Osprey Nest Focus Of New Live Video Feed From Hog Island, Maine
Audubon and explore.org Bring Raptor Family Life to Global Audience to Inspire, Educate and Connect People
Nature lovers needn't travel far from their computers, mobile phones or tablets to witness the remarkable stories found outdoors. Thanks to a partnership between explore.org, a philanthropic media organization, and the National Audubon Society, a worldwide audience can now watch Ospreys live in high definition as two life-long partners and dedicated parents bring chicks into the world and feed them until they can fly -- all while fending off predators and dealing with extreme weather conditions.
The new video camera is trained on the birds' nest, located atop a 30-foot tower at the Hog Island Audubon Camp in Bremen, Maine, which is part of Audubon's Project Puffin, a system of 13 wildlife sanctuaries along the Maine coast. The cams will be live during daylight hours ET until the Osprey family heads south through the Caribbean and South America starting in early September. On April 29, the female laid the first of the three eggs she is now incubating. The eggs are expected to hatch in mid-June after about 40 days of incubation.
The two adult birds, which return to this nest every year, have been nicknamed Steve and Rachel, after the groundbreaking scientist Steve Kress and marine biologist Rachel Carson. Kress successfully pioneered new techniques to bring Puffins and other bird species back to Maine islands after over a century of abandonment. Carson's book Silent Spring played a key role in the eradication of DDT, a harmful pesticide banned in the U.S. in 1972, allowing the Osprey population to recover. The two organizations will hold naming contests for the young chicks once they hatch.
"We're excited to give people a window into this wonderful world of birds, and we hope to inspire viewers everywhere to take actions that improve the planet for all its inhabitants," said Steve Kress, Project Puffin director and Audubon vice president.
For explore.org, the Osprey Cam is the latest addition to its Pearls of the Planet initiative, a portfolio of live video feeds installed around the world to help people everywhere deepen their connection to nature and reflect on their role in it. "When people are inspired to fall in love with the world again, they are more likely to be better stewards of the planet," said Charlie Annenberg, founder of explore.org and VP of The Annenberg Foundation, which is underwriting Audubon's Osprey Cam for the next three years.
More about Ospreys and the Seabird Restoration Program
The female does most of the incubation, while the male delivers fresh fish to her, after making spectacular dives into nearby salt water. After the eggs hatch, the parents will feed and brood the chicks, protecting them from extreme weather and predators. About fifty days after hatching, toward the end of August, the young will start exercising their wings in the nest, then take their first practice flights. In early September, if all goes well, the young birds will begin solo journeys from Maine south along the Atlantic Flyway, passing through the Caribbean to winter possibly as far south as Chile.
Ospreys are great aerial anglers, hovering 30-100 feet above the sea, before plunging to snag live fish with their talons. Because of their diet, Ospreys prefer waterfront real estate, with large stick nests built high out of the reach of predators.
In addition to the seabird restoration program, Audubon has offered educational programs about birding, ornithology and natural history at its legendary Hog Island Camp since 1936. The osprey tower sits in the middle of the Audubon Camp, so adults, teens and families taking part in the five-day residential programs can watch the ospreys flying overhead and view the birds' activities on a large monitor.
To see the Ospreys live, go to explore.org/birds.
Media Resources including photos http://www.audubon.org/newsroom/press-rooms/osprey-cam-press-room
explore.org: Chris Thonis | (303) 818-2170 | firstname.lastname@example.org
National Audubon Society: Delta Willis| (212) 979-3197| email@example.com
explore.org is a multimedia organization that documents visionary leaders from around the world who have devoted their lives to extraordinary causes. explore.org's growing library consists of more than 250 original films and 30,000 photographs from around the world. Delivered in short, digestible bites, explore.org films appeal to viewers of all ages, from children learning about nature, to adults looking for a fresh perspective on the world around them.