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Ospreys at South Waterfront observed -- through webcam

By Rebecca Koffman
The Oregonian

The osprey pair that have hatched young in a nest at South Waterfront every year (except one)since 2007 are back for this nesting season.

The osprey pair that have hatched young in a nest at South Waterfront every year (except one)since 2007 are back for this nesting season. And this year, you don't have to rely only on chance sightings as they fly overhead or tuck their wings and plunge to the water to grab a fish. Instead, you can observe them, anytime, in their nest.

Yes, they like their fellow raptors, the famous red-tail hawks, now have a web camera.

The KGW Audubon Osprey Cam, a joint project of KGW Channel 8, the Audubon Society of Portland and several South Waterfront community groups, went live at the beginning of April.

So far, the ospreys have been busy. They’ve been adding to and renovating the nest,” says Bob Sallinger, Audubon's conservation director. “Its interesting to watch how much care they take in placing sticks, moving them around.” He adds that the size of the nest in comparison to the size of the birds is astounding. Some osprey nests, he notes, can weigh up to 1,000 pounds.

Eggs are in the nest. Two for certain, and possibly three. The first was laid April 23, and the second about three days later. Sallinger says the incubation period is 36 to 42 days. After the babies hatch, they stay on the nest for another 50 to 55 days before taking their first flight.

Right now, Sallinger says, Mom is spending most of her time in the nest and Dad is bringing her fish.

"Ospreys," he says, "are a great comeback story.” Because of the devastating effects of the pesticide DDT, he explains, "in 1976 there were only 13 nesting pairs on the Willamette. Today there are close to 300 pairs on the lower Willamette."

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