Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia's live OspreyCam shows a bird's life for 10th year

Nova Scotians will have a chance once again this year to watch Ethel and Oscar, two ospreys parenting their young, on the OspreyCam.

Ospreys Ethel and Oscar will have new young who will need names, says museum curator

Curator Jeff Gray says the live camera is a chance to see these wild birds up close. (Rob Short/CBC)

Nova Scotia's OspreyCam is back.

Each spring, thousands of people tune into the live stream of an osprey nest on a platform high above the ground in a secret location somewhere in Nova Scotia. The Museum of Natural History in Halifax hosts the feed on its website.

"There's an emotional attachment," curator Jeff Gray said Thursday.

Around 40,000 people tune into the OspreyCam each season. (Rob Short/CBC)

The camera is a chance to see these wild animals up close in their natural habitat. Gray said people get very invested in the every day lives of the birds, Oscar and Ethel, and their young.

"They watch the eggs be laid. They wait for them to hatch and then they wait for these brand new birds to fledge from the nest and fly for the first time," Gray said.

"That's something people can experience from the comfort of their own homes and watch every year."

The platform where the birds nest was built 15 years ago by Nova Scotia Power to keep osprey away from the power lines. The camera was added five years later. 

The OspreyCam is in its 10th season, now featuring Ethel and Oscar. (Nova Scotia Museum/Twitter)

40,000 viewers

Around 40,000 people tune into the OspreyCam each season, Gray said.

"All of these animal cameras have a fascination for people," he said.

"Every year, the new chicks are named and I think that adds another level — humanizes the whole experience and brings it home for people."

The museum won't reveal the actual location of the nest to maintain a natural setting, Gray said. He asks anyone who has figured out the spot to keep it to themselves.

The Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History has a replica osprey nest. (Amy Smith/CBC)

About the Author

After spending more than a decade as a reporter covering the Nova Scotia legislature, Amy Smith joined CBC News in 2009 as host for CBC Nova Scotia News as well as Atlantic Tonight at 11. She can be reached at amy.smith@cbc.ca or on Twitter @amysmithcbc

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