“Osprey Cam” Now Live on DNREC Website

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Watch Cape Henlopen’s three newest osprey chicks fledgeWatch Cape Henlopen’s three newest osprey chicks fledge

They’re just chicks now, but in a few short weeks, the ospreys will leave their nest in Cape Henlopen and migrate thousands of miles to winter in South America. Today, anyone can see it all happen – live – courtesy of the new Osprey Cam on the DNREC website. Images of two adult ospreys and their three chicks are “live online” on DNREC’s website: www.dnrec.delaware.gov.

The real-time streaming video on the website links from the Osprey Cam located at the Seaside Nature Center at Cape Henlopen State Park. For the past year, the Osprey Cam has allowed nature center visitors a fascinating look inside an active wild osprey nest on a big screen monitor. Now the images are available to anyone via the DNREC website.

“This is a fine example of technology at it best,” said John A. Hughes, DNREC Secretary. “People can see these miracles of nature on their computer screens – and perhaps, be motivated to get out in nature, visit our state parks and experience the wonder and beauty in person.”

The first of this season’s three osprey chicks hatched on May 25th, and the trio – and their parents – have been delighting visitors to the center ever since. The chicks will fledge at seven to eight weeks, toward the end of July. Plans are to tag one of the three chicks so its migration route south can be monitored. Five ospreys have been tagged since the Osprey Cam launched last year.

“We are so pleased to be able to make the Osprey Cam even more widely available to the public via the DNREC website,” said Charles Salkin, director of Delaware State Parks. “We appreciate the efforts of the many people and groups who worked together to make the Osprey Cam possible. It’s a terrific use of technology to encourage people to visit and enjoy Delaware’s state parks.”

The Osprey Cam was installed in Fall of 2006, and was up and running in March of 2007 and unveiled at a ceremony in April of last year. A wireless radio signal relays images from the nest site, located atop a tower on the nearby grounds of SPI Pharma, Inc., to the Osprey Cam at the nature center. The signal went live on DNREC’s website on June 16.

“Getting the Osprey Cam online is very exciting step because even more people can now learn about ospreys,” said Richard Julian, Seaside Nature Center Manager. “It’s fun to watch the chicks grow and to see the adults taking care of them. In this way, the Osprey Cam encourages appreciation for our natural resources. We’re using technology to get people interested in nature.”

The Osprey Cam project, spearheaded by the Friends of Cape Henlopen State Park, is a partnership of the Friends of Cape Henlopen, DNREC’s Division of Parks and Recreation and the Seaside Nature Center with support from SPI Pharma and others.

Absolute Securities Group installed the Osprey Cam and assisted in troubleshooting its early operation. The state Department of Information and Technology is making possible the center’s link to the DNREC website.  DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife is providing tagging assistance. And, Dr. Rob Bierregaard, a renowned osprey expert, is also assisting in tagging and tracking the birds.