Chesapeake Conservancy’s Popular Osprey Camera back on line: Osprey homecoming expected any day

Chesapeake Conservancy’s very popular Osprey Cam, which was watched by more than 70,000 viewers from all 50 states and 113 countries last summer, is back online, with even-sharper resolution, in time to welcome osprey pair Tom and Audrey back to the Chesapeake Bay. The osprey migrate south each year, some going as far as South and Central America. They return in mid-March, often in the week around St. Patrick’s Day. The camera is live to capture their return and early nest building. Last year the pair raised three chicks, and the daily life at the nest provided a compelling narrative and plenty of drama. The Chesapeake Conservancy developed Osprey Cam as part of its mission to connect people to the Chesapeake and its great rivers. The camera creates a way that people far from the shores, or close by, can check on the bay’s natural life everyday.

The Osprey themselves illustrate another important part of the Chesapeake Conservancy’s mission — conserving large landscape corridors of forests, fields, and marshes along the Chesapeake great rivers. These “conservation corridors” provide habitat for osprey and many other plants and animals and help keep intact the natural systems that support them. The osprey camera helps people visualize how connected animals are to their habitat. Osprey can be a valuable species for monitoring the health of the bay because their diet consists almost entirely of fish and they are sensitive to environmental contaminants. The favorite features of last year’s Osprey Cam are available again this year. The Osprey blog, written by the family that hosts the nest and the camera, provides viewers with a behind-the-scenes look at nest happenings, as well as educational information on osprey. The blog will begin in the coming weeks as the birds return and nest building begins. The Chesapeake Conservancy’s Facebook page remains a favorite spot for comments about the nest. Loyal fans are already sharing their excitement for upcoming episodes in the life of Tom and Audrey.

For all Osprey Cam fans – the Chesapeake Conservancy and the Metropolitan Kitchen and Lounge in Annapolis will host a Welcome Back Osprey Happy Hour Event on April 17th from 4 pm – 6pm. The event is open to all fans of the Osprey Cam. Chesapeake Conservancy thanks Skyline Technology Solutions, which manages the video stream, Earth Security Electronics, which installed and set up the camera, Investigative Options Inc., for maintaining the camera, and the Shared Earth Foundation for its support.