The Osprey Cam – They’re Back!

For over 16 years, a pair of nesting Osprey has built their summer home on a platform constructed by the Calgary Zoo atop a pole erected by ENMAX Power Corporation. The platform is located at the extreme east end of St. George’s Island.

Birdwatchers have access to a bird’s eye view of an Osprey nest via a high-resolution webcam, thanks to an arrangement between the Calgary Zoo and ENMAX Corporation.

The live streaming camera captures in full cycle the birds’ dramatic seasonal milestones, from nest building and mating rituals, to egg laying, incubation, hatching, feeding and fledging, a period of intense activity that is all centred at the nest between April and September.

Watch the Osprey nest camera live, 24 hours a day (If you click the icon in the bottom right hand corner of the video, it will go to full screen size. To leave full screen view, hit the Esc key on your keyboard)

There is also an Osprey Blog following the action in this nest

Posted by Pat Bumstead

6 thoughts on “The Osprey Cam – They’re Back!

  1. I was searching for Calgary birds and came across your blog. Thank you so much for the wonderful information! I saw this posting on the Osprey and had to check out the link. I am fascinated by it! I am a teacher who took my kids to the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary for a week long study on “What Makes a Home” and I am so excited to be able to show my student this wonderful live cam showing two Osprey and their two speckled eggs. Thanks again!

    • Glad you’re enjoying the osprey cam! We have two more bird cam links on the right side of the home page. You can watch nesting Peregrine falcons at the U of C, or a Great-horned owl near Red Deer. Peregrines have 2 eggs, but every time I check the owl she’s sitting in the nest, so no egg count yet.

  2. Is it common/normal for both Osprey parents to leave the nest and leave their egg unattended? I’m checking out the live feed at the moment and this seems to be the case.

    • I don’t actually know whether that behaviour is common or not, but I suspect they didn’t leave it unattended for very long. If the day was warm enough, they may have left it alone for short periods. The female will lay two- four eggs in the nest, and then I think they’ll be sitting on them pretty much full time. I’ll do some research and let you know if I find out anything further! Pat Bumstead

    • Follow-up: A local naturalist tells me that incubation of Osprey eggs is done by both parents, but there are times when the nest will be left unattended. If the eggs are incubated continuously at the birds’ body temperature, carbon dioxide builds up inside the eggs and it will kill the embryo. By occasionally allowing the temperature to fall briefly, the carbon dioxide is allowed to diffuse out into the atmosphere (through microscopic pores in the shell) and it is replaced by oxygen-rich air. This is true of all birds.

      You can bet that even though the eggs are unattended, one of the parents is keeping a close watch and will defend the eggs from any predator.

      • Thanks for the follow-up information. That’s very interesting as I never realized that this was an issue during incubation … I just thought it was odd to see an unattended egg during the middle of the day. I was wondering if the parents had sensed a problem with the egg itself.

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