Osprey Live Stream, Stockton, Missouri

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Empire District Electric Company and Mid Central Contractors invite you to join us in celebrating the return of osprey to Stockton Lake. Enjoy this brief peek into the lives of this osprey family! But, please be aware, at times, nature can be difficult to watch.

New Time Lapse Feature

On February 24, 2015, Empire moved the osprey nest from one of our transmission towers to this newly built nesting box. The pair had a nest burn last summer after coming in contact with an energized electric line. The fire also did damage to the transmission tower and line, interrupting electric service. This new home for the pair of osprey is meant to be a safe nesting alternative while also increasing service reliability for Empire customers. Click here to view photos of the installation of the nesting platform.

Above is a live stream of the nesting box. The box is approximately 4-feet by 4-feet and approximately 70-feet high. Although the power lines are visible in the background, the nesting box is approximately 50 feet away from the power lines. This nest also has night vision provided by infrared light illumination. Birds and humans cannot see infrared light, so the osprey are not bothered at night by the infrared light illumination. The cameras are powered by two solar panels. If there are several days in a row of overcast skies, the camera may run out of battery backup. But, once the sun returns, the camera will be operational again.

Note to viewer: Images presented on this live stream are the property of the Empire District Electric Company and may be used for educational and non-commercial purposes. Images may not be sold.

About Ospreys

Osprey are uncommon statewide, most are spring and fall migrants but a few nest here. Ospreys are up to 24 inches long, with a 5- to 6-foot wingspan. They are midway between eagle size and large hawk size.

They eat almost exclusively fish they have caught, including carp, catfish, perch, shad and suckers. Also called “fish hawks” or “fish eagles,” osprey usually fly back and forth over—and 50 to 200 feet above—the water while searching for fish. When an osprey spies a fish, it hovers a moment before diving and plunging into the water feet first. Often it will completely submerge except for the wings.

Osprey reach maturity at age 3 or 4 and usually nest near water on a tall structure, such as a tree or rocky bluff. Like bald eagles, they generally mate for life. Nests are built of sticks and miscellaneous other materials. Two to four eggs are produced and hatch in about 5 weeks. The chicks fledge after about 9 weeks. Both parents care for the young. Osprey live about 7-10 years but have been known to live for 25.

(Source: Missouri Department of Conservation)

For more information about osprey, visit the Missouri Department of Conservation website here.


Comments 1,344

  1. Kimberly

    With all the heartbreak going on at other nests this year, it is so nice to have a nice peaceful and thriving nest to watch like this one. This is an amazing osprey family!

  2. Denise Rahjes

    I am also curious about the sound on this webcam. I wish we had sound so we could hear mom and dad “alarm” when an intruder is nearby.

  3. Denise Rahjes

    I have read that young ospreys do not migrate north their first spring but when they are almost 2 years old they will migrate north. It is possible that they will nest within 100 miles of where they were born but it is also very likely that they will never see their parents or their siblings again. I also have read that once the babies fledge and the end of the season approaches, they will each find their own route south and that each will winter in a different place.

  4. Mindy

    Does anyone know why the sound was turned off or is it just not working anymore? I noticed it 2-3 weeks ago. Anycase, this is what I noticed. A co-worker and I noticed during the awaiting the hatching of the eggs that there has been 2 osprey’s (seen togther) that mom and dad get very alarmed however we have also see 2 that they do not get alarmed. We wonder if they were sibblings from 2015. They got very close to the nest and we know it wasn’t dad because he was in the nest with mom. . We saw the 2 at the same time and no alarms.

  5. Mary Allen-Rippy

    I have seen a shadow of a big bird flying a few times. Don’t think it was Dad. I have also seen a big bird sitting
    On the electric pole to right of nest. I DO think that it was Dad keeping an eye on nest.
    Nest space is getting smaller all the time with wings and legs/feet growing daily on little ones.

    I have often wondered if the 4 from last year would have come back to this area.

    1. Becky

      About a year ago I read somewhere that the young stay where they migrate (possibly South America) for a year. So if any were to come back, it would have to be from the 3 young born in 2015. I don’t remember reading that they particularly come back to the area where they hatched, but that would be cool. I’m sure someone knows more about their habits than I do.

      1. gail

        I think it is two years before the young come back north and usually return to the general area.
        Some that are tagged have been spotted and that is great fun to get a glimpse of a returning one!
        If they come near the old nest, though, mom and dad usually just treat them like an intruder.

  6. gail

    Mom looks like she is alarming, but I can’t hear her to know for sure….the babies are in duck and cover mode….

  7. Denise Rahjes

    Blue skies, blue water, boats in the water beyond the nest and a lazy Sunday afternoon for our Osprey family! Mom and Dad are hanging out on the edges of the nest while the babies stick close to Mom – maybe for some shade? What a beautiful day for our beloved family!!

  8. Kris

    A lazy Sunday. Well-fed chicks sleeping in the middle of the nest. Mom and Dad perched on opposite sides watching the sky. Wonder what they are looking for?

    1. Denise Rahjes

      Thank you, Mary Allen, for checking on the babies earlier this morning! I just checked the nest and am so glad to see that everyone appears to be doing well and survived any storms that may have gone through. It does my heart good today to see Mom and her babies!

  9. Denise Rahjes

    We are supposed to get some severe storms move through west St. Louis County later tonight and into the morning and I’m praying that these storms won’t pass over this nest in Stockton. I adore this family and worry so much about them every time storms are predicted for the area! I’m feeling sad tonight after learning that the Osprey couple, Iris and Louis, in Montana have lost their babies due to starvation. It is amazing what these birds have to endure and is a miracle any of them survive to fledge. But, when I come back to this nest and see these babies thriving it does my heart good so am praying for continued success. Thank you again for making this nest available for all of us to watch.

  10. Mary Allen-Rippy

    I checked in on nest 7:15 am. Mom working on nest. There was a fish lying on one side. Little ones nestled
    Together in center of nest. Looked wet. Seemed to me the three bigger were protecting the little one.
    Dad had flown in and then left. Mom walked over to fish & began feeding. All four was up & about & looked

  11. Kris

    Mom and chicks sound asleep. Two little ones flutter. Mom wakes up, surveys the situation. All is well; she goes back to sleep. So glad she can get some rest.

  12. Denise Rahjes

    The entire family is on the nest and it is a delight to see the whole family together. Mom is relaxing and trying to sleep and all 4 babies are lined up close to her trying to get some shade. Dad is looking out on the horizon and every now and then closes his eyes for a power nap! It looks like a beautiful day in the area! Stay cool babies!!

  13. Denise Rahjes

    It looks like a beautiful evening at Stockton Lake. Looks like all the babies are relaxing and Mom is preening! Good night sweet osprey family!

  14. Kimberly

    I just started watching this nest and love it! The parents are great and the babies are adorable. I do have a question, though: there seems to be something hanging from the beak of one of the babies. Does anyone know what it is?

  15. Keith

    Those little “chickens” are getting huge. Not going to be a lot of room to move around in that nest before long. Glad to see everyone made it so far.

  16. Denise Rahjes

    Mom is sleeping on the side of the nest late tonight while 4 babies slumber in the interior and one gets up to go the bathroom and barely misses mom then settles back in the nest! Can’t believe how big Inky Dink has gotten. The little one has stolen my heart for sure! Sleep well Osprey family and stay safe tonight!

  17. Mary Allen-Rippy

    Mom on edge of nest providing shade for her babies. And it is really windy. Don’t know how she manages to
    Stay on

  18. Kris

    Oldest chick testing its wings this morning while the others eat. In less than a month (gauging from last year’s experience), they all should be fledged. Amazing!

  19. Denise Rahjes

    It’s nice to see Dad being able to provide so well for his large family here. There is another nest site that I have been watching but Dad is having a hard time finding fish in the past 24 hours and the fishing is competitive there. I think I might have to give up watching that nest because I hate to watch the struggle for him to feed his 3 chicks and the female. I know it is nature, but, unfortunately my heart has a tendency to get in the way!

    1. Mary Allen-Rippy

      Appears Dad has already began to bring in cushioning materials to build up nest for young’uns to
      Flap wings & prepare for flight in future.

  20. Mindy

    Kris couldn’t have said it better. The team work with the parents and raising the babies are incredible. I have watched a few around the states and just don’t see the awesome team work like I do with these two…..or maybe I am prejudice because I am from Missouri. LOL. So glad Inky Dink is so good!!!

  21. Kris

    About 20 minutes ago, all babies sleeping near rim of nest and Mom, standing sentinel on the edge of the nest, is getting restless, scanning the sky. Then, she flaps her wings, waking the little ones and moves to the middle of the nest. The chicks follow her and lo and behold, here comes Dad with a big fish. The intuition and teamwork between these two parents is awesome to witness.

  22. Denise Rahjes

    Looks like Mom and her babies will have a bit of a breeze on the nest today. There is lots of sunshine and the babies are still trying to use mom as their umbrella! It’s so amazing that there are 4 babies that all seem to be doing well (knock on wood)! I’ve read that it is typically difficult to raise 4 young osprey in a nest but Mom and Dad seem to be fortunate so far. Keeping my fingers crossed that all will go well again this year for the beautiful family!

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  24. Mary Allen-Rippy

    10:50 pm. Babies lined up settling for night. Mom sitting on edge of nest. Mom went back more to center
    & babies resettled to get closer to Mom.

  25. Mary Allen-Rippy

    5:53 pm. All four were looking out over edge of nest. Dad brought in a pc of material for nest
    And begin to move some twigs around.

  26. Keith

    At the rate these guys are growing, it’s going to get really crowded in that nest before long. Sure glad #4 looks like it’s going to make it now too.

  27. Mike Gordon

    Ok, Good news it seems to be back up now. Wow that was fast if all I have to do is threaten to go all “Rambo” on someone to get something done, I should have been doing this a long time ago.

  28. Mike Gordon

    Well the good news is everything is fine at the site there are no problems I’m able to contact the cameras and the site fine. The problem is our streaming service provider. I suspect they are aware of the problem and are taking measures to correct it so we will give them a little time to resolve the problem before going all “Rambo” on them. I’ll let you know if I hear anything.

  29. Mindy

    Can’t get into the site to see the birds. Been trying for 30 minutes and keep getting this message A communication error occurred: “Operation timed out” Network Error . Hope it is not down too long.

  30. Denise Rahjes

    Wow, the babies are growing by leaps and bounds and becoming more independent! It seems they grow by the hour!!

  31. Sharon T

    All the babies are cuddled up on one side of the nest and Mom is standing there on guard. It is either #1 or #2, I cannot tell, is soooooooo close to the edge. It’s little head is hanging over and it is looking down and around. I wish it would move back just a little. Would not want so see one fall out of the nest.

    1. Keith

      Well, aren’t you just watching those little guys like they were your very own? But, aren’t you supposed to be working? 😉


    I think these past cooler days with lots of fish coming back up near the surface was just what #4 needed! He looks good! Mom and dad are wonderful parents! =)

  33. Kris

    Dad and Mom feeding babies early this morning. All now look to be sated and are settling in for a nap. Dad is eating what’s left of the fish.

  34. Mary Allen-Rippy

    Dad flew in with fish 10:42 am. Babies all began moving toward toward him. Mom moved over to get fish & all
    Wanted to eat.

  35. Kris

    Oh my gosh! The babies look as if they’ve doubled in size since this afternoon! Thought for a second there was an intruder in the nest. Must be the constant feeding.


    Good morning . Pleasantly cool day for us in MO for a change. Good for babies and fishing. Watched Dad feeding little one for a while then mom took over. It looked like little one ate a lot and is now sleeping in the sunshine. I hope all successfully fledge and to migration again this year! Its not easy for the parents to raise 4 young! This nest makes me proud and happy to say it is here in MO.!!

    1. Denise Rahjes

      I agree that it is wonderful to have this nest here in Missouri! And, like you said, hopefully things will continue to go well for this family! It is truly such a wonder to witness mom and dad caring for their young – awesome parents!!

  37. john farris

    It’s hot today in SW MO. Mother is doing a great job of keeping them shaded. The little one looks to be doing better today.

  38. Sharon T

    Mom is doing a really good job of trying to shade all 4 babies. As fast as they are growing the task is becoming more difficult every day. She puffs up and spreads her wings and tail feathers. She makes quite the umbrella. I am so happy to see little “Inky” doing better. I was really concerned for him/her a few days ago.

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