The Sandpoint Osprey Cam at Memorial Field

The osprey pair arrived April 11, and laid three eggs as of May 8. First chick hatched June 9.

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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

Welcome

… 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

All operational costs for the web cam, including the streaming media server, are borne by sponsors, advertisers and donors. 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

  • Ashley
    (Fri, Aug 1. 2014 05:17 PM PDT)
    how do they know how/where to get fish after they leave the nest, is it just a natural instinct?
  • terri
    (Fri, Aug 1. 2014 05:19 PM PDT)
    For Ashley – instinct
  • oldollady
    (Fri, Aug 1. 2014 05:20 PM PDT)
    copper flying from one side to the other of nest!!!
  • Ashley
    (Fri, Aug 1. 2014 05:21 PM PDT)
    It’s just so amazing!
  • Ken
    (Fri, Aug 1. 2014 05:22 PM PDT)
    I’ve read that parents will drop a fish into the water they’ve caught to teach the fledgling when they’re all flying together. Wish we could see it ALL!

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BLOG/NEST NOTES

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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 BirdsOfPreyNorthwest.org. 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.

June 13

The third chick hatched out at about 3:15 a.m. this morning – thanks to the cam’s infrared that lets it “see” at night, nest watcher RP Osprey was able to capture the break-out. The main action occurs a little after three minutes into the video. Click to watch, and thank you RP:

June 11

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 5.19.36 PMThe second osprey chick was observed “pipping” or cracking out of its shell a bit before 4 p.m. yesterday, June 10, and succeeded in hatching out at around 8 p.m. Here’s a photo of mom feeding both chicks at 5:19 p.m. this afternoon; click to enlarge. One egg remains to hatch … we hope! No pipping is evident in this closeup.

June 10

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 4.12.55 PMScreen Shot 2014-06-10 at 4.12.06 PMScreen Shot 2014-06-10 at 4.12.45 PM We have our first new arrival! The first chick hatched out at about 1:59 p.m. yesterday, June 9, right within time frame estimated after the first egg arrived May 2. This afternoon at about 4:30 p.m. we grabbed these close-ups of the chick – and note, s/he will soon have a sibling if all goes well, as “pipping” is visible on the right-hand egg where a second chick is working to makeScreen Shot 2014-06-10 at 1.46.11 PMScreen Shot 2014-06-10 at 4.13.24 PM its escape. Click to enlarge the photos.

May 22

With three eggs in the nest – a first since the web cam was launched in 2012, the osprey pair are well into incubation now. Biologist Janie Fink with Birds of Prey Northwest provides these observations as of today:

Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 11.24.25 AMThe female osprey continues her vigilant incubation period. With three eggs beneath her to keep warm, and frequently turned for even heat distribution,  she maintains her role. She is evidenced by her speckled neck patch of chocolate barring. About 80 percent of females sport this “necklace.”  She is also the larger of the pair.

Osprey can and often do produce and raise three young. These three eggs will need to be fertile to hatch and commonly spaced apart. This reduces competition among the young during feedings. The most vigorous feeders have the best chance for survival. Only time will tell…

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