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Osprey Camera

March 21, 2013


UPDATE: 4/18/14 Camera is having issues with software updates and computer changes, we are working on getting it back up as soon as possible! Sorry for the inconvenience. Please keep checking back!

The Osprey Nest Camera is now online! Please, check back if the camera goes offline which can happen on gloomy, overcast days in the spring time. The camera is solar powered and sometimes cannot keep up with the low light. The Osprey showed up in Okoboji on April 7th and are currently getting the nest ready for eggs. Thanks for watching!

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 Julius
  • Berkley “Bucky” Bedell
  • James Sessions, JES Hardware Solutions
  • Charles Vigdal


121 Responses to Osprey Camera

  1. Spanky
    April 24, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    gr8 close up!

  2. Spanky
    April 24, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Mom is letting the egg cool

  3. Spanky
    April 24, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Camera came back on at 2:12pm

  4. Spanky
    April 24, 2014 at 10:09 am

    (~.~) z zz zzz

  5. Spanky
    April 24, 2014 at 8:45 am

    The Decorah Eagles are getting rained on too!

  6. Spanky
    April 24, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Wish i knew how to do a Sun Dance!

  7. Donna
    April 23, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    I saw the first egg shortly before 6 pm. Female was eating a goldfish and male was sitting on egg nervously getting up and down. When she was done eating they traded places. Cam is freezing a lot, with the rainy weather today and tomorrow I wonder if we may lose the picture.

    • Derek
      April 23, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      If they are eating Goldfish, then I’m assuming someone’s Koi pond is being raided.

      I hope they don’t do something stupid to protect their pond.

  8. Donna
    April 23, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Is that a speckled egg I see?

  9. Spanky
    April 23, 2014 at 10:43 am

    We are on Egg Watch (o.o)

  10. Donna
    April 22, 2014 at 9:25 am

    I guess if they HAVE to do that it’s better now than after eggs are laid. But I wonder about all the little animals and birds that may use the grasses to hide in.

    • Chimega
      April 22, 2014 at 9:51 am

      I agree and Killdeer who nest on the ground. ARGH!

  11. Chimega
    April 22, 2014 at 9:04 am

    What in the heck is all the smoke and burning field across the road, for? Is that a controlled burn and is someone out there to keep an eye on it? I am really worried for the osprey – their lives and their health!

    • Chimega
      April 22, 2014 at 9:39 am

      I think this is the calmest female osprey I have ever seen. Had this been another nest in another area of the USA or overseas, that raptor wouldn’t have been back for hours!

    • Charles V
      April 22, 2014 at 11:41 am

      We are doing controlled burns around the wetland and prairies here at the nature center. Do not worry! We do it to keep up with the natural cycle of the areas. It doesn’t bother the ospreys to much. Just improving their habitat!

  12. Spanky
    April 21, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    if you hold down your “ctrl” key and then scroll you can make the picture and chat bigger!

  13. Spanky
    April 20, 2014 at 7:38 am

    if she don’t give us an egg soon i’m calling Dr Ford

  14. Donna
    April 19, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Looking at last year’s comments, it seems they laid the first egg about 4-26 so we may be waiting a little longer.

  15. Spanky
    April 19, 2014 at 9:35 am

    still no egg! whats going on here?

  16. Spanky
    April 18, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    i was sure we would have our 1st egg by now.

  17. Gene
    April 18, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    I usually have no trouble at all with this site, but, it’s been MIA for the last couple days,any reason??

  18. Spanky
    April 18, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Do Osprey get sick of seafood?

    • Chimega
      April 18, 2014 at 4:28 pm


  19. Spanky
    April 18, 2014 at 9:03 am


  20. Spanky
    April 18, 2014 at 9:03 am

    We must have an egg by know

    • Chimega
      April 18, 2014 at 5:20 pm

      Cam is on right now, Friday 5:20pm. I do not see an egg.

  21. Spanky
    April 17, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    is the site down? site wont load

    • Donna
      April 17, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      There hasn’t been enough sunshine in Iowa but should be some this afternoon. Hopefully cam will come back for a while.

    • Chimega
      April 17, 2014 at 6:36 pm

      I can’t get it to load, either. :(

  22. Spanky
    April 16, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Dad has Bands on both legs! Mom has no bands!

  23. Judi H
    April 16, 2014 at 9:01 am

    I have tried on several different days and times to see the Osprey Cam and all I see is a big blank page.??? Disappointed!

    • Charles V
      April 16, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      Im guessing you are using an outdated internet browser that doesn’t support flash videos and that is why the camera feed doesn’t show up. The camera has been operational since Monday but we sometimes lose power, from the solar panels, when we have extended cloudy or overcast days.

      You can either download a flash player or switch to a newer internet browser to be able to see the live stream of the nest. Most internet browsers have them standard but if you wanted to check and see you can go to this website http://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player.html Hope this helps!

    • Spanky
      April 16, 2014 at 5:19 pm

      I use Mozilla Firefox browser and it works fine.

  24. Spanky
    April 16, 2014 at 8:51 am

    We could have our 1st egg today (o,o)

  25. Spanky
    April 14, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Mom & Dad must be back in the trees keeping out of the wind.

  26. Chimega
    April 13, 2014 at 5:06 am

    Cam is off, now, at 5am.

  27. Chimega
    April 13, 2014 at 4:45 am

    The female was on the nest from at least 4am until around 4:20am and was on high alert. She looked like she was going to lay down in the nest bowl but was too concerned with whatever it was she was watching. I saw a GHO on this nest at around midnight on the 10th, I believe. I hope all will be well for these osprey. They are really a beautiful pair.

  28. Spanky
    April 12, 2014 at 11:03 am

    i just watched them mate! we should have our first egg soon…

  29. Donna
    April 12, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Lots of activity the last couple days….parents on nest, bringing in materials, doing nestorations, mating, looks like we’re ready for eggs any time. :)

  30. Donna
    April 9, 2014 at 8:45 am

    So glad the cam is back. I found it last year but not til the last part of the season. Looking forward to watching another Iowa cam this year. Is there any way to turn the comment section up-side-down so the recent posts would be at the top? Thanks

    • Charles V
      April 9, 2014 at 8:52 am

      Yep I’m working on just that!

  31. Gene
    April 8, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    I’m getting a {“notation” that a “network change” is detected, and no picture at all.
    Is that normal for your solar powered equipment??
    Just curious,

    • Charles V
      April 8, 2014 at 4:41 pm

      Im not sure what that error on your computer means. The camera has been operating all day and we sometimes lose power, from the solar panels, when we have extended cloudy or overcast days.

      It could be a number of things depending on what kind of internet browser you are using. Most likely you need to download a flash player to be able to see the live stream of the nest. Most internet browsers have them standard but if you wanted to check and see you can go to this website http://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player.html Hope this helps!

      • Gerne
        April 9, 2014 at 7:16 am

        I guess I “jumped the gun” , it’s working great, now??? My error, sorry, thanks for your advice.Keep up the good work.

  32. Derek
    April 7, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    I just saw an Osprey on the nest platform around 5pm, April 7th 2014.

    Not sure when it first arrived.

    • Charles V
      April 8, 2014 at 4:35 pm

      Thanks for the observation! We are happy they are back!

  33. Gene
    February 13, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    I’m curious as to when the camera will be turned on again, I see that the Decorah(?) Eagle camera is up and running!

    • cvigdal
      February 14, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      We will, hopefully, have the camera back up sometime in March and that is dependent on the weather. The Osprey will not be back till April sometime and we want to have it all ready and online when they return. Thanks for your interest!

  34. Gary
    August 9, 2013 at 11:09 am

    The camera is no longer on the nest, but on a dead tree, I assume that their is a reason for this? This sight is awesome, thank you very much.


  35. August 5, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    I viewed the site where three of you were up on ladders, so you could band the chicks. I notice that you say that the pole is up 55 feet. Do you have a telescope pole so you are able to let the nest down lower to band the chicks? It looked as though you were up on three wooden ladders. I have enjoyed this site immensely this summer after a friend sent it to us. Thank you.

    • cvigdal
      August 6, 2013 at 9:32 am

      Hi Shirley,

      We do not have ladders that high and the pole is just a regular wooden telephone pole. The only way to get up there is to get a special utility truck with a bucket that can reach up there. We have banded the chicks before up on this nest but we choose not to disturb them this year. Thanks for watching!

  36. August 3, 2013 at 8:03 am

    how tall is the pole that the nesting box is on ?

    • cvigdal
      August 5, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      The pole is about 55ft. tall and the nesting box up there is 4ftX4ft or 5ftX5ft, cant remember. I think there are small sides, couple inches or so, around the platform but mostly the nest is all osprey built.

  37. August 3, 2013 at 8:02 am

    approximately what is the size of the nesting box ? are there sides on it ?

  38. Barbara Tagami
    August 2, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    It is truly a joy to see the success of the Ospreys re-establishing themselves in Iowa and in our area. Kudos to Pat Schlarbaum with the IDNA Wildlife Department for heading up this program for the State. We also have a nesting pair down at Lower Gar.

    • Jane
      April 22, 2014 at 1:29 pm

      I saw an osprey on the Lower Gar nest yesterday! Indeed…thanks to Pat Schlarbaum, the Dickinson Co. Nature Center, and all those involved in helping with this wonderful project.

  39. Art Gustifon
    August 2, 2013 at 10:01 am

    What fun to see them leave the nest and fly. I actually thought that one might have fallen out of the nest long before. My curiosity rose to wonder how they know when to fly. My wife pointed out that I’d fly too if I had fish in bed for breakfast for the past six weeks.

  40. Mark Midland
    July 27, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Just checked the osprey cam and noticed one of the chicks was gone, then saw it fly back in! How long have they been flying?

    • cvigdal
      July 30, 2013 at 10:00 am

      For about a week, we think.

  41. Elaine
    July 26, 2013 at 7:39 am

    One did leave the nest yesterday; I tried to time it & think he/she was out of camera range almost 30 seconds. The other 2 (mom & dad were gone) watched as their “sibling” flew above them. This is so interesting! THANK YOU DCCB!

  42. Connie White
    July 26, 2013 at 6:55 am

    We visit this beautiful part of our state twice a year. We walk by the nest several times and are in awe at how protective mother osprey is! She keeps her eyes on us peering over the edge of the nest, and she scolds us audibly reminding us not to harm her little ones, even though they’e almost as big as she is! They are about to try their maiden flights any moment now. Observing nature touches the soul.

  43. Elaine
    June 17, 2013 at 8:12 am

    I think your site is awesome and you do an outstanding job with the cameras despite the weather this spring. Kudos to the Dickinson CC Board for supplying us with this amazing information. Good Job, Guys & Gals!!!!!

    • cvigdal
      June 17, 2013 at 10:07 am

      Thank you very much!

  44. jack jones
    June 16, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Dear Spanky,

    The total cost of camers, hardware, moniter, solar panels, batteries, computers and software were well in excess of $10,000. If you would care to make a generous donation to the Conservation Foundation of Dickinson County we might be able to meet you rigid specifications on a more regular basis.

  45. GKC
    June 16, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    It was working fine at 3 am but I know it isn’t “that” dark now.

  46. kathy morrill
    June 16, 2013 at 9:47 am

    do you think the three babies are doing okay?

    • cvigdal
      June 17, 2013 at 11:27 am

      Yep they look like they are in good condition.

  47. Mike
    June 14, 2013 at 7:09 am

    Hey Jack; it looks like goldfish for breakfast, bluegill for lunch and maybe a smallmouth for dinner. Fresh or nothing did you see the female toss the goldfish just now?

  48. jack jones
    June 14, 2013 at 6:49 am

    you just cannot beat fresh goldfish for brealfast!

  49. Mike
    June 13, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Thank you Dickinson County so very much!

    MENU 6/13/13/
    Bluegill Tar Tar
    The fledglings are quite active as the temp goes up, did anyone notice that one of the fledges took the gill and began eating? They are growing up quickly.

  50. liz
    June 11, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    I’m enjoying watching this nest from Mexico City; three babies will be a lot of fun. Many thanks to the Nature Center for setting up this camera!

  51. June 10, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    This has been a great experience for my great grandchildren visiting here and following on the website in their home in Neb.. Thank you to all involved, it is fun watching the birds and also getting to vist the Nature Center…

  52. Jane
    June 10, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Jim B., that explains why I’ve been seeing the osprey fly over my house…we live near that southeast pond @ Emerald Hills!

  53. Spanky
    June 10, 2013 at 6:04 am

    Please back the camera up your to close!

  54. Jim B.
    June 9, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    The gold fish that the Osprey are eating are coming from Emerald HILLS Golf Course.
    The pond at the southeast corner of the course has gold fish in it. A friend of mine saw an Osprey dive into the pond and come up with a gold fish this past week.

  55. Jane
    June 9, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Our osprey family seems to have a taste for fine cuisine….

  56. jack jones
    June 8, 2013 at 9:07 am

    And thank you also to the Conservaton Founation of Dickinson County. They provided funding for the Project as well

  57. Jane
    June 7, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Charles, thanks to you and Bucky for this wonderful webcam. What a GREAT experience for all of us!

  58. Elaine Messerole
    June 6, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Do the osprey build new nests each year or return to the old one? This site is great!!!

    • cvigdal
      June 10, 2013 at 10:18 am

      This nest has been used for the past 3 years. They come back to it every year, but after winter, the nest needs to be built up again.

  59. Spanky
    June 6, 2013 at 8:24 am

    We have 3 babies!!

  60. Ron Gierut
    June 1, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    1st chick’s name anyone?…I like Opie…Opie the Osprey

  61. Spanky
    June 1, 2013 at 5:21 am

    We have our 1st baby!!

    • Sue Boettcher
      June 1, 2013 at 9:41 am

      We do have our 1st baby! We have pictures of him/her on the Dickinson County Nature Center facebook page!

  62. Spanky
    May 31, 2013 at 10:36 am


  63. Joe gregori
    May 28, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    The live cam will not work for me to see the nest. Are you having problems?

    • cvigdal
      May 28, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      Yes the camera is running low on solar power because of the overcast days. Hopefully it charged them up a little bit today with the little sunshine that we got. Stay tuned and hope for sunny weather.

  64. Art Gustifon
    May 27, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    What channel is the bird on? I have an old Sylvania that only goes to 13. Do they lay a dozen eggs at once just like chickens?

    • cvigdal
      May 28, 2013 at 10:37 am

      You should be able to view the birds on this page. The camera had some difficulties with the weather/fog and the low light, because the camera is solar powered it is running on low power. They only lay one egg a week and will lay 3 to 4 eggs.

  65. Spanky
    May 24, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    We should see our first pip soon!

  66. Karen Thomas
    May 24, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Looks like the Brit’s ospreys beat ours to the hatch! Wait til next year!

  67. Jane
    May 24, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    What is that orange thing in the nest (Friday morning)? A bird? A fish?

    • Barbara Tagami
      May 25, 2013 at 9:03 am


      I think it is the remnants of a colorful fish and probably from someone’s decorative pond.

  68. Jane
    May 20, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    How can we tell which is the female, which is the male?

    • Spanky
      May 20, 2013 at 12:19 pm

      The Male has bands on his legs!

    • cvigdal
      May 22, 2013 at 10:09 am

      The female osprey is typically larger than the male osprey. The female had darker spots around her neck, kind of like a necklace. The male has some spots but they are not as pronounced as the females. Also, the male has two bands around his legs, one for the state of Iowa (dark purple) and a silver one for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The female is not banded and most likely a wild bird.

  69. deb manson
    May 16, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Love watching these Ospreys and cant wait for the little ones to hatch!!!

  70. Jane
    May 15, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    Why is the cam in black and white now instead of color?

    • cvigdal
      May 18, 2013 at 10:25 am

      If you are watching the camera at night or dusk, it will be in black and white because of the infra red illuminator or night vision. During the day it is in color.

  71. Jane Kauzlarich
    May 3, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Is there a third egg now?

  72. May 3, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Where is the nest located?

  73. Paul Van Ausdall
    May 3, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Is the video shown a current video? I don’t see any snow, as of 5-3-13.

    • cvigdal
      May 3, 2013 at 10:06 am

      Yes it is live. Almost all of our snow melted yesterday.

  74. Dennis E. Trei
    May 3, 2013 at 7:43 am

    I think it’s great to have the cam, I look in several times a day. I even was able to show some friends when we were in Texas for 10 days.

  75. ken henderson
    April 29, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    just walked the trail…great things going on here!! thanks barb and all helping out here. we enjoyed our visit so much and love what dedication you have shown to our community.

  76. Duane Johnson
    April 28, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    I’m not getting the web cam. What media player are you using to veiw it?

  77. Spanky
    April 27, 2013 at 11:00 am

    one of the Osprey has banded legs. Is it the male or female with the bands?

    • cvigdal
      April 29, 2013 at 10:47 am

      The male osprey is banded and he was release in 2005 from Boone, Iowa.

  78. Gloria Ditsworth
    April 26, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    At 7:30 p.m. Friday eve both osprey were on the nest. A lot of moving around and digging of nesting material. -then both left the nest.
    One returned within 5 minutes and eventually settled down. Is there an egg or getting settled to lay another?
    I could not see an egg.

    • cvigdal
      April 29, 2013 at 11:50 am

      They currently have 2 eggs that they are incubating. It its really hard to see the eggs. The parents will switch spots from time to time and that’s when you can really see the eggs.

  79. Jane Kauzlarich
    April 26, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Charles, was that a dead squirrel I saw in the nest a few days ago? Also, is it possible another egg will be layed?

    • cvigdal
      April 29, 2013 at 10:47 am

      Im not sure if that was a dead squirrel or some grass. It is very unlikely that they would eat squirrels. They have a second egg and will probably lay another one here in the next week or so.

    • Spanky
      April 29, 2013 at 8:23 pm

      it was a hunk of dry moss..i seen her bring it to the nest..

  80. shirley hansen
    April 26, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    When will the osprey’s egg or eggs hatch?

    • cvigdal
      April 26, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      About 5 weeks

    • Lisa
      May 14, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      They have small eggs

  81. cvigdal
    May 15, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    We should start seeing them hatch in the next couple of weeks.

  82. Karen Linder
    July 30, 2013 at 9:08 am

    I took a photo yesterday from the ground. It’s posted at: http://www.slideshare.net/KarenLinder/osprey-cam
    I drive or bike past here nearly every day and it’s a bit funny how often I see one of the birds sitting on TOP of the camera, not within view of the Webcam (as in the photo).

  83. cvigdal
    July 30, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Thanks for posting this picture!

  84. gene
    August 8, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Thanks, I just now re-checked these comments and found yours about the photo, thanks a million, it does shed some light as to their location and view of the surrounding area, thanks again….

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