About the OspreyCam
Alcoa launched the OspreyCam in May 2012. The OspreyCam is a live webcam that follows a pair of osprey (named Oliveea and Oscar by Alcoa employees) at Badin Lake. They return year after year to a nest situated atop the Narrows Dam. The OspreyCam has received more than 541,000 hits from 87 countries since it was introduced.
The OspreyCam has captured the hatching of three baby chicks. Over the next two months, viewers can watch the parents feed and care for the chicks as they grow and prepare to take flight. Osprey chicks usually fledge — or leave the nest for their first flight — in late June or early July. The chicks can be seen making practice flights across the nest as they get ready to take flight.
“It’s a great way to see the wonder of nature, right here in our own backyard,” said Mark Gross, technical manager for Alcoa Power Generating Inc. “It’s fascinating to watch these little chicks grow and take flights.”
Wednesday, May 18, 2016The Frustrations Continue
What a frustrating season it has been for everyone who loves to follow the Alcoa Osprey Cam at Badin Lake. The latest setback: our camera overlooking the nest has malfunctioned, just as we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of a chick.
The camera needs to be replaced, and that may not be possible without disturbing the osprey nest. Our foremost concern is protecting these beautiful birds and we do not want to do anything that will disrupt their environment.
Like you, we are all wondering if an egg has hatched since the camera went dark this weekend. We have asked workers at the dam to take a peak at the nest and see if they can provide us with any intel. We will keep you posted as we learn more. We apologize for the technical difficulties and will continue working to improve the experience.
Posted at 12:23:53 PM | Permalink
| TrackbackTuesday, May 17, 2016Technical Difficulties
We apologize for the technical difficulties. We are working hard to fix the camera quickly. I know everyone is anxious to know if an osprey chick has arrived. We will provide an update on the camera later today. Thank you for your patience.
Posted at 2:10:00 PM | Permalink
| TrackbackTuesday, May 10, 2016The Wait Continues...
It's May 10th and Mom and Dad are still waiting for the arrival of a chick. There has been discussion about how many eggs are still be in the nest. We know there is still at least one egg in the nest. Some viewers report seeing a broken egg moved from the nest awhile back. And while Dad has been MIA lately, he has been spotted in the nest several times this morning.
We will continue to wait, watch and hope for the arrival of a new osprey.
Posted at 10:59:08 AM | Permalink
| TrackbackThursday, May 5, 2016Braving The Weather
Mom + Dad are braving some heavy winds today, and rains are expected to arrive Thursday night or Friday morning. As if you weren't anxious enough waiting for the first chick to arrive...
We'll continue to keep our eyes peeled for the first sign of our chick. If you catch a glimpse, please take a photo and post in on Twitter using the hashtag #AlcoaOspreyCam
Posted at 5:47:57 PM | Permalink
| TrackbackTuesday, May 3, 2016The Countdown Is On...
We are officially on egg watch! Our first egg arrived on Monday, March 28 -- 35 days ago. That means it's likely that the first egg will hatch within the next few days.
Osprey eggs do not hatch all at once. The first chick can emerge up to a week before the last one. This arrangement benefits the chick that hatches first, according to the National Audubon Society. The oldest hatchling tends to dominate younger chicks and can monopolize the food brought by the parents. (And they need a lot of food -- three chicks can eat up to six pounds of fish each day!)
Stay tuned and hopefully we will see a chick soon!
Posted at 8:02:00 AM | Permalink
| TrackbackSunday, May 1, 2016What Happened To The Sound?
Hearing the sounds of nature is one of the best aspects of the Osprey Cam. Many of our viewers love to hear the chirping of the birds as they watch these magnificent birds prepare for the arrival of their newborn chicks.
We have investigated the problem surrounding the sound issues and believe the microphone located at the nest has malfunctioned. Unfortunately, this cannot be repaired or replaced without disrupting the birds and their nest. We apologize for the lack of sound, but hope you will continue to visit and keep an eye on our osprey.
Posted at 2:17:00 PM | Permalink
| TrackbackWednesday, April 6, 2016A Full Nest!
Our third egg has arrived! Thanks to Roberta and many of our other faithful viewers for spotting the third egg. Our osprey are still getting used to covering three eggs, but we have faith that they will sort it out.
It looks like our osprey will enjoy a sunny weekend, perfect for fishing along Badin Lake. Next week brings a chance of rain.
Posted at 3:41:52 PM | Permalink
| TrackbackFriday, April 1, 2016A Second Osprey Egg Has Arrived
And then there were two...
Many of our faithful viewers spotted a second egg in the osprey nest this morning. Keep watching to see if a third egg appears in the next few days.
Posted at 3:04:00 PM | Permalink
| TrackbackTuesday, March 29, 2016We Have An Egg!
One day after Easter, we spotted our first egg on the Osprey nest. Mom is taking good care of the egg, and hopefully there are more to come!
Ospreys usually lay three eggs, which typically hatch after 32-40 days. That means the first egg is likely to hatch in early May.
Posted at 9:35:40 AM | Permalink
| TrackbackMonday, March 28, 2016Working To Improve The Experience
Several people have commented recently on some of the technical issues we have been experiencing. We are working on fixing the sound and enhancing the picture. Thank you for your patience. We hope you be able to hear the birds chirping soon.
Posted at 10:42:52 AM | Permalink
| TrackbackFriday, March 25, 2016Osprey 101: Facts + Figures
To celebrate the return of the ospreys at Badin Lake, here are a few key facts you should know:
Ospreys are large birds — with a wingspan of 5-6 feet — that resemble bald eagles. The birds live along rivers, lakes and other large bodies of water where they can feed on fish. The open water and large tracts of undeveloped shoreline at the Yadkin Project provide the perfect setting for wildlife such as bald eagles, ospreys, great blue herons and great egrets.
* The average life span for an osprey in the wild is 30 years.
* Fish account for 99% of the osprey’s diet. Osprey hunt by diving to the water's surface from 30 to 100 feet up. They have gripping pads on their feet to help them pluck fish from the water with their curved claws and carry them back to the nest.
* The osprey can be found on every continent except Antarctica.
* Ospreys are sometimes referred to as fish eagles, sea hawks or river hawks. Osprey are the inspiration behind nicknames for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and the UNC-Wilmington Seahawks.
Posted at 11:16:00 AM | Permalink
| TrackbackWednesday, March 23, 2016The Osprey Are Back!
Our osprey returned last week and are busy bringing sticks, twigs and other materials to the nesting box atop the Narrows Dam at Badin Lake. We hope to see the arrival of the first egg in early April so keep watching.
Alcoa currently has 10 osprey nesting sites along Badin Lake. Three new nesting sites were added along the transmission towers this year and another four sites were upgraded. In addition to our beloved pair of osprey in this nest, you will see plenty of other osprey flying in the background.
Posted at 10:13:54 AM | Permalink
| TrackbackMonday, August 10, 2015Bidding Farewell to our Osprey Chicks
What an amazing year it has been! All of the new Osprey chicks are busy flying and exploring their new surroundings, while still perfecting the art of diving and catching fish.
Thank you ALL for watching and keeping us up to date on the progress of our chicks this year. We can only watch the OspreyCam on occasion, but your posts, comments and tweets help us tremendously.
There were more than 15 osprey chicks within a three mile radius around our OspreyCam this year, including four healthy chicks at Falls. It is such a pleasure to see these beautiful chicks sit along the river in trees or on top of dam calling out to each other.
As our Osprey season draws to a close, we will take the camera down at different times for maintenance and other work over the next few weeks. We can't wait to see what next year brings!
Posted at 3:22:44 PM | Permalink
| TrackbackWednesday, July 1, 2015Ready To Take Flight
Our osprey are growing strong and getting ready to spread their wings. We have started seeing other young Osprey in the area taking their first flights. They haven’t completely learned how to steer yet and their landing is not so graceful, but they seem to be enjoying their new found freedom!
Our youngsters are working hard getting ready for their first flight. A lot of stretching and flapping as they try to lift off the nest. They are getting braver each day! Thank goodness the weather is a little cooler this week. Mom is not having to work so hard to keep them cool so she can concentrate on just bringing in the food.
Hope everyone has a Happy Fourth of July! Stay safe on the lakes!
Posted at 12:02:00 PM | Permalink
| TrackbackThursday, June 25, 2015Meet Alcoa's Other Ospreys
Our happy family of ospreys live atop the dam at Badin Lake on North Carolina's Yadkin River. But just downstream, there's another family of ospreys at the Falls Dam.
We recently visited that nest and spotted four osprey chicks. We weren't able to capture all four in a photo, but here's a look at Mama and three of her chicks.
Posted at 2:15:00 PM | Permalink