Here’s an update on the new nesting season just to get under way from our Nestwatcher Robin Werner:

Just like clockwork, ospreys have arrived at Memorial Field! The first osprey reported being seen by our ground nest watchers was April 5. It is comforting to know during this time of uncertainty for us humans, where time seems to be standing still due to the coronavirus outbreak, that the ospreys are continuing with their life cycle unhindered. They don’t need to practice social distancing, no lines for fish, and soon they will begin to build their nest and start another family.

Osprey lake nest at Memorial Field, Sandpoint Idaho.

The new “lake nest” at Memorial Field.

The biggest decision they will have to make is whether to choose the new “lakefront property,” with its great view and (not coincidentally for us osprey fans) the live webcam – or be city slickers and take the “street nest” platform on the other side of Memorial Field along Ontario Street.

One of the first osprey on the field was checking both nest sites on April 6, shown in these photos. Field watchers subsequently spotted an osprey pair bringing sticks to the new lake nest.

Osprey street nest at Memorial Field, Sandpoint Idaho.

“Street nest” on Ontario Street.

The lakefront nest is new this year because the light pole that formerly hosted the nest platform with the webcam was previously located in midfield. But with construction to install new turf on the field, the old light pole was removed. A new pole – with no lights, just for the ospreys – was generously donated by Avista and erected by the City of Sandpoint at the new location right along the lake. To see some photos from that project, click to the Sandpoint Online Facebook post.

Osprey nest with a view, in Sandpoint Idaho.

That’s a nest with a view… and a cam!

While the new pole with all the cam equipment was erected in February in order to avoid disturbance at the nest once the ospreys arrived, as part of the bigger project on the filed the city must still trench and install conduit to bring the power and Internet connection to the cam. Complications due to the coronavirus restrictions on activity may slow work, but the city currently expects that trenchwork to be complete in May – which is when we will be able to again activate the nest cam. Stay tuned!