Osprey Cam Press Room

Osprey Pair at Nest
Janine Parziale

RACHEL & STEVE OSPREY WELCOME TWO NEW CHICKS

Hog Island, Maine-- 3 June, 2013 -Thanks to a partnership between explore.org and the National Audubon Society, a worldwide audience can again watch Ospreys live in high definition as these two parents bring  chicks into the world and feed them until they can fly -- all while fending off predators and dealing with extreme weather conditions. Not only can people watch the birds 24/7, they can see how the parents protect the chicks, keeping them warm at night, and fending off such predators as Great horned owls. Incubation usually last from 35-42 days. See video of the first chick hatching here.

The video camera is trained on the birds' nest, located atop a 30-foot tower at the Hog Island Audubon Camp in Bremen, Maine, part of a system of 13 wildlife sanctuaries along the Maine coast.  The cams will be live until the Osprey family heads south through the Caribbean and South America in September.

The two adult birds, which return to this nest every year, were named Steve and Rachel, after the groundbreaking scientist Steve Kress and marine biologist Rachel Carson.  Dr. 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.  Read Dr. Kress' "The Legacy of Rachel Carson" on The Huffington Post.

"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. This July 15 marks the 40th anniversary of Project Puffin.

For explore.org, the Osprey Cam is part of 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/osprey

Contacts:

explore.org:  Jason Damata | (303) 818-2170 | jason@fabricmedia.net

National Audubon Society:  Delta Willis| (212) 979-3197| dwillis@audubon.org

About explore.org

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.

About the National Audubon Society

Now in its second century, Audubon connects people with birds, nature and the environment that supports us all. Our national network of community-based nature centers, chapters, scientific, education and advocacy programs engages millions of people from all walks of life in conservation action to protect and restore the natural world. Visit Audubon online at www.audubon.org

Photographs: 

Osprey Pair at Nest by Janine Parziale

Female Front View by Janine Parziale

Male Front View by Janine Parziale

Video:

Dr. Steve Kress on Osprey Fledging 

Osprey Moments- May 2012

Rachel & Steve: Nesting Partners

Press Room Toolkit

Press Room Contacts