The East End’s most famous and beloved osprey cam is back! With the whole world interacting through webcams and virtual platforms, OspreyZone—a 24-hour-a-day live feed of a North Fork osprey nest, sponsored by Tax Reduction Services (TRS)—couldn’t have returned at a better time.
Who wouldn’t want to vicariously watch these beautiful creatures fly free, collect materials and build their nest, hunt for fish, canoodle and, eventually, hatch another year’s group of offspring—all in real time with the beautiful bay stretched out behind and below them? This is especially sweet when most people have barely left the house in six weeks. It’s truly a sight to behold, and it’s one anyone can appreciate. It’s no secret that East Enders love our ospreys.
Watch the 11-minute sample video above to see the ospreys doing their thing in 2016.
After first spotting the raptors perched atop an old television tower on his property in 2014, North Forker Tommy Aprea installed a wooden platform to encourage George and Gracie to nest there. The plan worked, so he added a video camera to let others enjoy viewing the majestic birds, but the ospreys didn’t reach their worldwide audience until his neighbor and friend of 45 years, TRS founder Paul Henry, helped him create a website, ospreyzone.com, and stream the footage live.
George and Gracie’s return and, later, the birth of their hatchlings, became much-anticipated annual events for fans all over the East End and beyond. And, it seems, someone is always watching. At its peak, the livestream attracted as many as 30,000 visitors. For those who miss the big moments, or for times when the birds aren’t in their nest, OspreyZone has a full archive of highlight footage available.
This year, George is back in the nest with a new mate and she’s expected to lay her eggs very soon. The stream will catch every second of this new stage of life, including the eggs being laid and hatching, and the new couple caring for and feeding their adorable babies. In the meantime, there’s still plenty of excitement, including a recent visit from another male osprey. Is he moving in on George’s mate? Will he try to steal the nest?
The drama continues, and fans of the livestream keep up with everything, sharing comments, news and screenshots of what they observe on the website. These dedicated armchair ornithologists don’t miss a beat.
As a fun way to interact and show appreciation to these viewers, OspreyZone’s creators asked fans to name the chicks in 2016. Perhaps this year we could name them again? Or maybe we could name George’s new love? Fans on the site seems to be calling her Jane, unofficially, but there’s talk of others.
How about Amal? Martha? Barbara? Laura? (These are all wives of other famous Georges.) One fan suggests Louise, as in George and Louise Jefferson. Maybe her nickname, Weezy, instead?
A spokesperson for OspreyZone, Meghan Wirtz, notes, “To me, the stream is reminiscent of Norway’s slow tv trend, which CBS Sunday Morning called ‘television’s version of taking a deep breath.’ With many people overwhelmed by the constant drone of news and looking for new ways to pass the time, the Osprey Zone website offers a welcome escape and is great way to connect with the outdoors and witness the power of nature.”
And that’s certainly something all of us could use at a time like this.
Visit ospreyzone.com to see more.