The Sandpoint Osprey Cam at Memorial Field

The 2014 season synopsis: The osprey pair arrived April 11, and laid three eggs as of May 8. Though all three hatched, two chicks suffered respiratory infections and died. The third chick thrived and fledged in August. The ospreys departed for the season in September.

We’ve installed a new web cam. Want to help? Scroll down to NEST NOTES.

Live viewers

The Sandpoint Osprey Cam is a collaboration of the City of Sandpoint and Sandpoint Online, with corporate support by Avista and Northland Communications. Consulting biologist is Jane Fink of Birds of Prey Northwest. Maintenance help provided by Westside Fire District.

This project is sponsored by:

Avista Birds of Prey Northwest Northland Communications


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

Support the osprey cam

Fundraising is underway to replace the aging camera with a new, higher resolution cam. All expenses are borne by donors. Want to help? Contributions gratefully accepted!

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

  • Peggy
    (Thu, Mar 26. 2015 09:17 AM PDT)
    Well, here’s the Geese… I was just looking and they weren’t there..So I guess they will stay a couple of hours then disappear again.. (I hope)..
  • deb
    (Thu, Mar 26. 2015 09:28 AM PDT)
    For Peggy – I think they are checking to see if anyone built them a nest yet :-)
  • Terry
    (Thu, Mar 26. 2015 02:23 PM PDT)
    Are those seagulls flying around at 2:20 today
  • Willie Dunn
    (Thu, Mar 26. 2015 05:03 PM PDT)
    The new cam shows a great clear video this year congrats.
  • Sue G
    (Thu, Mar 26. 2015 06:41 PM PDT)
    A crow!!

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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 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.


August 4

Biologist Jane Fink of Birds of Prey Northwest provides this sad report on the osprey chick rescued Friday.

Osprey chick rescue in Sandpoint, Idaho

Photo of chick from rescue by Clint Nicholson

After recovering the young osprey which became grounded, I am sad to report that the young osprey was euthanized over the weekend. The bird is no longer suffering and is truly free. The female osprey had such an advanced case of aspergillosis that its airway was filled with the fungal plagues and could hardly breathe anymore. It was such an advanced case of the disease there was no hope that it would recover.

To all who helped rescue her and all you who were watching in agony as she suffered, I am grateful for your caring concern. Let us focus on the living and hope for a successful first flight of the young osprey remaining in the nest.

See more about Jane’s raptor rescue and rehabilitation organization at Birds of Prey Northwest»

August 1

Osprey chick rescueOsprey chick rescue 2Osprey chick rescue 3One of the two osprey chicks in the Memorial Field nest fell as it was attempting to fledge this morning. The chick, which has been visibly struggling the past weeks with a suspected respiratory infection, fluttered into the batting cage on the field and was rescued; at this writing it is to be delivered to Janie Fink of Birds of Prey Northwest this afternoon. For an album with more rescue photos, click to Sandpoint Online Facebook.
Photos by Katie Kosaya.

July 28

Following the death of the youngest osprey on July 15, one of the two surviving chicks has shown labored breathing amid the high summer temperatures. Biologist Janie Fink of Birds of Prey Northwest provides these observations today:

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 10.58.19 AMUnfortunately we are watching nature in action as the young osprey loses its hold on life. If the young osprey does fledge it will not likely be able to sustain flight and will become grounded. That is the best time to attempt intervention – not now. Should we intervene now we risk jeopardizing the remaining healthy osprey.

So for nearby viewers that is my advice. Be vigilant as both these youngsters approach fledging as they may become grounded. We here at Birds of Prey Northwest will be there to provide medical treatment and assist should it become necessary. In the meantime know that raptors have an inherently high mortality rate in nature and this is part of that mortality. Focus on those that can survive and beat those odds.

Thanks all for your caring concern.

July 15

In response to queries from nest watchers concerned that the youngest chick is not thriving, biologist Janie Fink of Birds of Prey Northwest provides these observations.

I too, have been watching the little osprey chick with the labored breathing in the nest. From my experience with young osprey, I know that these signs of difficulty breathing can be related to a fungus known to effect raptors called aspergillosis. Youngsters can be susceptible if they are immunosuppressed.

While relocating osprey for reintroduction in other states, I have encountered several young osprey with labored breathing. After diagnostic medical testing and subsequent anti fungal treatment, the young ospreys died. It was difficult for our staff and myself who were so vested in their well being to experience the loss.

When placing a webcam we must be prepared to view ALL that nature has to offer. If this young osprey dies eventually we must accept that fact. If this were to occur, the remaining two ospreys would have an increased chance for fledgling. With life comes death.

The concern is heart warming. I wish there were more I could do.

Editor’s addendum: Later in the day after this note was posted, the youngest osprey died.

July 11

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 12.03.59 PM-Feeding
Photo from a feeding this afternoon. Our consulting biologist Janie Fink with Birds of Prey Northwest provides the following observations:

The faithful and responsible osprey parents continue to nurture their young. A few things to note. The male osprey is a good provider of fish and defending the territory. The female tends to the needs of the young – feeding and shading them. Note also how very well the young are camouflaged in the nest. They also respond to mother’s call to “get down” and lay flat in her absence, a protective mechanism. This week of predicted high temperatures will be challenging for the osprey family, no doubt.

We here at our rescue center Birds of Prey NW have admitted our first young grounded osprey of the season. The youngster fell prematurely from his nest at about 5 weeks of age and ended up in the middle of Highway 3. A passing citizen saw fit to recover the youngster and call us. Lucky bird. He is housed with an adult osprey and will be returned to the wild in a few weeks.

See more about Janie’s work with raptors at More raptor news: Check this story from the Bonner County Daily Bee about her recent rescue of an injured eagle»

July 1

Osprey chick in Sandpoint's Memorial Field nest
Osprey chick in Sandpoint's Memorial Field nest
Osprey chick in Sandpoint's Memorial Field nest
What a difference a couple weeks can make. As of today, all three chicks are thriving, with even the youngest and smallest growing at a good clip; compare these close-up shots we captured today to the photos in our post of June 16 just below. The osprey parents have proven to be attentive to the chicks – to say nothing of excellent fishers, seeming to be easily capable of keeping their brood well fed.

Each of these three shots features one of the chicks. Click to enlarge (and see as a 3-photo slide show). Temperatures today are warm, and the chicks can be seen panting a bit even as mom and dad attempt to provide some shade.

June 16

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 8.40.48 AM
Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 8.41.26 AM
Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 8.39.08 AM
Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 8.43.25 AM
With the third and final chick hatching out of its egg on Friday, so far the young ones appear to be thriving. Here are some closeups of a feeding this morning at about 8:40; click on the thumbnails to enlarge.

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