Osprey Nest Webcam
2023 has been a tough year for the water plant osprey nest. It’s been invaded by racoons and crows and the eggs never had much chance for survival this go around. The Osprey have since started building a new nest on our electrical infrastructure, which is a danger to that equipment as well as the birds. We had to remove the beginnings of the new nest from the electrical equipment and have also restored the original nest down to its base in hopes they will rebuild again there. This nesting post was originally built for this very purpose to allow the Osprey to build on a safe place nearby but not on dangerous equipment. We have all come to enjoy watching these Osprey and we hope that we will get to see them build a new nest soon!
Our embedded video below is sized to be mobile friendly. Be sure to maximize the video for the best view!
Below are captured photos of our Osprey families from 2019 and 2020.
In spring of 2015, a pair of Osprey began attempts to build a nest in a hazardous place on one of the utility poles that fed electricity to the City’s raw water intake pumps at Moss Lake. Once a nest is established, it is illegal to remove or disturb it because due Osprey are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The City’s Public Works Department decided that in order to deter the nest building, they would need to construct a nesting platform.
The Osprey nesting platform was built to be taller than the surrounding utility poles in hopes that the Osprey pair would prefer it. They immediately took to the platform. The next morning, there were multiple pairs of birds competing over the platform. In July of 2018, the City installed two additional Osprey nesting platforms at Moss Lake. One was placed near the original platform and the other was installed at the New Camp Creek Site.
In May, 2020, the City of Kings Mountain posted a contest on Facebook to name the Ospreys that inhabit this platform near Moss Lake. With 166 entries to consider, a panel of seven judges from the City of Kings Mountain voted for to name this pair of lovebirds, Otis and Ophelia Osprey.
Osprey pairs may look alike, but there are distinguishing features to help tell which one is the male and which one is the female. Females are usually larger than males and weight up to 4.5 pounds; whereas males weigh about 2 pounds. Females have brown dots, known as pearls, across their chest and males have a mostly white chest. Females spend the majority of time incubating the eggs and tending to the nest. Whereas, males will fish, bring food to the female and both of them will feed the babies.
“Watching the Osprey nest live webcam is a great way for students to learn about Osprey and birds of prey,” said Kings Mountain Mayor Scott Neisler.
Bird watchers and nature enthusiasts can get an up-close view via the Osprey nest live webcam. Osprey pairs usually return to the same nest site and add new nest materials to the old nest each year. Ospreys mate for life and are devoted parents. In late March and early April, the female lays two or three eggs at 1 to 3 day intervals and incubates them for 37 days per egg. Incubation begins with the first egg laid and the eggs will hatch over two to three days. This pair of nesting Ospreys has taken turns incubating the eggs, bringing fish to each other to eat, and tending to the nestlings after they hatched. Although the majority of care is done by the female while the male is fishing for food.
Young Osprey are full grown at six weeks and will "fledge" - which means to leave the nest - at eight to ten weeks of age, taking their first flights. Like all raptors, Osprey have a high mortality rate in the first year of life.
Like bald eagles, ospreys often reuse old nests, adding new material to it each season. Ospreys prefer nests near water, especially in large trees. However, they will also nest on artificial platforms, such as the one built by the City of Kings Mountain. Young ospreys will stay dependent on their parents until they are able to fledge and fish for themselves.
Adult ospreys do not have many predators, although great horned owls and bald eagles have been known to sometimes kill osprey chicks and adults. The primary predator is the raccoon, who will steal and eat osprey eggs found in nests.