Osprey Project

If necessary, hit the play button to launch the live feed! Expand to full window, adjust the sound … have fun. There are actually TWO cameras – you can toggle between them by using the switch button on the bottom of the window next to the word “YouTube”. 

We are partnering with the Crooked Lake Association on their ongoing Osprey nesting platform project. See below for more goodies, but here is some background. Our thanks to John Meier and Timothy Dygert for their partnership and collaboration.

Ospreys are primarily piscivorous (fish-eating) raptors that breed in the northern United States during the summer and annually migrate south to the southern United States and South America for the winter months. Residents of Columbia City, Indiana had observed Ospreys visiting their town for years but had never seen any of the birds exhibiting nesting or breeding behaviors. They wondered why that was the case and wanted to discover how to attract these birds to settle in their community. In a community-wide effort, sponsored and aided by many generous businesses, an Osprey nesting platform was constructed and attached to the 60-foot pole, which was then erected near the edge of Crooked Lake. This platform also possessed a camera which was set up to broadcast a live feed of the testing program so that anyone, local or otherwise, could observe any activity that occurred on the nest.

During the first year after the project began, the nest saw very little activity. There were a few juvenile Osprey that visited the nest, but no birds remained there long. This spring, a pair of Osprey were finally observed adjusting the nesting material and bringing more in, modifying it to their liking, supposedly. Then following the nesting activity, breeding behavior was observed multiple times and the female laid a clutch of three eggs in late April. The first chick hatched on May 31st and the two remaining chicks hatched soon after. The attentive parents are now caring for three chicks which can be observed via the live feed. With the end of the summer approaching, the three Osprey chicks are getting ready to fledge soon and then head south for the winter with their parents. Hopefully, Whitley and Noble, the parents, will return to the platform again next summer. The ERC is pleased to share this exciting new partnership. This project is ongoing so this web page will be updated over time.

2018 Updates

How it all began