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Young ospreys only have a 50% chance of reaching adulthood.

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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 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:

April 10

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.

Image of Here you can see the light brown flecks on the interloper male. Zoom+ Here you can see the light brown flecks on the interloper male. Image of The old male returns.Zoom+ The old male returns.
 

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.

Image of Comparison of old (on left)/interloper male (right). The feather markings on their forehead can be used to help tell one from the other.Zoom+ Comparison of old (on left)/interloper male (right). The feather markings on their forehead can be used to help tell one from the other.

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

Image of Female osprey who nested at the osprey cam nest last year and all previous years. Will she return this year?Female osprey who nested at the osprey cam nest last year and all previous years. Will she return this year?Image of Here is the male. We hope to use feather color patterns on their head to confirm their ID. Here is the male. We hope to use feather color patterns on their head to confirm their ID.

Osprey Cam Interaction

This subpage of the Osprey Cam is where viewers can watch, ask questions, and leave comments about ospreys and the camera system.

Osprey Cam FAQ

Here are some "Frequently Asked Questions" to accompany our Osprey Cam.

2013 Nest Cam News

Summary of news from the 2013 Osprey Cam season written by Ben Wurst.

2014 Nest Cam News

News from the 2014 nesting season for ospreys at the Forsythe NWR Osprey Cam.

2015 Nest Cam News

News and insight from the third season of the Forsythe NWR Osprey Cam.

2016 Nest Cam News

News from the 2016 Forsythe NWR Osprey Cam. Three young were produced this year.

2017 Nest Cam News

Archives of Nest Cam News for the Osprey Cam located at Forsythe NWR. This year two young successfully fledged.

Chronology:
  • 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

Learn more:
Multimedia of Ospreys: A Success Story (NJN video): The osprey was listed as endangered in 1974 after DDT and habitat loss decimated the population. The population dropped from 450-500 nesting pairs to only 53. Since the 70s the population has rebounded to historic levels. Here is a video of the New Jersey Osprey Recovery Project.

Ospreys: A Success Story (NJN video)

The osprey was listed as endangered in 1974 after DDT and habitat loss decimated the population. The population dropped from 450-500 nesting pairs to only 53. Since the 70s the population has rebounded to historic levels. Here is a video of the New Jersey Osprey Recovery Project.

CONTACT US:

Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager: Email

609.628.2103


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