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.”
Tuesday, 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 07, 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 04, 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 09, 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 03, 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 01, 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
As you can see, the camera has been adjusted to give you a closer look of the nest.
We are aware of the technical issues you are experiencing and are working to correct the problem. Thank you in advance for your patience!
Posted at 1:55:11 PM | Permalink
Looks like we have our first egg! Thanks for sharing, Blaine.
Posted at 12:09:53 PM | Permalink
| TrackbackMonday, March 30, 2015
Our Ospreys have been working hard getting the nest ready for eggs in time for Easter! Have you been wondering where the male is most of the time? He has been sitting on top of the camera watching the female adjusting all the sticks and nesting material! The Buzzards are still a nuisance to the ospreys, but there are enough osprey around to keep them at bay. The daytime temps have been averaging around 65 with lows in the 40’s. Pollen is in the air and leaves are coming out - spring is here!
Posted at 9:10:13 AM | Permalink
| TrackbackThursday, March 19, 2015A View From the Dam
Here's a look at the osprey nest from another vantage point. This photo was taken from the top of the dam looking up toward the new nest.
The ospreys have been busy carrying in sticks to the nest and chasing buzzards this week. They are teaming up with other pairs to help with the chase. You can occassionally hear them calling for backup when the buzzards are trying to move in too close.
Posted at 12:45:06 PM | Permalink