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.”


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November 2013
December 2013
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014


Recent posts

First egg
Ready to lay eggs
Nesting sites
We have read quite a few comments around...
Keeping busy
Beautiful day
Getting the nest ready
Osprey are back!
Happy Holidays
Post-Fledging Period
Another Fledged
Successful Fledge
Lift off
Tuesday, April 15, 2014

First egg

04.15.14One egg laid yesterday afternoon just in time for Easter! Our Osprey brought in more soft bedding material this morning and have been rolling the egg around quite a bit. Rain storms in the area today and it will be a little cooler for the next couple of days before it warms up again toward the end of the week.

Posted at 8:59:43 AM | Permalink | Comments(19) | Trackback

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Ready to lay eggs

Judging by the soft nesting material in the nest, our female Osprey is getting ready to lay her eggs. We should see beautiful weather the rest of the week with highs in the mid 70’s and only a slight chance of rain. The trees are budding out and pollen is in the air! Spring has finally arrived in time for Osprey Easter eggs!

Posted at 8:50:43 AM | Permalink | Comments(8) | Trackback

Monday, March 31, 2014

Nesting sites

It is supposed to be a beautiful week here on the Yadkin River. We are expecting highs in the 80's. Hopefully, the Ospreys take advantage of the balmy weather and finish their nest building. We thank our viewers that posted concerned comments that our nesting boxes may be too close together. There are only a few nesting areas and they are not close to the OspreyCam. The Ospreys constructed the majority of the nesting sites. The few nesting boxes we erected sought to ensure the safety of the Osprey parents and their chicks.

Posted at 11:32:33 AM | Permalink | Comments(5) | Trackback

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

We have read quite a few comments around fighting for the nesting rights, and suggestions that it might be a different pair of Ospreys in the nest. After comparing pictures from this morning to years back, it’s very difficult to tell. We have observed more than double the amount of nesting sites in the area this year, so it would not surprise us if another pair has taken over. We have also noticed they are nesting closer together than in prior years.

Posted at 9:41:01 AM | Permalink | Comments(19) | Trackback

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Keeping busy

Oliveea is perched up in the nest this morning drying out from the freezing rain. The temperatures are supposed to rise slowly this week with Saturday around 75 degrees! With Spring knocking loudly at our door, they need to pick up the nest building pace. Our other Ospreys have returned from last year and are also busy getting their nests in shape. I think we will be blessed with MANY baby chicks this year, as our Osprey numbers have been growing. Oliveea has been trying to nest beside a fake owl, while others are on the transmission towers, and some are checking out the new nesting boxes we setup.

Posted at 10:23:13 AM | Permalink | Comments(16) | Trackback

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Beautiful day

Osprey_3.11Oliveea and Oscar enjoyed the beautiful weather today. The pair watched the buzzards fly above and was squawking pretty loud at times. They added more sticks over the weekend to prepare the nest. We should start seeing eggs around the middle of March, if they stick to the same schedule as last year. Rain is in the forecast tomorrow and then another cool down starting Thursday.

Posted at 7:57:47 PM | Permalink | Comments(6) | Trackback

Monday, March 03, 2014

Getting the nest ready

Osprey_3.03Oliveea and Oscar have started rebuilding their nest. New sticks will be added in preperation for Oliveea's eggs. Our weather started out on the warm side, but winds should be picking up as the day goes by. Snow and sleet are possible for this afternoon. Oliveea and Oscar may be in for a rough ride!

Posted at 11:08:39 AM | Permalink | Comments(7) | Trackback

Friday, February 28, 2014

Osprey are back!

Osprey_2.28We noticed an Osprey in the nest yesterday.  Last Year the first sighting was Feb 25th.  It is time to start watching the cameras!

Posted at 10:34:19 AM | Permalink | Comments(7) | Trackback

Friday, November 22, 2013

Happy Holidays

On behalf of all of us at Alcoa, we would like to wish you a safe and Happy Holiday Season!

Thank you for your tweets. We enjoy reading each and every one of them. Please check back from time to time for the latest blogs and tweets. Also, keep an eye out for the return of Oliveea and Oscar near the end of March.

Posted at 3:14:35 PM | Permalink | Comments(7) | Trackback

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Post-Fledging Period
Ollie, Olive, and Oscar Jr have all fledged! They can be seen flying around the area perfecting their flying and fishing skills. Although the nest may be empty at times, they are not far away! We should still be able to spot them in the nest for the next month or so until they migrate south for the winter.

To answer your comments, the noise you hear on the audio is flood water passing though the flood gates. This is the reason you see black “pipes” in the background.

More storms are expected in the area with high humidity and temperatures in the mid 80’s.

Posted at 10:00:00 PM | Permalink | Comments(31) | Trackback

Monday, July 01, 2013

Another Fledged

07.01.13_one_chickOur second chick fledged over the weekend. Oscar Jr. should follow soon! Our juvenile ospreys will return to the nest to eat and rest. Mom and dad will continue to feed them as they learn to perfect their fishing technique. Soon enough they will be catching their own meals!

An interesting comment came in Saturday. A turtle was seen in the nest. This is a first! We have only seen fish brought in, as this is the primary diet for an osprey. This would have been an interesting photo opportunity.

We are expecting another week of rain storms with temperatures in the low to mid 80’s. This has not been a typical summer. Normally, temperatures are in the low to mid 90’s with high humidity and less rain.

Posted at 4:16:03 PM | Permalink | Comments(4) | Trackback

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Successful Fledge
06.25.13_two_chicksThe oldest chick has fledged the nest and has been sitting on top of the crane that is located about 200 feet away. Judging by all the exercise in the nest, the second chick will follow soon. Dad brought in fish and the oldest chick decided to join his siblings for lunch. Storms are possible for the next few days with temperatures in the mid to upper 80’s.

Posted at 12:38:53 PM | Permalink | Comments(24) | Trackback

Monday, June 17, 2013

We have lost audio on the OspreyCam due to the strong storms that blew through the area last Thursday. We are aware of the problem and are in the process of getting it repaired. We are sorry for the inconvenience and apologize to all of our faithful Osprey viewers.

Ollie, Olive, and Oscar Jr are working very hard getting their wings strong enough for flight. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Ollie (our oldest) fledge within a week. As for the parents, Oliveea and Oscar are busy feeding their growing brood and chasing off unwanted predators.

To answer a few questions: The nest does not swing as much as the pole the camera is mounted on. After the chicks leave the area, we lower the nest down to inspect and repair if needed . Also, the noise you hear over the microphone is water flowing down the spillway.

Posted at 9:30:00 AM | Permalink | Comments(23) | Trackback

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Lift off
The rain and storms are over for now. I'm sure our Osprey family is ready for some sunshine. The chicks are now 6 weeks old and learning how to use their wings to lift off the nest. They should fledge between 8-10 weeks.

Posted at 9:16:29 AM | Permalink | Comments(19) | Trackback

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

You've probably noticed the chicks exercising their wings. This will prepare them for their first flights, which should happen in a few weeks. One day their wings will have grown to a wingspan of nearly 6 feet! As Oliveea tends to her young, Oscar is always close by. We usually see him in the dead tree across the spillway, keeping an eye out for intruders.

Posted at 9:22:25 AM | Permalink | Comments(24) | Trackback