Wildlife Camera | Dickinson County Conservation Board
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Wildlife Camera

March 21, 2013

Enjoy our live wildlife cameras streaming in Kenue Park, located near the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji, Iowa. We will have two of our locate wildlife families showcased on this live feed, our famous Okoboji osprey family on the nest in the summer months (April to Sept) and our new trumpeter swan (October to March) pair on our local wetland.

Camera quality might change in different seasons. The osprey nest camera is solar powered and may have disruptions from the weather. Please give it time and check back. Thanks!

Trumpeter swans are a beautiful and new addition to Kenue Park. This pair (male and female) are an injured pair that are no longer able to fly. Many trumpeter swans get injured by man-made structures and accidents involving humans. Many of these injured birds are used for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources swan breeding program to help increase the population of America’s largest waterfowl. The best times to view the pair is in late fall,winter, and early spring.


Osprey are another wildlife success story. Like many other Iowa species, whitetail deer, turkey, canada geese, and many others, they were extirpated or gone from the state. With help from local conservationists, businesses, non-profits and the Iowa Department of Nature Resources the Dickinson County Conservation Board released juvenile ospreys from a specially made hacking tower at the nature center for five years. Osprey have since returned to the area to nest. The Dickinson County Conservation Board has set up a nesting camera to view the osprey family from egg to flight! Being migratory birds, times to view the osprey is April thru September. (Please view the highlights from past years below)


Here are some highlights from the Okoboji Osprey nest camera. Enjoy


People are also encouraged to stop in the Dickinson County Nature Center to check out the osprey display inside, featuring a new timeline full of information, a replica osprey nest full of hidden items and more.

Thank you to the sponsors and helpers that made the Osprey Camera possible

  • Prairie Lakes Audubon Society
  • Bedell World Citizenship Fund
  • Conservation Foundation of Dickinson County
  • Dickinson County Conservation Board
  • ITC Utilities
  • Alissa Holtz
  • Berkley “Bucky” Bedell
  • James Sessions, JES Hardware Solutions
  • Naturalist Charles Vigdal


159 Responses to Wildlife Camera

  1. Donna
    September 10, 2016 at 10:38 am

    The camera has been off for several days now so I will say farewell to this osprey season, sad at the tragic ending for the three little ones this year and grateful that the parents survived and worked to fix up the nest for next year. Thank you to the conservation board and nature center for providing the opportunity for us to watch and learn.

    • Spanky
      September 12, 2016 at 8:00 am

      Well said Donna! See ya next spring!

  2. Donna
    August 27, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Good morning, nest view today. It looks like they have been very busy refurbishing. 🙂

  3. Spanky
    August 12, 2016 at 7:10 am

    Nice view! Thanks for the change.

    • Donna
      August 12, 2016 at 10:21 am

      Hi Spanky, yes this is a nice wide view. I can still see the two swans a-swimmin. Did you find the other osprey nest?

      • Spanky
        August 13, 2016 at 6:12 am

        Yes! It’s by the school.

  4. Donna
    July 9, 2016 at 7:26 am

    I’ve been watching the pond for a while this morning, so calm it’s like a mirror. There has been one swan sitting on the dock, and not sure what the white box-like object is there also. I’ve seen several wing-flaps in the bottom right corner of the screen as the osprey are coming and going.

    • Spanky
      July 11, 2016 at 9:50 am

      I’m having a hard time forgiving Mother Nature for taking our babies!

      • kiley
        July 11, 2016 at 2:37 pm

        We did find out there is another nest at the Milford school that has three chicks, so that is good news!

        • Spanky
          July 12, 2016 at 10:55 am

          Great! I’ll drive down there and check them out! ty Kiley!

  5. Donna
    July 3, 2016 at 10:07 am

    I still look in several times a day to enjoy the peaceful pond. Occasionally see a swan and saw an osprey fly over. Miss the osprey family. 🙁

  6. Donna
    June 22, 2016 at 10:24 am

    Nice view of the pond, thanks. I’m wondering if the swans had a nest, eggs and babies, haven’t seen any little ones.

    • Spanky
      June 26, 2016 at 10:48 am

      I got a good look at the Swans and they didn’t have any babies with them! So i’m guessing they didn’t have any better luck then our Osprey!

  7. Spanky
    June 19, 2016 at 7:47 am

    Looking at that empty nest is like salt in the wound! Can’t we go back to the swans?

    • Donna
      June 20, 2016 at 7:16 am

      I agree this is a sad view of the empty nest. The parents will probably visit some and refurbish with new sticks to hold claim on their nest. I would also like to ask for a zoomed out view to include the pond too, so nice and serene.

  8. Donna
    June 15, 2016 at 11:20 am

    Kiley has written an account of what happened in the ‘blog’ link above. Unfortunately it is just what I suspected that the babies did not survive getting blown out of the nest. My heartfelt thanks to Kiley and the others who went out and found the three chicks. This is such a sad loss for everyone involved.

    • Chimega
      June 15, 2016 at 6:55 pm

      Ohhhh nooooooooo!!! :'(

  9. Donna
    June 15, 2016 at 6:06 am

    I looked in this morning about 5:40 to an empty nest but soon mom came with part of a koi fish and dropped it in the nest. She stared down at the empty nest many times and finally she ate the fish. I see all the sticks for the ‘crib railings’ are gone so assume the storms must have taken the babies too. This just breaks my heart as they were probably too young to survive the fall.

    • Spanky
      June 15, 2016 at 8:08 am

      My heart is heavy!

  10. Donna
    June 14, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Am I seeing an empty nest? There is rain on the lens so it’s a little blurry but I don’t think I see any osprey, hope I’m wrong.

    • June 14, 2016 at 6:04 pm

      I saw an adult and babies in nest during the storm. It sure looks empty now.

    • Donna
      June 14, 2016 at 7:50 pm

      The rain and storms have stopped, mom on the nest alone, can see her calling, dad shows up with some food, no babies. This is so sad. If they were blown out of the nest I wonder if there was an attempt to find them. I hope someone from the nature center can tell us what has happened.

  11. Donna
    June 14, 2016 at 9:53 am

    The osprey family seems be getting more than it’s fair share of rain lately. Luckily mom can still cover the chicks pretty well.

  12. Donna
    June 11, 2016 at 5:34 am

    The cam is off air since the storms went through last night, hoping, hoping, hoping it’s not damaged and the osprey family and everyone is okay.

    • Donna
      June 11, 2016 at 8:15 am

      Cam is back on now and dad just brought in a big fish that mom took away from him to feed the chicks.

      • Judy
        June 11, 2016 at 3:46 pm

        It looks like mom is spreading her wings to shade the little ones!

        • Judy
          June 13, 2016 at 4:04 pm

          Is that a coy fish they’re eating? Uh oh!

          • Spanky
            June 13, 2016 at 6:28 pm

            Yes they have brought many coy to the nest! Last year I lost count of how many!

          • Donna
            June 13, 2016 at 7:22 pm

            They are close to a golf course that has a Koi pond.

  13. Donna
    June 8, 2016 at 9:04 am

    All three chicks seem to be doing great! Mom just fed them all til they couldn’t eat any more. The two older ones are waddling around the nest now wanting to explore, so fun to watch.

    • Spanky
      June 8, 2016 at 12:16 pm

      I see the older 2 are starting to get feathers!

  14. Donna
    June 4, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    #3 is quite a lot smaller than the other two chicks, it has to wait til the others get full at a feeding to get a chance to get some bites but I just watched a feeding and it did get a decent amount of food.

  15. Spanky
    May 31, 2016 at 9:56 am

    We now have 3

    • Donna
      June 2, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      Feeding three takes some time and a lot of patience, but all got fed well and look great. I’m happy we’re able to watch this year with no cam problems. (crossing fingers) 🙂

  16. Spanky
    May 28, 2016 at 11:47 am

    We have 2

    • Donna
      May 28, 2016 at 1:09 pm

      Wow that was quick. I thought it might be 2-3 days but the closer the better. 🙂

      • Spanky
        May 29, 2016 at 7:25 am

        Shocked me too.

      • Spanky
        May 29, 2016 at 7:51 am

        I think this Mom is a Rookie!

        • Chimega
          June 2, 2016 at 6:54 pm

          Same mom from last year!

          • Spanky
            June 3, 2016 at 7:13 am

            are you sure?

          • Chimega
            June 15, 2016 at 8:15 pm

            Sorry, Spanky, I missed seeing this before. Yes, I am 99 1/2% sure. I’ve compared head markings, especially forehead, top and from the back on her and they all appear to be the same. This female also has one of the most elaborate, huge “necklaces” I have seen in an Osprey, other than some from Europe but those have a different type of marking on the chest than these do.

            For some reason I thought you had asked about the male and I had already compared the numbers on the leg bands, which do match, as well. Same parents. I hope they will return next year. Sometimes failed nests cause negative results and behaviors.

  17. Spanky
    May 27, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    We have a hatch in progress! (o,o)

    • Spanky
      May 27, 2016 at 12:24 pm

      Mom helped and the baby is out!

      • Spanky
        May 27, 2016 at 12:45 pm

        I’ll bet Dad is out looking for a fish for the baby! You should have seen him he was so proud!

    • Donna
      May 27, 2016 at 3:38 pm

      Great News! 3:35 and baby is up eating already.

  18. Spanky
    May 26, 2016 at 11:39 am

    I only see 1 Swan I hope that means the other is on the nest!

  19. Spanky
    May 19, 2016 at 9:42 am

    Our 1st baby this week-end?

    • Donna
      May 19, 2016 at 6:22 pm

      A little early I think, I figured more around the 26th, or somewhere in between .

      • Spanky
        May 22, 2016 at 8:38 am

        I am on PIP watch! (o,o)

  20. Chimega
    May 15, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    3 eggs visible on the nest when the female (I named her Moonglow) stands to turn the eggs.


  21. Spanky
    May 11, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Could we get an up date on the Swans?

    • kiley
      May 12, 2016 at 8:27 am

      The swans are doing great! They enjoy being able to swim wherever they would like on the wetland!

      • Donna
        May 12, 2016 at 4:02 pm

        Will the swans be nesting/laying eggs?

      • Spanky
        May 12, 2016 at 4:04 pm

        Ty Kiley

  22. Donna
    May 11, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Another cloudy, wet day in Iowa! I’m surprised the cam is still working with the lack of sunshine but glad we can see that all seems well on the nest. 🙂

  23. Spanky
    May 5, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Mom is panting she must be hot!

  24. Donna
    May 3, 2016 at 9:02 am

    Nice sunny day! When dad flies into the nest, he wants to take over NOW! lol

    • Spanky
      May 3, 2016 at 9:29 am

      He is a bully!

  25. Spanky
    May 2, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    1st hatch should be around May 25th. or so!

    • Spanky
      May 3, 2016 at 8:07 am

      Give or take a couple of days!

  26. Donna
    April 28, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    At 5:03pm I just saw mom and dad switch and we have 3 eggs now. 🙂

    • Donna
      April 28, 2016 at 5:06 pm

      Disregard my post, I was looking at my notes from another nest. Duh!!

  27. Spanky
    April 25, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    We have 3 eggs!

    • Donna
      April 25, 2016 at 5:23 pm

      Thanks again for the good news, wasn’t sure if they would have three or just the two. Early this afternoon I observed an eaglet struggling and caught on something in the nest, reported it and they got a tree service to go up and free it. All is well now 🙂 but what a day, heartbreaking to watch.

      • Spanky
        April 26, 2016 at 8:37 am

        Mother Nature & I both thank you Donna. You done a good thing!

    • Chimega
      April 28, 2016 at 6:55 am

      Yippee!!! 😀

  28. Chimega
    April 23, 2016 at 8:04 am

    What did he bring into the nest, now? I hope that’s dung and not some man-made fibers. Ack!

    • Donna
      April 23, 2016 at 9:45 am

      ha ha I’ve seen a couple clods I thought was mud, never thought of dung, hope not. Pretty erratic behavior from this dad.

      • Chimega
        April 28, 2016 at 6:56 am

        I’ve seen other males bring in horse dung so, yea, it’s possible. LOL

    • Spanky
      April 23, 2016 at 11:12 am

      I think it is sod!

  29. Spanky
    April 22, 2016 at 7:46 am

    We have 2 eggs!

    • Donna
      April 22, 2016 at 8:17 am

      Good morning and thanks for the report 🙂 Should be good weather for a couple days.

      • Spanky
        April 22, 2016 at 9:36 am

        Good morning Donna yw

  30. Donna
    April 21, 2016 at 6:58 am

    The cam ran out of power last night with all the cloudy and rainy days, tomorrow should be sunny.

    • Spanky
      April 21, 2016 at 7:13 am

      Hope your right!

  31. Spanky
    April 19, 2016 at 9:53 am

    Dad is letting the egg cool to slow it down so it’s not so far ahead of the others to come.

  32. Donna
    April 19, 2016 at 9:11 am

    I’m wondering if this might be a new young male this year, somewhat hyper and bizarre behavior. Either he’s not quite sure what to do or just really excited about seeing an egg.

    • Spanky
      April 19, 2016 at 9:26 am

      I noticed that too Donna. I think they mate for life?

      • Donna
        April 19, 2016 at 9:32 am

        Yes that’s true but eventually something happens to one of them and the other will find a new mate.

  33. Spanky
    April 19, 2016 at 8:11 am

    (o,o)!!! We have our 1st egg!

  34. Donna
    April 19, 2016 at 8:09 am

    We have out first egg!!! Saw it at 8:07 this morning but there was an osprey on the nest last night just after 10 so could have been there then. Let the fun begin. 🙂

  35. Spanky
    April 16, 2016 at 7:55 am

    Some new grass in the bowl and we are good to go!

  36. Spanky
    April 16, 2016 at 7:52 am

    I wish we could see the Swans to.

    • Spanky
      April 16, 2016 at 8:16 am

      I got my wish!

  37. Shirley
    April 15, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    I haven’t seen the ospreys. Are they working on their nest?

  38. Spanky
    April 14, 2016 at 8:47 am

    No new sticks no new grass! How come?

  39. Donna
    April 13, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    Question answered, thank you. Cam looks nice and clear. Now mom and dad need to work on the nest and bring in fresh material, make it nice and cushy.

    • Spanky
      April 13, 2016 at 4:17 pm


  40. Donna
    April 13, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Yesterday there were two people up in a bucket working on the nest cam, I’m wondering if that cam is going to be working. ???

    • Spanky
      April 13, 2016 at 1:00 pm

      I seen them too

  41. Spanky
    April 11, 2016 at 11:56 am

    I just watched Mom & Dad mate! 1st egg soon!

  42. Spanky
    April 10, 2016 at 8:37 am

    Kiley, are both Mom & Dad back?

    • Donna
      April 10, 2016 at 8:58 am

      Did you see about 8:52 this morning they were both there? Dad was working on the nest.

      • Spanky
        April 10, 2016 at 9:52 am

        Ok ty Donna

  43. Chimega
    April 7, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    I am so glad the cam is up this year. I hope and pray it stays up!!! Ospreys are my favorite raptor! 😀

  44. Spanky
    April 7, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Kiley, do you know is that Mom or Dad?

    • Donna
      April 7, 2016 at 9:06 am

      I’m pretty sure it was the female there this morning, darker breast feathers or the ‘necklace’.

      • Spanky
        April 7, 2016 at 1:24 pm

        In my field guide it says both sexes are alike! I just know that Dad has bands on his legs!

  45. Donna
    April 6, 2016 at 8:03 am

    The osprey are back!! Or I’ll assume this is an osprey sitting in the nest. lol

    • Spanky
      April 6, 2016 at 8:08 am

      I think your right!

    • Spanky
      April 6, 2016 at 8:13 am

      Don’t forget Dad has bands on his legs!

  46. Donna
    April 5, 2016 at 9:53 am

    Wow the cam is rockin and rollin today! Wondering what it is mounted on. Will be nice to have this second cam view when the osprey chicks get older and start to fledge. Can’t wait, hoping the cams survive better than the last two years. 🙂

    • Spanky
      April 5, 2016 at 11:23 am

      Very windy here!

  47. Spanky
    March 31, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Kiley, are the Osprey back yet?

    • kiley
      April 1, 2016 at 8:24 am

      The osprey have not been sighted yet.

      • Spanky
        April 1, 2016 at 9:30 am

        Ok ty Kiley

  48. Spanky
    March 31, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Welcome Back!

  49. Donna
    March 26, 2016 at 9:21 am

    I hope they can fix the chat so we can comment at the top like last year. 🙂

  50. Donna
    March 26, 2016 at 9:19 am

    ha ha no Spanky you’re not the only one watching, I have been checking in too. Today the cam says “error” so maybe needs more sun.

    • Spanky
      March 26, 2016 at 1:32 pm

      Hi Donna

  51. Spanky
    March 24, 2016 at 8:19 am

    Am i the only one in the world watching this?

  52. Spanky
    March 24, 2016 at 8:17 am

    Winter has returned! Yuck!

  53. Spanky
    March 22, 2016 at 9:32 am

    To leave a comment scroll to the bottom of the page!

  54. Spanky
    March 20, 2016 at 8:58 am

    (o,o)!!! 6 Swans!

  55. Spanky
    March 19, 2016 at 8:37 am

    Good Morning All (o,o)

  56. Spanky
    March 18, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    The small black and white ducks are “BUFFLEHEAD”

  57. Spanky
    March 18, 2016 at 8:37 am

    Trumpeter Swan often mate for life!

  58. Spanky
    March 18, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Most egg laying occurs between late April and May!

  59. Spanky
    March 18, 2016 at 8:19 am

    it looks like the Swans have claimed the man made island!

  60. Spanky
    March 17, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Trumpeter Swans wingspan may exceed 10ft.

  61. Spanky
    March 17, 2016 at 9:04 am

    The female lays 3 to 12 eggs with 4 to 6 being average. Incubation is 32 to 37 days with fledging stage at 3 to 4 months.

  62. Spanky
    March 17, 2016 at 8:35 am

    I like the man made island but it looks like a box canyon trap. Shouldn’t both ends be open providing an escape route?

  63. Spanky
    March 16, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    The Swans look happy, I just hope they take to the tourists!

  64. Spanky
    March 16, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    is that a feeder?

  65. Spanky
    March 15, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    Just got back home. I didn’t see any Swans or Osprey! It just wasn’t my day!

    • kiley
      March 16, 2016 at 11:10 am

      Keep watching! The osprey usually come back the third week of April, but with this warm weather, it may be earlier this year!

      • Spanky
        March 16, 2016 at 2:19 pm


  66. Spanky
    March 15, 2016 at 11:47 am

    I guess i’ll just drive out there and get a look for myself! (o,o)

  67. Spanky
    March 15, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Anyone know if the Osprey are back yet? (o,o)

  68. Spanky
    March 15, 2016 at 9:26 am

    I’m back! Looking forward to see the new swans!

  69. Donna
    August 3, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    By now I’m sure the osprey chicks have fledged and probably are still in and out of the nest. Kiley, could you or someone there post a comment to let us know how they are doing and how many chicks there are this year please?

  70. Donna
    May 3, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Good Morning, cam looks hopeful, back to black screen with buffer circle. Maybe waiting for batteries to recharge. This next week is supposed to be rainy but will keep hoping for sunshine.

    • Chimega
      May 5, 2015 at 6:36 pm

      I am not seeing anything but a white rectangle that says Embedding Not Allowed. Are we not going to have a cam this year?

      • kiley
        May 6, 2015 at 8:11 am

        I’m sorry, we are having some technical issues that we are trying to sort through. We are hoping to have a camera up and running within the next few weeks. We apologize for the inconvenience.

  71. Donna
    April 30, 2015 at 11:15 am

    I’m still checking in several times a day, was so hoping to watch this cam this year. 🙁

    • kiley
      May 5, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      We’re sorry for the disappointment! We are sad it’s not working too! She’s on her eggs though, we can see her head peeking out atop the nest!

  72. Spanky
    April 30, 2015 at 11:02 am

    (o,o) !!!!!!!!

  73. Spanky
    April 28, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    (~,~) z zz zzz

  74. Shirley Johnson
    April 22, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    It now says “embedding not allowed”.
    I don’t know what that means.

    • kiley
      April 22, 2015 at 4:08 pm


      It is just a part of the issues that we are working through. We are close to solving the problem! Thanks for your patience!

  75. Donna
    April 17, 2015 at 11:10 am

    Cam still not working, could someone please tell us if there is a problem with it?

    • kiley
      April 21, 2015 at 8:57 am

      There are some undetermined issues unfortunately. I’m sorry for the inconvenience. We’re trying to diagnose the problem.

  76. Donna
    April 12, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Was hoping cam would be charged up after two days of some sun, will check back again

  77. Donna
    April 8, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    No sun….no cam. Supposed to be sunny on Friday, fingers crossed.

  78. Spanky
    April 5, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Its dad that has the leg bands right?

    • kiley
      April 6, 2015 at 8:27 am

      That is correct!

    • Pam
      April 6, 2015 at 12:26 pm

      Thanks for the info Spanky. I didn’t know that about the male. So have you seen both the female & the male?

      • Spanky
        April 20, 2015 at 8:33 am

        No, just the male so far!

  79. Donna
    April 4, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Nestorations are underway. I’ve see new sticks brought in, rearranging old sticks, some digging in the nest bowl and even a good old Iowa cornhusk has been added for decoration.

    • Pam
      April 4, 2015 at 7:52 pm

      Hi Donna,
      This is so much fun to watch. The tower is practically in our back yard and I can easily walk to the Nature Center. This is my first year to watch ospreys here. Pretty awesome. The nest looks better and better each day. Very good builder. (:

      • Donna
        April 7, 2015 at 11:14 am

        Pam, how nice for you to be so close to the nest. I’m going to try to make a day trip to the Nature Center this summer about the time the young ones fledge to watch them come and go.

        • Pam
          April 15, 2015 at 9:48 am


          If and when you visit the Nature Center, it would be nice to meet you and discuss nature stuff. Just email me whenever it works. Or you could stop by our house and we could walk the trail up to the Nature Center together. I am a volunteer there.


          Make it a great day in Nature!!


  80. Pam
    April 3, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Wow! This osprey is very busy today preparing the nest. Too bad we can’t tell the male from the female. Does anyone know if they both build the nest. I haven’t seen two of the ospreys at the same time.


    • kiley
      April 6, 2015 at 8:28 am


      They will both work on the nest, and the male is banded so that is a way to tell them apart!

  81. Donna
    April 1, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    The wind is terrible in Iowa today so thought I would check the nest cam and Hooray, the osprey is back! It’s facing into the wind and hanging on so I can’t tell who it is but so happy to see the season has begun. 🙂

  82. Donna
    March 25, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    Several other osprey cams I watched last year are up and running now with activity on the nests. I’m looking forward to watching the Iowa osprey again this year and am wondering if they have returned to the nest yet. Hopefully we’ll have better luck with the cam this year throughout the season.

    • kiley
      March 25, 2015 at 4:09 pm

      We are getting the camera up and running and have changed the angle of the solar panels to ensure better absorption of the sun so the power should be more consistent this year! The osprey are not back on the nest yet, but they have been spotted making their ways north so we hope to see them soon!

      • Donna
        March 26, 2015 at 8:25 am

        Thank you, Kiley and to all those involved in providing this cam for us to watch and learn from

      • Spanky
        April 5, 2015 at 2:10 pm

        I like the new camera angle!

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