Last year was a great season for ospreys. Ospreys reached a historic milestone of over 500 nesting pairs! Over 750 young were produced with above average productivity. The live view from this nest captured the annual life cycle of a nesting pair that successfully produced three young. Read full results in the 2013 Osprey Project Newsletter.
This year viewers will be able to interact with biologists and other viewers and can post photos from the nest cam on our new "Osprey Cam Interaction" subpage.
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 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. This year we're working on developing an educational program that will be used to educate the public about ospreys, their threats, recovery efforts, and ways people can help, which includes the creation of a tri-fold brochure and a coloring book for children.
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:
The pair has been actively bringing in nesting material to "spruce up" their nest. Besides the natural nesting material that they have brought in, they have also brought in some unnatural nesting material. This unnatural material is a potential hazard to the nesting birds and their young. Birds can become easily entangled in ribbon, monofilament, rope and injury or death can occur. We could go out and remove the mesh bags and ballons with ribbon, but we would rather leave the debris and use the camera to act as an educational tool for watchers to become enlightened that marine debris is an ever growing threat. Please act responsibly and pick up trash when you see it.
On another note, last year the female laid the first egg on April 16th. Any bets on when you think she'll lay this year? Leave us a note on our Osprey Cam Interaction subpage. --Ben
Welcome to the second season for the Edwin B. Forsythe NWR Osprey Cam! While many of our ospreys have returned to New Jersey our Osprey Cam decided to go down. :( During the snowstorm on March 24th we lost connection with the Cam. Later that week (3/27) I went out to examine the camera components and found that the network switch was bad (no birds were present at the nest). A new switch was shipped up from Florida and installed on April 1. The only thing I can think that happened was that snow blew into the component box (which has small holes to allow some air in) and got into the ethernet ports on the switch. I'm just glad this happened at the beginning of the season and not in the middle, like last season when the cam went down in mid-July. It just goes to show that keeping a camera online in the middle of the coastal saltmarsh is NOT an easy task!
- We had an unbanded female visit the nest on 3/23. She was clearly just passing through.
- The 2013 unbanded female (ID'd by her distinct brown necklace of feathers) returned first, on 3/30. The camera was down at the time.
- The 2013 unbanded male (not confirmed yet but I plan to look at more photos of him from 2013 and will post in the next entry). He arrived on 4/3.
- View the location of this nest on Osprey Watch. Here you can se past nesting history of this and all other known nests in New Jersey.
- Check out our all new Osprey Cam Interaction page where you can leave comments, questions and post photos from the Osprey Cam.
Ospreys are headed north!! Already first of the year sightings (which are of course earlier than they've been in the past) are coming in from West Virginia and Tennessee. Over the next couple weeks we'll be planning a day to visit the nest to make some last minute adjustments and to add some conduit to protect the network wire that runs up the pole. If everything goes well, then sound should be working in a couple weeks...
February 5, 2014
Ospreys are currently on their wintering grounds in the south in Central America, Caribbean, with largest concentrations in N. South America. Later this month birds will begin their spring migration back to their breeding grounds in the Northern Hemisphere. In NJ, typically most birds arrive in late March, with a few arriving during the second week of March. In the meantime, we'll be busy making sure the red carpet is rolled out for their return by making sure nests are in top notch condition. Each year we install an average of 10 new platforms, some to replace old nests and a few new ones to help expand the population.
As far as the camera is concerned, since we replaced the solar charge controller in late 2013, all is well. One trip will be undertaken to the camera to install conduit from the battery box to the camera, adjust the IR light, and try and straighten out the camera on the pole by adding a shim. We're planning to conduct this work during the first week of March.
- 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
- 2013 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
Other Osprey Cams
Friends of Island Beach State Park, Island Beach, NJ
Wetlands Institute, Stone Harbor, NJ
Blackwater NWR, MD
Terrapin Cove, Maurice River, NJ