The Sandpoint Osprey Cam at Memorial Field
Hello! Welcome to the Sandpoint, Idaho osprey cam, watching the nest at Memorial Field.
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The Sandpoint Osprey Cam is a collaboration of the City of Sandpoint and Sandpoint Online, with major support donated by Avista and Vyve Broadband. Consulting biologist is Janie Veltkamp of Birds of Prey Northwest. Maintenance help by Selkirk Fire Rescue & EMT. Technical help donated by Video Security Technology. See more below about the project’s many other supporters. To all… thank you!
This project is sponsored by the following partners:
to the Sandpoint Osprey Cam. Located at the Sandpoint, Idaho, War Memorial Field on Lake Pend Oreille, the osprey cam here was first installed in Autumn 2011 on a nest atop field lights that had been used historically by ospreys for several decades. During field renovations in 2020, the nest was moved to its own lakeside pole.
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No tax money is used for cam operations. Contributions are gratefully accepted to help defray operational costs. Want to help?
The Memorial Field Ospreys
Memorial Field is home an active osprey nest – as well as scores of community events each year, from soccer, baseball and football games to the annual Festival at Sandpoint summertime music series. From early spring, when the ospreys arrive in Sandpoint following their migration from Central and South America, until they head south in autumn, the ospreys are a ubiquitous presence at the field – occasionally upstaging the human events as they return to their nests carrying a squirming fish, or circle with their distinctive, whistling calls.
Lake Pend Oreille is an important nesting area for osprey, and these unique birds of prey have legions of fans among residents and visitors. They are the only raptors that eat fish exclusively, and they are consummate fishermen – putting on a thrilling show as they hover over the water, then plummet down and dive completely under to grab fish. Ongoing information provided on this page about osprey biology is provided by Janie Veltkamp of Birds of Prey Northwest. Also, Sandpoint Online’s official Nestwatcher, Robin Werner, provides and curates daily posts on the Sandpoint Osprey Nest Friends Facebook page (requires joining the group).
The nest cam project
The opportunity to place a web cam on the Memorial Field nest arose when the city undertook replacement of the aging light poles at the field in Autumn 2011. Two of the old poles held nests that ospreys had built directly on the light arrays, a hazardous arrangement as the lights can get very hot during evening events. Their replacement poles were built with nesting platforms above the lights. Subsequently, in Spring 2020 as part of major field renovations, a new pole was erected just for the osprey nest, in a location near the field’s boat ramp, more proximate to the lake.
This cam project is a collaboration among many supporters. It was proposed to the City of Sandpoint Parks Department by staff at Keokee media + marketing, which produces Sandpoint Online, and embraced by then-director Kim Woodruff and parks staff. The cam, network and computer equipment, plus implementation and management of the streaming video, are provided by Sandpoint Online. The city’s utility partner, Avista, provides critical financial and infrastructure support. The city firemen with Selkirk Fire Rescue & EMT provide essential maintenance at the nest each year. Vyve Broadband is providing the high-bandwidth Internet connection through its new fiber optic network in Sandpoint. Kerry Berg of Video Security Technology in Sandpoint leads the camera equipment installation. Raptor biologist Janie Veltkamp of Birds of Prey Northwest, a raptor conservation and rescue group based in St. Maries, is consulting as biologist for the project. Many others have contributed, including Lake Pend Oreille Cruises, sponsoring fundraisers; Ron’s Electric staff providing electrical service; local birder Rich DelCarlo; architect Sean Fitzpatrick; and Bob Anderson of the Raptor Resource Project providing initial advice.
Sandpoint Osprey Nest Observations
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