Did you know:
A pair of ospreys can make over 100 trips a day to collect nesting material.
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Our Osprey Cam "Frequently Asked Questions" page might have your answer! If not, then you can email us your question.
Ospreys are back, and we're excited to broadcast the live view of an osprey nest inside Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge.
Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey has installed a high resolution, wireless camera on an 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 with sound (in progress) will be broadcast here 24/7 during the nesting season for ospreys from March through August. We are also 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.
Our goal is to increase awareness and protection of ospreys in New Jersey.
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.
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:
May 17: The pair has now been incubating three eggs for 24 days. Ospreys start incubating after they lay the first egg, which was laid on April 17. Keep an eye out for hatching, starting around May 19. The eggs will hatch in the order they are laid after incubation for 32-43 days.
May 3: We had quite a scare this week, after the female who was incubating, got a single use plastic bag wrapped around her neck! After posting this photo (below) to our Facebook page we got a lot of comments about what we were doing to help. To sums things up briefly: our stance was that we could only watch and hope the female could free herself. People wanted us to go out to the nest and help. Entering the nest at that time would have only caused more stress for the bird and would have caused her to fly off the nest, possibly even with the bag around her neck, causing more harm to her. If she would have been tied down to the nest for an extended period of time, then we would have intervened. Luckily, she was able to free herself. We have video of it and plan on putting it up on YouTube shortly. During the incident I looked up stats on plastic bag recycling and it's pretty poor. According to the U.S. EPA in 2010 only 12% of bags were recycled. Whether people recycle them or not, it's a good reason to make the switch to reusable bags! -Ben
April 26: We have confirmed that the pair is incubating three eggs! Ospreys incubate for 32-43 days, so hatching will begin in mid-late May. Ospreys exhibit asynchronous hatching, so young hatch in the order they were laid. This adaptation gives the oldest young more advantage, especially during times when prey is scarce, where only one chick might survive.
April 22: Happy Earth Day!! The pair is now on two eggs. The second egg was laid on 4/20. The third should have come by today. One viewer posted on our FB page that she got a glimpse of three eggs but wasn't totally sure. We'd know for sure if the cam was still online, but after visiting the site and rebooting the Synology DiskStation (which is used for video recording) we lost remote access to the cam and the live stream. We're headed back tomorrow afternoon to figure out what happened...stay tuned!
April 16: We observed egg laying behavior today and the first egg was laid sometime this evening around 5-5:30pm. Ospreys lay eggs in intervals of 2-3 days and start incubating after the first egg is laid. Young hatch in the order they are laid so young differ in age. Check out a photo on Facebook and join the conversation!
April 5: Currently the nesting pair has been working on sprucing up the nest. From courtship until the young fledge the male is the sole provider for the female. To strengthen their pair bond he performs an aerial display called the "sky dance." The displays consists of him flying high above the nest, often after a successful hunt, while carrying fish or nesting material. He flies in an udulating type pattern (like a wave or up and down) and has a really high pitched whistle like call. They have been seen copulating and will continue to mate several times until eggs are laid later this month.
March 29: Both the male and female returned to the nest! The female has a really striking and bold brown necklace of feathers on her breast. The male is noticably smaller and lacks the brown feathers on his breast.
March 28: An osprey was seen perched on the nest in the late afternoon for a few minutes.
March 27: A juvenile peregrine perched on the nest around 7am and stayed there for a good hour. She was banded and had an alpha-numeric band which we could read from the camera. It read 07/AK and someone ID'd her as a '12 bird from a nest in Wilmington, DE.
Meet the nesting pair!
March 23: Camera stream is online! No ospreys have been seen on the nest...
March 22: An adult peregrine falcon was seen on the platform for a couple minutes in the late afternoon.
March 13: We're working on getting technical information from USFWS to network the camera and get the feed online. Several sightings of ospreys have come in from S. Jersey!!
March 7: A strong Nor'easter hit the area in the morning hours of March 6th. Wind gusts reached 44mph at the Refuge. The next day all of the osprey cam equipment was still standing and in good condition! A great test for our camera pole design and installation techniques. Home base wiring was completed and link to camera was made.
February 27-28 2013: With the help of several very dedicated volunteers we installed the 25' osprey cam pole, a 20' pole to hold the solar array, batteries, and electronics. The systems were installed on a system that can be easily accessed for future maintenance and is located above the height of the storm surge associated with Superstorm Sandy (10ft). On the 28th we went back to the site to hook up all the wiring for the remote system and all systems are up and running.
- 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
- 2012 Osprey Project newsletter which highlights survey results from last year (pdf)
- Osprey information including identification, life history, diet, and conservation status
- 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
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