‘Tis the season: Island Beach State Park ‘osprey cam’ is now live

    Live from Island Beach State Park, it’s the “osprey cam!”

    Now in its fifth season, the Pete McLain camera provides a live stream of fish hawk nest activities, allowing visitors from around the world to tune in and marvel at the regimented life ospreys live. It’s named after man who brought New Jersey ospreys back from the brink of extinction during the 1970s.

    The camera was recently mounted for the season, and it’s now live. Dedicated viewers are just waiting for the pair to return.

    The first of the pair typically arrives in March, joined by its mate — they’re monogamous for life — shortly thereafter. They migrate north from their wintering grounds in Central America, northern South America, and the Caribbean. During the early spring, they start preparing their nest, vacant for months after their departure in early fall.

    Visitors can watch the activity unfold, including the delivery of sometimes large branches with which the ospreys struggle. They also watch the ospreys dine over just caught fish — a dramatic scene involving yes, blood and guts. Ospreys are typically seen hunting for fish by hovering over tidal waterways, diving downward with talons extended when they spot prey.

    Mating typically occurs in April, and the first egg appears shortly thereafter. Thousands have watched the parents raise their nestlings until the young ones depart start their own journeys.

    The camera immediately became a hit when first launched by the Friends of Island Beach State Park organization. Back then, a community quickly formed and reported on nest activities in real-time, a tradition that continues.

    Watch the live feed here.

    Welcome home! 

    It’s that time of the year again when ospreys — the raptors that have staged a miraculous comeback in New Jersey since the early 1970s — migrate from their wintering grounds in Central America, northern South America, and the Caribbean.

    In Island Beach State Park, the “osprey cam” captured the arrival of a pair today — just one of many reports of sightings along the Jersey Shore in the last week. 

    “GOOD NEWS!!! We have OSPREY in the nest and the camera and audio are up and working. HAPPY DAYS!!” said a Facebook posting by The Friends of Island Beach State Park, the non-profit organization that manages the camera mounted above a nest across from the state park’s Interpretive Center. 

    This is the fourth season for the camera, which streams activity in the nest around the clock.

    The camera went online in 2012 and immediately became a hit, with a community quickly forming and reporting on nest activities in real-time. 

    Watch the live feed here

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