Hello! Welcome to the Sandpoint, Idaho osprey cam, watching the nest at Memorial Field. The ospreys will be arriving back from their southern migration by end of March or early April!
The Sandpoint Osprey Cam is a collaboration of the City of Sandpoint and Sandpoint Online, with support from Avista and Northland Communications. Consulting biologist is Janie Veltkamp of Birds of Prey Northwest. Maintenance help by Bestway Tree Service. Technical help by Video Security Technology. Camera upgrade supported by Lake Pend Oreille Cruises. Cam bracket built by Selkirk Welding. Perch provided by Stan Bryant. To all… thank you!
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… to the Sandpoint Osprey Cam. Located at the Sandpoint, Idaho, War Memorial Field on Lake Pend Oreille, the osprey nest here was moved in Autumn 2011 to a nesting platform atop a new lighting standard, as part of major renovation to the field facilities.
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With the ospreys returning from their migrations south, here’s an update from Robin Werner, our lead Sandpoint Online Nestwatcher:
Exciting times for nest watchers as ospreys arrived at the nest on Saturday, April 7! The platform was first visited by two females, neither of which were our resident female, Sandy. On April 8 a male appeared and brought some grass to the nest area – as well as some questions as to whether or not he was Sandy’s mate from previous seasons, Pete.
By April 9, all doubts were resolved as Sandy flew onto the platform, followed by the male with a good view for us to identify the distinctive markings of Pete (photo above).
The couple appear very comfortable together and are taking occasional breaks from their nest building by gazing around on the new perch that we installed just this season. Enjoy watching the season as the nest gets built in preparation for eggs!
Screen captures, top by Stan Bryant; and below, Robin Werner. Thank you!
As we begin the 2018 season – our seventh here for the Sandpoint Osprey Cam! – we’re pleased to announce that Robin Werner is joining as our lead Sandpoint Online Nestwatcher to help us better monitor activity and respond to needs that arise with the web cam. Robin provides this update to get us started:
Are you ready for some ospreys? Welcome to the 2018 osprey season! While our resident osprey pair, which we have affectionately dubbed Pete and Sandy, have yet to return, we are anticipating their arrival around the first week of April. Last year the first osprey was seen on the platform April 2, and it was a passerby, not Pete or Sandy. Keep your eyes open and if you spot an osprey on the platform, please share with us via our Osprey Nest Observations chat above.
In the meantime, you’ll most likely see geese (like this one we caught today) hoping for more than a few sticks to appear so they can claim the nest site for themselves, as well as other visitors passing by!
As in previous years, the 2017 season at the nest provided its own unique story for the osprey pair that nest watchers have dubbed “Sandy and Pete.” This synopsis of the season was provided by frequent nest watcher Robin Werner.
The 2017 season started out different than prior seasons, with Sandy arriving first on April 4, and Pete a few days later on April 7. After quickly reacquainting themselves, the pair began nest production and had the nest in good usable condition before the first egg was laid May 1. Sadly, four days later Pete brought in a dead potted plant and covered that egg making it nonviable.
But the ospreys persisted. Sandy laid her second egg on May 6, and her third egg on May 9. On June 11 the first chick of the season hatched, followed by the second chick on June 13. Nest watchers named the chicks Huckleberry and Spud, after popular treats from Idaho.
The chicks were well attended by both parents and continued to thrive, taking their first flights from the nest – that is, fledging – on August 5 and August 9.
Raising some concern among nest watchers, Pete was not seen on the cam after August 24, which was early for him to leave. That could portend tragedy, or as nest watchers hope, Pete may have been feeding one of the chicks away from the nest or may have simply migrated early.
Sandy continued to feed both chicks at the nest, with Huckleberry last being seen on September 10. Spud and Sandy were last seen September 16.
Stay tuned as we eagerly await to see if both Pete and Sandy return in 2018!
– Robin Werner
Update from Janie Veltkamp of Birds of Prey Northwest, on the two chicks rescued from the Ontario Street nest July 4 (see that post below for details). The chicks are now in the care Veltkamp’s group at BOPNW:
The young osprey chicks are 2½ and 3 weeks old. Initially upon admission they were in shock and hungry. Remember, they spent an afternoon and a night without parental care after their parents perished. They are stable now and being fed every 2-3 hours. On Saturday they will go in with the foster parent osprey here at Birds of Prey NW.
Special thanks to Dennis at Bestway Tree Service, Chris Bessler, Judi Lundak and her daughter Mya Jinright for the critical roles they played in the rescue.
We were charged $250 for the service. Please donate to their care and rescue! Use our Paypal button on our website: www.birdsofpreynorthwest.org. We greatly appreciate any donation!
Excecutive Director, Birds of Prey Northwest
There are two nests atop light standards at Memorial Field, and on July 3 tragedy struck the nest across the field beside Ontario Street, when the two parent birds apparently collided while possibly defending their nest from an intruder – and both osprey parents were killed.
With two very young chicks in the nest, Janie Veltkamp and volunteers with Birds of Prey Northwest organized a rescue early this morning with the help of the Sandpoint Parks and Recreation Department and Bestway Tree Service with its tall bucket truck. With the nest platform 100 feet high, there are only a few trucks in the region which can reach it. At right, the bucket is deployed up to the nest.
The rescue of the chicks was successful. Above is one of the chicks being cuddled for warmth after the cool night unsheltered. At right, Dennis McIntire of Bestway moves a chick from the nest to safety. We have posted a slide show with 18 photos of the rescue on the Sandpoint Online Facebook page. Click to view at www.bit.ly/sandpointospreyrescue
June 8 capture by Deb Opsal on Sandpoint Osprey Nest Friends Facebook.
April 26, five days before the first egg.
The 2017 season at the nest is well under way now, with osprey watchers predicting the first chick likely to hatch out within the next few days. The ospreys, who have been dubbed Pete and Sandy, returned from their southern migration between April 4 and April 7, and after a very industrious few weeks of nest building their first egg came on May 1. Sadly that first egg slipped below some of the nest material where the ospreys cannot reach it to incubate or rotate it properly, raising concerns it likely won’t be viable. But a second egg arrived the night of May 5, and a third egg the night of May 9, and the osprey have carefully tended those to date.
April 19, nest construction under way
For a terrific source of information and dialog on the nest, click to read or join the Sandpoint Osprey Nest Friends Facebook page. A great site that tracks nine different osprey nests and provides an archive of key events at our nest is ChloeB & Tiger’s osprey data.
April 7, Pete and Sandy newly arrived and assessing the job ahead.
Also, an excellent source of info for ospreys is Birds of Prey Northwest, whose director and biologist Janie Fink Veltkamp keeps an eye on our Sandpoint nest as well as other raptors in our region.
April 1, a goose checks nest platform prior to ospreys’ return
The Sandpoint Osprey Cam is provided as a collaboration by Sandpoint Online and the City of Sandpoint, with generous corporate support from Avista and Northland Communications. Camera maintenance help is provided by Bestway Tree Service and Westside Fire District, both of which have provided their tall trucks to reach our 100-foot-tall nest, along with technical help from Video Security Technology.
And finally, a big thank you to donors who have clicked that CONTRIBUTE button above to contribute to the camera operation costs. The camera is provided as a community endeavor and individual contributions very much help defray the costs. Thank you!
Ospreys with surviving chick on June 28, 2016.
The 2016 season has been eventful. The first osprey was spotted at the nest on April 3; the first of three eggs came on April 22; and the first chick hatched May 31. But since then the ospreys have experienced adversity. Biologist Janie Fink Veltkamp, director of Birds of Prey Northwest, provided the following comment:
This year the Memorial Field Osprey pair laid three eggs; one did not hatch, but two did. Unfortunately, just this week, the youngest died after exhibiting symptoms of problems.
The remaining chick remains vigorous and healthy. One way to view these events is that a ‘biological insurance policy’ is in place to help insure survival for the remaining youngster, which now has no remaining competition for food and parental attention.
As young chicks all over North Idaho are continuing to develop the parents will be busy shading their young from the intense high heat temperatures predicted for this coming week.
Cam maintenance Oct. 9, 2015 with the Westside Fire tall ladder truck.
2015 season synopsis. The osprey pair that nests here on Sandpoint’s Memorial Field had a fine 2015 season. They were first spotted at the nest on April 5 and immediately began their nest renovation. The female laid three eggs by May 1, and the first hatched on June 3. All three chicks survived and fledged by July 29. In the three previous seasons since the cam went active in 2012, there had been some mortality at the nest; 2015 was the first time the nest produced three healthy fledglings!
Chief Hopkins at the nest platform.
After the chicks fledged they continued to stay near the nest through August as the parents initially continued feeding and the young ones were learning their own fishing skills. The ospreys departed for their southern migration in September.
In October, we performed annual maintenance of the camera – thanks to the support of Westside Fire Department and Chief Dale Hopkins, whose ladder truck is the only one in the region capable of reaching the 100 feet up to the nesting platform and camera. THANKS once again to Westside Fire and Chief Hopkins.
The ospreys will be returning in early April 2016. Meantime, we will keep the cam live this winter with views of our town. Be sure to check back when you want a live picture from Sandpoint – and especially in April, when we’ll once again welcome the ospreys back to North Idaho.
Capture from July 29 of all three chicks and mom, center.
It’s been, so far with fingers crossed, the most successful year yet at the Memorial Field osprey nest since the installation of the web cam three seasons ago. The attentive parents have kept their chicks well fed and tended, and this week all three fledged – the last on July 29. That means the first chick fledged about 10 days earlier than last year, when the only chick of three to survive fledged on August 5.
Now that all three chicks can fly, they’ll not always be at the nest – but they will be returning frequently for a while yet for meals and snacks, while they master flying and learn their own fish-catching skills.
Meanwhile, as the annual Festival at Sandpoint concert series kicks off its two-week run this week, we will be aiming the cam to both watch the ospreys plus catch some of the action on the field below. BTW … the Festival has a stellar lineup again this year. Check it, and get your tickets at www.FestivalAtSandpoint.com … you can enjoy an in-person visit with the ospreys with a fine musical score, to boot.
With the record-warm weather we’ve been receiving in June – over 100 degrees this past week, and more 100-degree days predicted this week – we asked biologist Janie Fink Veltkamp, director of Birds of Prey Northwest how the ospreys can cope with the extreme temperatures. Her reply:
Panting by the chicks provides a cooling factor.
The osprey have been challenged by high heat this season with triple digits predicted yet to come. Many of you are asking how this will be tolerated by the often unshaded nests of the osprey. It will require vigilance on the parents and their biology to shade and cool the youngsters.
In terms of avian structure and function, many adaptations occur to rid the avian body of excess heat. Panting is one primary way in which the air sacs of the body act as a cooling factor, exposing the apteria or the feathered body parts, ruffling feathers of the back and crown, evaporation from a wet abdomen and lastly shunting of blood to exposed legs. Of course the parents will have to create shade for the youngsters as well.
How will they fare? Time will tell. They have existed on the planet for millions of years and evolved ways to deal with the heat. We are all hoping they make it through this heat wave to soar into the future!