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Outdoors blog

Ospreys return to nest under Sandpoint web cam

WILDLIFE WATCHING -- A high-flying soap opera is underway in Sandpoint. Ospreys have migrated back to the Idaho Panhandle to win female affections, breed and nest, and there's quite a show going at the platform under the unblinking eye of a web cam at Sandpoint’s War Memorial Field.

When I clicked on the Sandpoint Osprey Cam at 8 a.m. this morning, a pair swooped up on the platform and mounted for a little foreplay.  They're definitely serious. 

But then a third bird, apparently a second male, tried to move in. Feathers flared; wings spread; eyes pierced the sky as sharply as talons.

General Hospital was never this good.

With only a few sticks on the nest platform, the ospreys have a lot of work to do.  Viewers can watch everything unfold well into summer, the love battle, egg laying, the delightful moments of egg hatching and then the long process of bringing back food and raising their young. 

Last year the pair hatched three chicks, one of which survived and fledged.

In late April, the camera caught skirmishes between the pair that adopted this nest and a second osprey pair that was attempting to hijack the nest. (The field on Lake Pend Oreille has two osprey nests.)

The Sandpoint Osprey Cam is a collaboration of the City of Sandpoint and Sandpoint Online with corporate support by Avista and Northland Communications. Consulting biologist is Jane Fink of Birds of Prey Northwest.  Moving the nest and putting up the web cam was no easy task. Read about the project.

Check out this incredible osprey fishing video and brief yourself with Fink's answers to osprey FAQ»

Outdoors blog

Rich Landers writes and photographs stories and columns for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including Outdoors feature sections on Sunday and Thursday.

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