2013-06-06 / News

Live streaming coming soon to Marsh Meadows osprey nest


Three new ospreys are calling the pole in Marsh Meadows home af­ter hatching over the weekend. A new camera with the capabilities of live streaming is expected to be installed at the nest soon. 
PHOTO BY CHRIS POWELL Three new ospreys are calling the pole in Marsh Meadows home af­ter hatching over the weekend. A new camera with the capabilities of live streaming is expected to be installed at the nest soon. PHOTO BY CHRIS POWELL Three new chicks won’t be the only changes in Marsh Meadows in 2013.

After seven years, members of the Conanicut Island Raptor Proj­ect have decided to update all of its hardware and software. The equip­ment is used for the osprey cam, a wireless solar-powered video cam­era that allows bird lovers to view the osprey family that lives at the nest in Marsh Meadows.

“Our technology is ancient com­pared to what is available today,” said Chris Powell, who heads the raptor project.

Powell planned to install the new camera before the three eggs hatched. He spoke with Rob Bier­regaard, the project’s osprey ex­pert, who said the eggs wouldn’t be harmed if he changed the camera in the early morning when the air temperature is around 75 degrees. Bierregaard is a research professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte who began studying ospreys more than 40 years ago on Martha’s Vineyard.

Listening to Bierregaard’s ad­vice, Powell made plans to install the camera Sunday – until project member Mark Baker, while doing software work for the webcam, reported that three chicks were chirping in the nest early Saturday morning.

Because of the newborns, Pow­ell erred on the side of caution and decided to postpone mounting the camera Sunday. Bierregaard agreed: He told Powell to wait a bit longer before installing any electronics.

The new camera is expected to have the capability to stream the osprey family live, unlike the cur­rent system that requires refresh­ing the browser.

The Conanicut Island Raptor Project is also expected to launch its new website this season. Pow­ell’s nephew, Tyler Lane, devel­oped and designed the site. Also involved is Tony Lush, who along with Mark Baker is taking care of the computer work.

The technology upgrades cost $1,200. Powell has applied for a grant with the Jamestown Educa­tion Foundation and hopes project members can be reimbursed for the expenses.

The chicks will migrate at the end of the season. If they sur­vive, they are expected to return in two years when they are mature enough to breed.

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