The Sandpoint Osprey Cam at Memorial Field

Hello! Welcome to the Sandpoint, Idaho osprey cam, watching the nest at Memorial Field. 

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


… 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

  • Robin
    (Sat, Apr 29. 2017 04:29 PM PDT)
    For Brightlight – Notice how quiet Pete is on the nest! 🙂
  • Brightlight
    (Sat, Apr 29. 2017 04:30 PM PDT)
    For Robin – Just a good wing stretch is probably a good thing, there is gonna be some sitting around coming up soon. he always been the strong silent type.
  • Cindi
    (Sat, Apr 29. 2017 05:44 PM PDT)
    Wow!!! Just looking at the Arrival to Egg times on the clocks; 1 each for 23 days, 25 days and 32!!!! days. Guess this wait is not common, but not unheard of either
  • Robin
    (Sat, Apr 29. 2017 05:50 PM PDT)
    For Cindi – Ya, I guess if you count from the day Pete arrived today is 22 days. Sandy has been here 25 days.
  • Robin
    (Sat, Apr 29. 2017 05:51 PM PDT)
    Thankfully there were no shenanigans between Sandy and or any other male!

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June 28
Sandpoint ospreys in next at Memorial Field

Ospreys with surviving chick on June 28, 2016.

The 2016 season has been eventful. The first osprey was spotted at the nest on April 3; the first of three eggs came on April 22; and the first chick hatched May 31. But since then the ospreys have experienced adversity. Biologist Janie Fink Veltkamp, director of Birds of Prey Northwest, provided the following comment:

This year the Memorial Field Osprey pair laid three eggs; one did not hatch, but two did. Unfortunately, just this week, the youngest died after exhibiting symptoms of problems.

The remaining chick remains vigorous and healthy. One way to view these events is that a ‘biological insurance policy’ is in place to help insure survival for the remaining youngster, which now has no remaining competition for food and parental attention.

As young chicks all over North Idaho are continuing to develop the parents will be busy shading their young from the intense high heat temperatures predicted for this coming week.

October 25

Cam maintenance Oct. 9, 2015 with the Westside Fire tall ladder truck.

2015 season synopsis. The osprey pair that nests here on Sandpoint’s Memorial Field had a fine 2015 season. They were first spotted at the nest on April 5 and immediately began their nest renovation. The female laid three eggs by May 1, and the first hatched on June 3. All three chicks survived and fledged by July 29. In the three previous seasons since the cam went active in 2012, there had been some mortality at the nest; 2015 was the first time the nest produced three healthy fledglings!

Sandpoint osprey nest cam maintenance

Chief Hopkins at the nest platform.

After the chicks fledged they continued to stay near the nest through August as the parents initially continued feeding and the young ones were learning their own fishing skills. The ospreys departed for their southern migration in September.

In October, we performed annual maintenance of the camera – thanks to the support of Westside Fire Department and Chief Dale Hopkins, whose ladder truck is the only one in the region capable of reaching the 100 feet up to the nesting platform and camera. THANKS once again to Westside Fire and Chief Hopkins.

The ospreys will be returning in early April 2016. Meantime, we will keep the cam live this winter with views of our town. Be sure to check back when you want a live picture from Sandpoint – and especially in April, when we’ll once again welcome the ospreys back to North Idaho.

July 31
Sandpoint Idaho ospreys

Capture from July 29 of all three chicks and mom, center.

It’s been, so far with fingers crossed, the most successful year yet at the Memorial Field osprey nest since the installation of the web cam three seasons ago. The attentive parents have kept their chicks well fed and tended, and this week all three fledged – the last on July 29. That means the first chick fledged about 10 days earlier than last year, when the only chick of three to survive fledged on August 5.

Now that all three chicks can fly, they’ll not always be at the nest – but they will be returning frequently for a while yet for meals and snacks, while they master flying and learn their own fish-catching skills.

Meanwhile, as the annual Festival at Sandpoint concert series kicks off its two-week run this week, we will be aiming the cam to both watch the ospreys plus catch some of the action on the field below. BTW … the Festival has a stellar lineup again this year. Check it, and get your tickets at … you can enjoy an in-person visit with the ospreys with a fine musical score, to boot.

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.

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