Two live cameras are now broadcasting live video from osprey (Pandion haliaetus) nests in western Montana. Their eggs are due to hatch any day, so there is still time to throw baby showers for the feathered families. Shopping for ospreys is easy, they just want fish.

As a predator at the top of the food chain, the health of ospreys can let researchers in on the health of an ecosystem. The University of Montana is currently studying how mercury and other pollutants are building up in the birds, which feed on a diet of fish caught from nearby bodies of water. The birds' health highlights just what's in the water, so to speak. To help with their research, the team has put up live webcams, and we get to watch the birds raise their young.

Discovery News writes, "One pair of osprey were local stars even before scientists' webcams made them a national hit. Osprey usually mate for life, and this pair of romantic raptors have been building a nest atop a telephone pole at the Dunrovin Guest Ranch in Lolo, Montana for the past ten years. But this is the first year they've raised their brood live on the web. The female laid her clutch on April 23." (Source)

The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), sometimes known as the sea hawk, fish eagle or fish hawk, is a diurnal, fish-eating bird of prey. It is a large raptor, reaching more than 60 cm (24 in) in length and 180 cm (71 in) across the wings. It is brown on the upperparts and predominantly greyish on the head and underparts, with a black eye patch and wings.

The Osprey tolerates a wide variety of habitats, nesting in any location near a body of water providing an adequate food supply. It is found on all continents except Antarctica although in South America it occurs only as a non-breeding migrant.

As its other common name suggests, the Osprey's diet consists almost exclusively of fish. It possesses specialised physical characteristics and exhibits unique behaviour to assist in hunting and catching prey. As a result of these unique characteristics, it has been given its own taxonomic genus, Pandion and family, Pandionidae. Four subspecies are usually recognised. Despite its propensity to nest near water, the Osprey is not a sea-eagle. (Source Wikipedia)

Here is the Dunrovin feed:

And the Hellgate feed:

You can watch the nests live and hopefully catch the eggs hatch, which is due to happen any day.

Responses to "Osprey Eggs Ready to Hatch Live on the Web"

  1. Lou says:

    Beautiful Animal :)

  2. Anonymous says:

    That is amazing! Beautiful birds..

  3. Anonymous says:

    I Love Osprey When they come back I know it's Spring Time;) Ms. JoLee Zephier

  4. Has the Hellgate nest been abandoned? She's been gone for hours I don't see any eggs?

  5. Anonymous says:

    They're keeping a LIGHT ON AT ALL TIMES OF NIGHT so people can watch this poor bird stay awake when it needs Sleep? Animals reacte to Light just as do humans. This is absurdly cruel. It's the middle of the night and she's wide awake. This will affect her ability to hunt and fly and her speed.

  6. When did this pair lay their eggs? The information seems to be from a pair in 2012 and if they laid their eggs in April, then we have a long way to go.

  7. Anonymous says:

    OMG, its snowing. I hope she can keep her egg warm.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hailing on camera 1

  9. Anonymous says:

    What proud mothers. Keeping their watch over their unborn babies.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Wow, we got babies at Dunrovin

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  12. Why is the Dunrovin cam constantly going off line suddenly. Its impossible to watch because its randomly on.

  13. First baby at Hellgate! Yet to get a close-up.

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  16. Don't you think its a little premature to get the camera at Hellgate ready for the little guys taking flight? We're weeks off yet and can't see them at all. All I can see is the bottom of the nest and the head of the mother.

  17. * I meant Dunrovin

  18. I'd be interested in knowing when and how you banded the little ones!?!?!?

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