Program
Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager: Email
Find Related Info: Osprey
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