The Ospreycam is trained on a nest at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest that has been active every year since at least 2008. The pair typically arrives in April and remains until October. The nest is located on the broken top of an old-growth Douglas fir tree, about 180 ft above Lookout Creek. The Ospreycam is deployed 200 ft up in an adjacent tree. More detailed information on the project is available here: About Ospreycam
Unfortunately, our limited internet bandwidth prevents us from sending real-time video to the outside world. Static images with a once-per-minute refresh rate, and daily timelapse videos are available on the Oregon State University Webcam page.
The real-time stream is available to visitors at the Forest Headquarters. We will be posting high temporal resolution video clips periodically to the Andrews Forest YouTube Channel.
Ospreys are migratory birds that travel long distances between breeding and wintering grounds. This pair at the Andrews likely travels from Central or South America. Breeding success for migratory birds is determined in part by prey availability. At the Andrews Forest we are researching how different organisms respond to climate variability, and the implications of climate change on interactions within food webs. With climate change already contributing to earlier arrival of spring in many areas in the northern hemisphere there is concern that the timing of life cycle events (phenology) for plant and animal species may become mismatched, potentially impacting reproduction for migratory predator species.
As a top predator the osprey plays a key role in structuring aquatic ecosystems, and is also vulnerable to environmental contaminants, such as DDT. Long-term research at the Andrews Forest examines stream ecosystem dynamics and populations of key species, such as cutthroat trout. The Ospreycam is natural extension of our interest in understanding mountain stream ecosystems.
The Ospreycam provides a view into an otherwise inaccessible nest along a headwater stream in the Oregon Cascades. With the webcam we can view behavior, diet and nesting success without disturbing the pair, or spending hours on end perched in the top of an old growth tree. This site will contribute to global efforts to monitor Osprey population dynamics as a sentinel species in understanding impacts of climate, commercial fishing and environmental contaminants on aquatic ecosystems: Osprey Watch.
Updates and Nesting Chronology:
Nesting updates and snapshots will be posted periodically on the OspreyWatch website: Andrews Forest Osprey Watch.
Female Ospreys are slightly larger than males, so you may be able to identify the sex of the birds when both adults are in the frame. Females spend the majority of time on the nest during incubation and nestling phases, while males hunt and deliver prey to the nest. Males will relieve females at the nest for short periods.
Ospreys eat fish almost exclusively. We will be watching to see if we can determine the size and species of prey, as well as prey delivery rates. An adult averages about two feet from bill tip to tip of tail, with a little over a five foot wingspan. This nest is about four feet in diameter. Eggs are 2-3 inches long. These are some reference points for estimating length of prey. In general, ospreys have been found to take fish in the 6-13 inch length range.
Typically, 2-3 eggs are laid, and the first egg can hatch several days before the others. We would like to get hatch dates for all eggs.
The incubation period is ca. 36-42 days.
The nestling period is 50-60 days.
Fledged juveniles may remain at the nest site for several weeks.