The Sandpoint Osprey Cam at Memorial Field

Hello! The first osprey of the 2015 season was spotted at the nest on April 5.

Live viewers

The Sandpoint Osprey Cam is a collaboration of the City of Sandpoint and Sandpoint Online, with support from Avista and Northland Communications. Consulting biologist is Janie Fink Veltkamp of Birds of Prey Northwest. Maintenance provided by Westside Fire District. Technical help by Video Security Technology. Camera upgrade supported by Lake Pend Oreille Cruises. Cam bracket built by Selkirk Welding. To all… thank you!

This project is sponsored by:

Avista Birds of Prey Northwest Northland Communications

Welcome

… to the Sandpoint Osprey Cam. Located at the Sandpoint, Idaho, War Memorial Field on Lake Pend Oreille, the osprey nest here was moved in Autumn 2011 to a nesting platform atop a new lighting standard, as part of major renovation to the field facilities.

Support the osprey cam

No tax money is used for cam operations. Contributions are gratefully accepted to help defray operational costs. Want to help?

The Memorial Field Ospreys

Memorial Field is home to two active osprey nests – as well as scores of community events each year, from soccer, baseball and football games to the annual Festival at Sandpoint summertime music series. From early spring, when the ospreys arrive in Sandpoint following their migration from Central and South America, until they head south in autumn, the ospreys are a ubiquitous presence at the field – occasionally upstaging the human events as they return to their nests carrying a squirming fish, or circle with their distinctive, whistling calls.

Osprey biology & FAQ

Lake Pend Oreille is an important nesting area for osprey, and these unique birds of prey have legions of fans among residents and visitors. They are the only raptors that eat fish exclusively, and they are consummate fishermen – putting on a thrilling show as they hover over the water, then plummet down and dive completely under to grab fish. Check out this incredible fishing video. Thanks to Jane Fink of Birds of Prey Northwest, read more about these fascinating birds on our osprey FAQ»

The nest cam project

The opportunity to place a web cam on the Memorial Field nest arose when the city undertook replacement of the aging light poles at the field in Autumn 2011. Two of the old poles held osprey nests, and their replacement poles were built with nesting platforms above the light arrays. The new light standards soar 90 feet above the field, and placing the web cam was a project unto itself. Read about the project»

The cam project is a collaboration among many partners. It was proposed to the City of Sandpoint Parks Department by staff at Keokee, which produces Sandpoint Online, and embraced by the parks staff and the city’s utility partner, Avista. The cam, network and computer equipment, plus implementation of the streaming video, are provided by Sandpoint Online with financial and logistical support from Avista. Northland Communications is providing the high-bandwidth Internet connection through its new fiber optic network in Sandpoint. Ben Curto of Connect Technologies in Sandpoint led the equipment installation. Raptor biologist Jane Fink of Birds of Prey Northwest, a raptor conservation and rescue group based in St. Maries, is consulting as biologist for the project. Bob Anderson, Raptor Resource Project, provided initial advice. Many others contributed, including Ron’s Electric staff; Thorco Electric; local birder Rich DelCarlo; architect Sean Fitzpatrick and CTA Architects .

Sandpoint Osprey Nest Observations

  • charlie
    (Fri, Jul 31. 2015 06:16 PM PDT)
    For Robin, the Streets should have had enough for a potluck. It appeared HUGE from way across the field where I was sitting.It looked like it was flapping, but perhaps it was the movement of flight.
  • Robin
    (Fri, Jul 31. 2015 06:17 PM PDT)
    SO the chick in the middle right now is Sage, I noticed when she flew off a minute ago that there is NO white blotch, like on Trill’s wing. I think she could use some food.
  • charlie
    (Fri, Jul 31. 2015 06:18 PM PDT)
    For all/temps way higher than predicted. Little breeze from the W. but for the most part, breathless. I agree that it could have reached 100 perhaps.
  • Marsha
    (Fri, Jul 31. 2015 06:20 PM PDT)
    For Charlie….when I arrived, my car thermometer said 102. When I left, it said 103. Crossing the Long Bridge was 97.
  • charlie
    (Fri, Jul 31. 2015 06:24 PM PDT)
    For Marsha, I looked on the Internet at Accuweather for Sandpoint, it said it was 97 and it gives a pretty accurate hourly temp.

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July 1

With the record-warm weather we’ve been receiving in June – over 100 degrees this past week, and more 100-degree days predicted this week – we asked biologist Janie Fink Veltkamp, director of Birds of Prey Northwest how the ospreys can cope with the extreme temperatures. Her reply:

Sandpoint osprey chicks 6.30.2015

Panting by the chicks provides a cooling factor.

The osprey have been challenged by high heat this season with triple digits predicted yet to come. Many of you are asking how this will be tolerated by the often unshaded nests of the osprey. It will require vigilance on the parents and their biology to shade and cool the youngsters.

In terms of avian structure and function, many adaptations occur to rid the avian body of excess heat. Panting is one primary way in which the air sacs of the body act as a cooling factor, exposing the apteria or the feathered body parts, ruffling feathers of the back and crown, evaporation from a wet abdomen and lastly shunting of blood to exposed legs.  Of course the parents will have to create shade for the youngsters as well.

How will they fare?  Time will tell. They have existed on the planet for millions of years and evolved ways to deal with the heat. We are all hoping they make it through this heat wave to soar into the future!

June 30
First chick; captured June 3.

First chick; captured June 3.

 

First chick; captured June 3.

First chick; captured June 3.

First chick; capture by  Robin Rogers Werner.

First chick; capture by Robin Rogers Werner.

Second chick; capture by Uta Große.

Second chick, by Uta Große.

Third chick hatching. Click to watch this YouTube video aptured by Romane Pentek and posted to the Sandpoint Osprey Nest Friends Facebook page.

Third chick hatching. Click to see YouTube video»

This is a belated post to catch up on the successful hatching and first few weeks for the osprey chicks. The first arrived a bit before noon on June 3; calculated from the April 26 date that the egg appeared, the incubation time was about 39 days and 5 hours.

The second chick hatched a day later and the third chick hatched out a bit before 9 p.m. on June 6.

Since then the attentive parents have successfully fed and tended to their brood. As of the date of this post, the osprey pair have proven to be excellent parents; the record-warm weather for the last week of June, with temperatures over 100 degrees, have created some concern for the chicks.

Click photos at right for a short slide show. Click below on “Third chick hatching” for a YouTube video of the youngest chick’s arrival. Video captured by Romane Pentek and posted to the Sandpoint Osprey Nest Friends FB page. It’s an excellent source to stay up with the happenings in the nest; to request to join the group, click to their Facebook page»

 

 

May 2
Sandpoint Idaho osprey with three eggs.

The third egg arrived early evening on May 1.

And then there were three: The ospreys produced their third egg late yesterday, May 1. This screen shot was grabbed this afternoon. It’s likely the third arrival makes a full nest; a fourth egg is relatively rare (though not impossible). Incubation time is about 36-38 days, so the first chick should appear around June 1 or a little later. Click the photo to enlarge.

May 1

Sandpoint ospreys 2015The ospreys’ second egg arrived early morning on April 29. With generally breezy weather making for some pixelated viewing, good screen captures have been tough to get but here is one courtesy the Sandpoint Osprey Nest Friends Facebook group.

April 27
Sandpoint ospreys produce first egg of 2015

Sandpoint ospreys produce first egg of 2015

Osprey fans tuned into the cam had an egg-citing Sunday morning, April 26, as the osprey pair’s first egg arrived sometime around 6:40 a.m.

This photo is a screen capture from later in the day. As of this posting on Monday, there’s no second egg to report… but nest watchers are hopeful that more are on the way. Click on the photo to enlarge.

April 10
Sandpoint osprey web cam

Osprey brings a sizable stick for the nest, on April 9.

We’re pleased to say that again this year biologist Janie Fink Veltkamp of Birds of Prey Northwest will provide periodic interpretive remarks; here’s her first for the 2015 season:

The mated pair from Memorial Field has returned from their winter migration. They are reaffirming the pair bond at the nest and have begun adding additional sticks to the nest.  Copulation will become more frequent and soon thereafter fertilization of the eggs. This amazing process of coupling and raising a family is all orchestrated by hormones!

Osprey fans can hope for another fascinating year observing these magnificent raptors. (Click to enlarge the photo.)

April 8
First Sandpoint osprey 2015

First osprey pair, screen capture taken April 7.

Greetings to Sandpoint osprey cam fans, for the 2015 season. The first ospreys of the year were spotted at the nest on Easter Sunday, April 5, and a pair has stayed close since yesterday. They’ve already begun to rebuild the nest with new sticks and material.

This is the fourth season since we installed the first live streaming web cam on the nest at Memorial Field; we tell the story of the cam’s inception on our Nest Cam Project page. Last October, with generous support by the City of Sandpoint, Avista, the Westside Fire Department, Northland Communications, Video Security Technology, Lake Pend Oreille Cruises and more than a dozen private contributors, we installed the new, higher resolution camera providing this year’s video. Click the lower right corner of the video window to go full screen: It’s quite a nice picture! Also, for the first time the camera supports sound. See photos and story of the new cam installation in our Sandpoint Online Facebook post.

What will the new season bring? Past viewers know what is to come this year is as unpredictable as Mother Nature itself. But as Spokesman-Review Outdoors Editor Rich Landers wrote today, it’s likely to be a high-flying soap opera. Read Rich’s entertaining blog post, “Ospreys return to nest under Sandpoint web cam.”

We’ll be posting periodically here during the season on major events in the nest. Everyone is invited to take part in the chat, above, as well as browse the other information we collected here on ospreys. Thank you for your interest in the Sandpoint osprey cam.

October 1

Have fun, and help us get a new web cam!

Want to help us upgrade the web cam here on Memorial Field? You can do that this Sunday, and enjoy a world-class lake excursion, to boot.

Lake Pend Oreille CruisesLake Pend Oreille Cruises is staging a benefit Hope Islands Cruise on Sunday, Oct. 5, to help raise money for the new cam. Cruise around the four islands of Hope, learn the history and geology of beautiful Lake Pend Oreille, and at the same time know your money is helping with the cam replacement. Half of the proceeds from the ticket sales will go to help fund the purchase of the new camera. Fare is $23 general, $21 seniors age 60-plus. Cruise departs from Kramer Marina, 46820 Highway 200 in East Hope, at 3:30 p.m. See more about these fantastic cruises at LakePendOreilleCruises.com. Reservations strongly encouraged, at the site or 208-255-5253

Aside from the need to replace the now-aging equipment at the nest, the new web cam will have higher resolution, greater zoom capability and, we hope, will finally support audio at the nest. Can’t make the cruise? You can still contribute, right now, with the Contribute button above. All contributions are gratefully accepted!

September 30

Sandpoint Idaho osprey chickAfter fledging in early August, the osprey chick, dubbed Copper by nest watchers, had a month of adolescence as it returned often to the nest for feedings by parents, and then began returning with his own catches as he learned to fish.

This photo of of the chick was snapped Aug. 28 enjoying a catch. It was last sighted on the nest Sept. 8 and is now – we hope – in migration south. Ospreys from this area fly as far as Mexico and Central America to winter, returning usually in early April.

Meantime, at the nest: Annual maintenance at the camera occurs this week with the assistance of the Westside Fire Department and their big ladder truck providing access to the 100-foot-tall nest. This year the aging camera will be replaced with a new, higher resolution camera with financial support from Avista, fundraising by osprey friends at Lake Pend Oreille Cruises, contributions from nest viewers, with Sandpoint Online adding money and staff time.

Want to contribute to the new camera? Use the Contribute button above. All donations gratefully accepted!

August 20

Osprey chick 2014-08-20 at 6.17.58 PM Osprey chick 2014-08-20 at 6.18.01 PM Osprey chick  2014-08-20 at 6.17.54 PM Osprey chick  2014-08-20 at 6.11.41 PMAfter the sad loss of the two youngest osprey chicks, the bright news is that the surviving chick has thrived. It fledged on about August 5, but has been visiting the nest frequently for feedings by the parents – as it learns the craft of fishing for itself.

These photos were snapped today following a summer thunderstorm and downpour – leaving our chick a bit disheveled.

Click the photos to view larger as a mini-slideshow.

 

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