Update 4/7/2017: Streaming from Pitkin County, Emma, CO. This is a nesting pair of osprey which has not laid any eggs yet.


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Pitkin County Osprey Camera Info
The nest platform was installed in 2010 after a pair of Osprey began nest-building activities on a Holy Cross Energy utility pole. Since an Osprey nest and high-voltage electrical lines are not compatible, the nest and the crossbeams it was built on were transferred to a “safe pole” located about 40 feet away that was already in place. Pitkin County and Holy Cross Energy partnered to come to this solution, a safe option for both birds and humans. Since 2011, the pair of Osprey have returned each year to the platform nest. One or two young Ospreys have fledged from this nest each year since then. Of the breeding pair, the female is the larger bird, with lighter, frosted coloring on the tips of her feathers. The male, is smaller, sleeker and darker in color.

Ospreys often choose nesting sites near where they were hatched. This means some of the other Ospreys in the Roaring Fork Valley may be related to, or are offspring, of the Emma pair. There are at least two known nests in the area - one is near Carbondale and a new nest has been developing in Woody Creek in recent years. For questions, comments, to share your observations or for more information, email web_open_space@pitkincounty.com or aces@aspennature.org

Pitkin County Osprey Camera

In the fall of 2015, Pitkin County Open Space and Trails partnered with Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, the Pitkin County Healthy Rivers and Streams Board, Pitkin County Information Technology and Holy Cross Energy to install a wildlife camera on a pole adjacent to an active Osprey nest. The nest, located in Emma, Colorado, sits on a platform between Highway 82 and the Roaring Fork River in a riparian ecosystem. The camera streams live footage each spring and summer season, capturing the real-time activities of a pair of nesting Ospreys that return to this nest each year to breed.

Osprey Facts

Ospreys, commonly seen flying above shallow inland waterways or near the sea, are one of the few birds of prey that subsist almost exclusively on fish. Most Ospreys are migratory, traveling from northern breeding grounds to winter locales near tropical lakes, rivers, seashores and coral reefs. Ospreys have some of the widest habitat range of any raptor species and can be found on every continent except for Antarctica. Osprey populations have rebounded significantly following the ban on the pesticide DDT, representing one of the most successful environmental conservation stories in North American history.

Ospreys usually mate for life and nesting pairs return to the same nest every year to lay eggs. Some Osprey nests span many generations and can be over 70 years old. Ospreys typically situate their nests close to shallow bodies of water, often atop snags (standing dead trees) or man-made structures like telephone poles or platforms constructed specifically for Osprey nests. Osprey eggs have an incubation period of about 5 weeks. New hatchling(s) typically have their first flight after 8 to 10 weeks of living in the nest. While the female is carrying and sitting on the eggs, the male Osprey may catch fish and bring them to the female.

Nesting Facts

    Clutch Size: 1–4 eggs
    Number of Broods: 1 broods
    Incubation Period: 36–42 days
    Nestling Period: 50–55 days
    Egg Length: 2.2" – 2.7"
    Egg Description: Cream to pinkish cinnamon; wreathed and spotted with reddish brown.



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