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.”
Monday, 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
| TrackbackThursday, June 11, 2015No Relief From The Heat
Mom will have to shade the Osprey chicks this week. Temperatures will stay in the 90s into next week with storms possible every afternoon. (Hopefully, the chicks will get a couple of cool baths in the next few days.)
Mom and Dad are doing a wonderful job bringing in fresh fish and protecting the little ones. Maybe Dad will let Mom catch dinner so she can cool off diving in search of fish!
Posted at 2:55:42 PM | Permalink
| TrackbackTuesday, May 26, 2015Chicks are growing fast
Our Osprey chicks are growing like crazy. They seem to be doubling in size every week!
Mom and Dad are taking very good care of the chicks and keeping their bellies full of fresh fish. Dad has been very busy chasing buzzards with the other male Ospreys in the immediate area.
It's going to be a hot and muggy week with temperatures soaring into the upper 80’s with a chance of storms in the afternoon. Mom will need to use her umbrella this week to keep the babies out of the hot sun.
Posted at 9:57:27 AM | Permalink
| TrackbackWednesday, May 13, 2015Two Happy Chicks
We have two happy chicks in the nest this afternoon. It looks like Mom and Dad are doing a great job taking care of the chicks and making sure they have lots of fish to eat.
There was some concern yesterday when we couldn't see both chicks. It's hard to know if the second chick was simply hiding or if the third egg has hatched. We'll keep our fingers crossed that we'll soon see a third chick.
The temperature is currently in the mid 70s, but it will start heating up again on Friday and into next week. Fortunately, Mom is doing a great job of using her wings to provide some much needed shade for these chicks.
Posted at 5:02:02 PM | Permalink
| TrackbackSunday, May 10, 2015Happy Mother's Day!
Mother's Day -- what a perfect occasion for the arrival of this year's first Osprey chick. The egg hatched early this morning. It's a little hard to see, but the chick is currently in the lower part of the nest between the center and the right side of the nest.
The new chick has a hot few days ahead. The temperature will reach the 90s the first part of the week with a chance of afternoon thunderstorms. We'll look for the next chick to hatch in the upcoming days.
Posted at 3:16:07 PM | Permalink
| TrackbackThursday, May 7, 2015Still Waiting...
Like an expectant father, we're all still waiting to see the first Osprey chick appear.
If you happen to be one of the first to spot the new chick when it arrives, capture a photo and post it in the comments.
Posted at 12:01:59 PM | Permalink
| TrackbackMonday, May 4, 2015On The Lookout For The First Chick
It's time to be on the lookout for the arrival of our first Osprey chick. The first egg should hatch this week. All of the eggs won't hatch all at once. There is usually a span of several days between the arrival of the first and last chick.
Once the chicks hatch, they'll need lots of fish. A brood of three Osprey chicks requires up to six pounds of fish each day. Most fish caught by Ospreys are about one pound -- the largest catch on record is a whopping four pounds.
Posted at 10:09:25 AM | Permalink
| TrackbackThursday, April 30, 2015What's That Noise?
Many of you have asked about the background noise at the dams. Due to heavy rains, the floodgates were open last week to bypass flood water. Fortunately, the Ospreys don't seem to mind the noise as much as the rest of us.
The Ospreys are doing a great job this year keeping their eggs stay warm and protecting them from predators. They are regularly bringing in new nesting material and sticks as they prepare for their chicks to arrive.
The temps will be cooler the rest of this week with a chance of rain. This weekend and early next week will bring warm dry days and beautiful blue skies.
Posted at 7:53:00 AM | Permalink
| TrackbackTuesday, April 21, 2015Drying Out
It's been a wet couple of weeks here in North Carolina, but the Osprey are drying out. The forecast calls for mostly sunny days throughout the week with another chance of rain over the weekend.
As the days get warmer, some viewers have asked about the construction of the nesting box and whether it may sag as a result of the summer heat. We feel confident in the quality of the nesting box, which was chosen after consulting with a biologist and has been used in warm weather locations in Florida with success. The manufacturer says the nest is cross-ribbed for extra strength and "molded using proprietary high-density polyethylene that is contaminant and weather-resistant."
Posted at 11:04:00 AM | Permalink
| TrackbackA Third Egg
That's right... we've spotted the same thing that many of you have caught on camera: the arrival of a third egg. If you capture a good photo of the eggs, share it in the comments below.
Many of you have been wondering if this is the same pair of Osprey from last year. While it's impossible to know for sure (we will never band or tag the birds in any way), we do believe this is the same pair. The markings look very similar.
Posted at 8:04:19 AM | Permalink
| TrackbackThursday, April 9, 2015New Camera Coming Soon
We apologize for the problems with our video feed. We hope to get a temporary camera up and running this afternoon, and a permanent new camera will be installed next week. It should resolve the technical issues we have experienced.
Please check back and keep watching our Osprey.
Posted at 1:55:00 PM | Permalink
| TrackbackFriday, April 3, 2015A Second Egg Arrives
We've spotted a second egg in the Osprey nest. Thanks to Mary Williams for capturing this great photo on Friday morning.
We are continuing to work on technical issues to improve the quality of the video feed.
Posted at 11:32:08 AM | Permalink
| TrackbackWednesday, April 1, 2015Easter Egg
Our Ospreys have once again delivered us an egg for Easter! These proud parents are constantly looking at their egg and rolling it around.
There has been lots of activity in all of our Osprey nests this week. The birds are making last minute preparations and gathering soft nesting material.
Ospreys normally lay 2-3 eggs within a couple of weeks. The eggs incubate for about five weeks, so we should see baby chicks in early May. The typical lifespan for an Osprey is 7 to 10 years, but some of these amazing birds can live 20 years or longer.
Posted at 3:29:20 PM | Permalink