Barnegat Light Osprey Cam, Long Beach Island - Wildlife Education (2024)

Our osprey cam was first installed at Forsythe NWR in 2013. In the spring of 2019, we installed a new camera at a nest in Barnegat Light.

Welcome to the home of the Barnegat Light Osprey Cam! We decided to pursue the installation of a camera system at this tall nest so that we can share the intimate life of ospreys with everyone from the Long Beach Island region and worldwide. This is the third year for this pair of ospreys at this nest site (second year of cam). In 2018, they produced two young and three in 2019. In 2020, the pair produced three young. All young have been banded for future tracking. So far the pair has been the same. We know by their distinct plumage, iris, and the male's band. Female is unbanded and male will be 17 years old (band 788-49033) if he returns. He originated from a nest that is less than 2 miles to the north from where he now nests.

As many know, ospreys are an important bioindicator species and reflect the health of their surrounding environment. A healthy coastal ecosystem equals a booming shore economy and the ospreys indicate that we're doing a good job of protecting our coastal areas. There are still many threats to ospreys, even though they have recovered from the effects of DDT and habitat loss. You can make a difference and help ospreys by reducing your dependence on single use plastics, eating sustainable/local caught seafood and by not releasing balloons. You can also help ospreys by participating in coastal cleanups or by picking up plastic litter that you see.

Our goal is to increase awareness and protection of ospreys in New Jersey and learn more about their prey.

Nest Cam News:

June 3

Barnegat Light Osprey Cam, Long Beach Island - Wildlife Education (1)

This will be my last update for the season, unless something else happens to warrant one. Duke and Daisy continue to hang near their inactive nest. Like mentioned before, we do not know what is happening. We have heard from a few other osprey watchers that they are witnessing the same behavior. Adults present but no eggs or young this year. One pair on Mordecai Island and one on the Mullica River. We hope to learn more during our surveys.

May 10

Barnegat Light Osprey Cam, Long Beach Island - Wildlife Education (2)Daisy on her nest with no eggs.

By now, Daisy should be incubating a full clutch of three eggs, like most normal ospreys during this time of year. Something is amiss and we aren't sure what's going on. Both adults came back early and have had plenty of time to mate and spruce up their nest. Duke is old (soon to be 18 years old) but not TOO OLD to still be fertile. Since Daisy is not banded, we don't know her exact age, but she only showed up here in 2020 and when we see banded ospreys begin nesting they're usually less than 10 years old. Ospreys can live for over 20 years and still be productive, like Iris in Montana or Lady of the Loch.

Even if Duke was not fertile anymore, then Daisy should still lay eggs. They would just not be fertile and hatch young. As far as we know, Daisy appears healthy and is well fed. There is still time for her to lay eggs since we have observed many nests in the middle of summer have hatchling aged young. But, time is not slowing down. We simply have to wait and see what happens. It may be an off year for them and no young will be produced. This will be interesting to observe to see what they do when no young are here to care for. Will Duke stop providing food for Daisy? Will Daisy disperse locally until she migrates south or will both defend their nest? Time will tell.

April 28

Barnegat Light Osprey Cam, Long Beach Island - Wildlife Education (3)

By this time last year Daisy had already laid a full clutch of three eggs (first on April 22). It might seem odd that this pair isn't incubating by now as some other pairs have been incubating for a couple weeks. In 2021, Daisy laid her first egg on April 27, so we aren't too far off from previous years. Both birds have been perching on the platform at night, which is nice to see. When Daisy is preparing to lay her first egg, then she will remain close to the nest bowl for extended periods of time. Will Duke encourage her to lay her first egg, like he did in 2021?

April 9

Barnegat Light Osprey Cam, Long Beach Island - Wildlife Education (4)Duke!

Since our last update, Duke the nesting male here returned! He returned on March 31 at 4:23pm. Everyone watching could tell he was home. He felt very comfortable and this year had no challengers to fend off. He immediately worked to strengthen his pair bond with his mate, Daisy by providing her with fresh fish.

Since then they both have been working on the nest to spruce it up and copulating. Soon Daisy will lay her first egg. Milestones from last year: Egg 1 - April 22. Egg 2 - April 25. Egg 3 - April 28.

Edit to add: somehow my previous update and footer on this page was deleted and there is no backup.. Time to start backing up..

I know I added some more text about Duke and him turning 18 this year.

Thankfully this was found online:

CHRONOLOGY:

2018: This platform was first used in 2018 after being installed many years ago by the Garden Club of LBI. We knew this would be the perfect site for a camera, with access to power and internet. We received a generous grant from the Osprey Foundation to install a new camera at this location in late 2018.

Early 2019: We presented our idea for a nest cam to the Town Council of the Borough of Barnegat Light and they enthusiastically approved.

February: We consulted with an electrian, ITS Electric Service LLC and they helped obtain construction permits and install service for us.

Late-March: Electric service was installed and the camera and associated equipment was attached to the osprey nest platform, after that was repaired by adding a new nest box.

LEARN MORE:
CONTACT US:

Ben Wurst, Senior Wildlife Biologist: Email

Find Related Info: Osprey

Barnegat Light Osprey Cam, Long Beach Island - Wildlife Education (2024)

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