Welcome to the Osprey Cam



About the Osprey

The osprey is a large raptor, often known as the “fish hawk.”  Both male and female osprey work together to create the nest. Once eggs are laid (typically 1-3), the osprey take turns incubating the eggs. The family diet is 99% fish, supplemented with other reptiles, crustaceans and even other birds. When the chicks are 10 days old, they are already mobile and eat 1-3 lbs. of food per day.

Special thanks to the Garwick Family Memorial Fund for generously sponsoring the costs of the “Osprey Cam".

2016 Osprey Nest Updates


Saturday, May 21

Sadly, this morning found discovered one damaged egg on the side of the nest.  No clear explanation of how egg was damaged. The good news is that the osprey pair is faithfully continuing to incubate the remaining egg.  Fingers crossed!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The brood is (hopefully) expanding! A second osprey egg was laid in the nest on Saturday night, May 14 at about 7:19 p.m. Watch how the osprey parents alternate warming the eggs in the nest.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

A new day brought a new surprise:  one egg in the nest! It may have been laid overnight or early this morning. Both adults are incubating the egg.  Monitoring will continue to see if additional eggs are on the way.  Osprey usually lay eggs about two to three days apart, with two to three eggs quite common (occasionally there may be four!).

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The male/female osprey couple from last year are still a couple:  The male, Z3,  and his mate--an unbanded female, do not seem to be getting around to laying eggs. So,chill (no pun on weather intended)....watch and wait.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Correction from April 13 entry:  The returning male osprey, banded Z3, is quite young--only four years old.  He took over the nest last year and mated with the unbanded female but broke the eggs. The elder male osprey who had been returning to this nest for the past few years, banded 79, sadly ended up at the Raptor Center in very poor condition and was euthanized last year.

This morning, the Z3 male osprey chased off another male osprey. Time will tell who wins this territory.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

This morning, the elder male osprey from last year, banded as Z3 , is back on the nest ....but with a new (unbanded) female osprey. ( As you may recall, his former female partner from last year, left the nest with another male osprey after their failed nesting.) Typically, a territorial male osprey will chase off all other males.  Time will tell how this new nesting saga shakes out--be on guard for some chaos until things settle down.

Monday, April 11, 2016

A male osprey has been spotted at the nest the past few days.  According to his band number, he is a five year old from a nest out near Lake Waconia. It is still early though and the original osprey male and female pair from last year (besides the interloper pair who came after the other pair abandoned the nest) may yet return.

Thanks to Twin Cities Metro Osprey Watch and Vanessa Greene at Osprey.mn@gmail.com for contributing to these updates.

Here are helpful links for more info on ospreys:

www.ThreeRiversParks.org (search for "ospreys")




Wednesday, June 3, 2015


Sadly, the nest has failed for this osprey pair as the third and remaining egg cracked accidentally and the female osprey ate some of the remains (it's protein) this past weekend. The osprey cam will continue to operate for a while to see what happens next with the osprey. It is possible that they could lay another egg. These past couple days, both were continuing to incubate a few eggshells...they seem to let go slowly when a nest fails like this. Mother Nature doesn't always deal a fair hand--it's been a rough few years on a nest that historically been very successful.

Thursday, May 28

The second of three eggs from this new couple appears to have been accidentally stepped on and cracked on May 27. They are now incubating only one egg. Life can be a challenge for young inexperienced osprey!

Thursday, May 21 update

The new Osprey nest couple are in a better place since the egg-rejection drama a little over a week ago. The pair laid two more eggs last week, on May 13 and 16. They are incubating normally and if all goes well, and if the eggs are fertile, watch for hatching of the first egg around June 21, a great happening for Fathers Day!

Monday, May 11 update

The saga continues on the Osprey nest. With Z3 male osprey and his female osprey partner (unbanded) now claiming the nest, their first egg was laid early this morning. However, the female osprey did not incubate the egg and Z3 displayed behavior rejecting the egg-standing on it and kicking it to the side of the nest. Without incubation, the egg has little chance of maturing and surviving. Monitoring will continue to see what's next for this osprey couple.

April 24, 2015 update

The Real Ospreys of Carver County: “Musical Nests”saga...
Osprey 79 (male) and Osprey 3S (female) have split. Despite what studies may say about ‘mating for life,’ this behavior is not uncommon after failed breeding, as is the case for this pair.  Osprey 3S has moved on to mate, taking up with an unidentified male from another nest on Bavaria Road, and they are building a nest in Chaska.  Osprey 79 (the oldest bird in the program) was spotted making loops in the air before soaring over Lake Minnetonka.  In the meantime, there appear to be two interlopers vying for the now-vacant nest. In the lead is Osprey Z3 (a three year old and one of two brothers from a nest near Carver Park that was initially courting Osprey 3S with fish) and an unbanded female Osprey.  But Osprey VJ, a 10 year old male from a nest near Prior Lake, is trying to claim the nest but with a yet-unidentified female..  Check back soon as the world turns and this live soap opera continues.

April 19, 2015 update

After a string of potential different male suitors appearing on the Arboretum Osprey cam nest, our old friend, Male 79, has finally turned to the nest sometime late in the day on April 18! He has set a new longevity record in this study at 23 years of age. The male's late return this spring has been stressful for the female, 3S, as she had to defend the territory alone.

Here's hoping for a successful breeding season for this loyal pair of Ospreys!

April 15, 2015 Update

This morning we have a different male on the nest...he is Z3, the brother of the male that was there yesterday! He is three years old also and is bringing fish and working on the nest. We will see how the soap opera ends and who wins the territory!*

This nest pole was erected in 2001 in response to ospreys attempting to build a nest on an electric line. Ospreys are nesting in the Twin Cities area primarily because of a 29-year program initiated by Three Rivers Parks to reintroduce the birds as a nesting species in the metro area and monitor their population expansion and distribution.

April 13, 2015 Update

The returning female, 3S, (green/black band) is 5 years old. We have not seen the old male, 79, but a new young male is on the nest and presented 3S with a fish which is part of the courtship ritual. He is Z2, a three year old from a nest on private property near Carver Park. The old male, 79, has often been a late return in the spring, so we haven't given up hope on seeing him...but the oldest male we have documented so far in this study has been 22 years old, which was the age of 79 last year.*