Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Osprey Nest Cam

I wanted to let everyone in on a wonderful webcam for Ospreys located right here in Kentucky at Lake Barkley. It was installed and is operated by KEEP (Kentucky Environmental Education Projects). I have been in contact with the Founder/Director of KEEP, Ed Ray, and have included a letter from him to teachers across the nation. Watching a nest cam can be a rich educational experience for a classroom!

The nest cam is up and operating at this time, and a female Osprey was observed at the nest a few days ago. I am including a picture of her below. Be sure and read through Mr. Rays letter, even if you are not a teacher, as it has a lot of great information about Ospreys & the nest cam. If you are a teacher or know a teacher, please let them know about the site! Here is a link to the Nest cam!

Female Osprey (Image courtsey of KEEP)

Letter from Ed Ray, KEEP Founder/Director:

Kentucky Environmental Education Projects (KEEP), Inc., a Kentucky non-profit organization, is happy to announce that our Lake Barkley Osprey Cam Project is underway for the 2012 nesting season. Please visit to see current live nest images.

An "osprey's view" of near-by Lake Barkley from the osprey nest is available at the KEEP web site home page.The five ft. nest is located near Kuttawa, KY forty feet above the ground on private property on KEEP's tallest osprey nesting platform. KEEP volunteers are presently building four new all steel platforms for the KY Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR). KEEP has donated approximately forty osprey nesting platforms to KDFWR and the USCG to help with osprey population recovery in KY while enhancing navigation light operations on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley.

Live nest images are available during daylight by selecting "nest cam" under "quick links" on the left side of the home page (under "donate"). Please refresh your screen every 12-15 seconds for new nest images. Typically the first osprey to arrive at the nest is the male around March 10. Males have a white chest while the female wears a "necklace" of dark spots at her upper chest. When seen together, females are always noticeably larger, true with most birds of prey species. This year our female arrived before the male on Sunday March 11 at about 9 am. She stayed for about forty-five minutes and returned again in the afternoon. She seems to be settling into her nest. Please e-mail if you think you are the first person to see a male osprey on the nest and with any questions you may have about the nest and ospreys.

Tim Gardner, The International Osprey Foundation president, stated that KEEP provides the best Internet osprey live cam viewing site "in the world". KEEP volunteers are making efforts to make public and classroom viewing even better this season! Teachers are reporting to KEEP from around the world that they are using our site to help their students learn about wildlife, migration, biological cycles and more. Please share our web site and this message with everyone who may be interested.

KEEP hopes you enjoy viewing and learning about ospreys. We are anxious to see if our pair, displaced by a pair of great-horned owls last nesting season, return to our camera nest and successfully raise new young this season. Students and the public are excited to watch for the first egg, how many eggs are produced, hatching, how fast the chicks grow and finally learn how to fly. We plan to add live streaming video as soon as we hopefully see the first egg. For the first time live sound will be available with the streamed images. Still and saved video images are available any time at the KEEP web site in our web site gallery section.

Ospreys are great environmental quality indicators feeding almost entirely on fish caught at the end of a steep feet first dive into the water. We wish the ospreys success and hope your classes may join us to learn about an outstanding wildlife species and wildlife needs.

Ed Ray, KEEP Founder/Director

The KEEP website has a wealth of information about their organization & Ospreys, as well as links to other sites to assist you in learning more about Ospreys. On the site you can also view, photos and videos from previous successful nesting seasons! I definitely suggest a visit to the KEEP webpage!

We, here in Lousiville, Ky, are fortunate to have an Osprey nest! I have been observing it for two summers! Two years ago, they fledged three and last summer, I believe they fledged two! The nest is on top of a tower on Shippingport Island, just down from Falls of the Ohio State Park! The Falls of the Ohio, provides a great fishing opportunities for the Ospreys! You can best observe the nest from The Clark Cabin site on the Indiana side of the Ohio river. Click here for a map.

Another great viewing site is on Shippingport Island (Kentucky side). They have a parking area for fishermen, and this provides a wonderful viewing opportunity. This is also where the McAlpine Locks & Dam are located.

Most Ospreys will be arriving from their wintering grounds during the month of March. I have not seen our Osprey yet this season, and I believe last year he arrived around the middle of March, so I expect him any day now!

Louisville also has an active Bald Eagle nest on Shippingport Island (I will talk more about that in another blog post), so it should be an interesting summer, if both nests are successful!

As a side note, I want to mention that there is no way that we could get close to either of these nests. The area on Shippingport Island where they are located, is fenced off by the Corps of Engineers and the other side is the Ohio River. That is why I can mention more specifically about the areas where the nests are located.


Mia McPherson said...

Thanks for posting the link to the Osprey web cam, I enjoy seeing nesting birds from a safe distance so they are not disturbed.

Karen Bonsell said...

Thanks Mia! I've included an update in my latest post!

Anonymous said...

Ed- your email has just been hacked.. I got several spam messages from you, instead of the Osprey updates.

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