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 1,470

  1. Sharon T

    I just check in and only can see 3 babies. Unless one is in the shade of Mom. Maybe one did finally make the big leap!!!

  2. Kris

    So eager to see the little ones take off. Today, one of them twice lifted out of camera range — once above and once to the side — but landed back in the nest both times so I suppose that doesn’t count.

  3. Kris

    Leftovers for lunch. Mom has dredged up two partial fishes from within the sticks and is feeding herself and one chick. (The others aren’t interested.) Bet those fish are nice and ripe in this heat!

  4. Mindy

    When all for of them are standing up and close to each other is when I can tell which one in Inky Dink because I believe it is the smallest of the bunch. So glad they are all doing so well.

  5. Denise Rahjes

    Happy to see all 4 babies this morning flapping their wings on this beautiful day at Stockton Lake! It’s been quite a long time since I’ve been able to figure out which one is Inky Dink! They are all so mature now and ready for take-off soon!

  6. Denise Rahjes

    Just checking in on the family for the last time tonight and I am happy to see that all looks well in Stockton and I am keeping my fingers crossed that it stays this way! Both of Luther’s chicks at the Belwood nest in Canada were taken by Great Horned Owls – the last one taken just this evening and last night a chick was attacked on the Hog Island nest by a Great Horned Owl also. Sleep well and stay safe our lovely Stockton Osprey family and hoping to see you all tomorrow.

  7. Mary Allen-Rippy

    Wings flapping this afternoon. Seems like others sometime take a beating including Mom
    I can’t tell who’s who anymore

  8. Mary Allen-Rippy

    I’ve seen that a few times in last 3-4 days. Another one is doing same thing but not quite as strong.

  9. john farris

    We have lift off! One of them was practicing flapping his wings and lifted off the nest several inches a few times. It won’t be long!

  10. Mary Allen-Rippy

    Really windy nest area today. Hope young’uns are able to stay on nest while testing wings. All six on nest a few minutes ago!

  11. Denise Rahjes

    Looks like Mom is on her perch keeping watch while the kids slumber in their nest on this beautiful summer evening! Good night Osprey family and keep safe.

    1. Mary Allen-Rippy

      Seems as if flight control should give an all clear for take off to the two oldest soon. Wings look very
      Strong and wide! Beautiful!

  12. Kris

    Entire family on nest. Mom, then Dad, feeding chicks. These youngsters don’t seem to be in any hurry to leave!

  13. Denise Rahjes

    Babies were all sleeping peacefully and then here comes Mom to the nest and starts tidying things up and moving sticks around. When the sticks start landing on the babies they all decide they have had enough of mom’s nestorations and get up and start moving around. Mom disrupted their nap time! I can just hear mom saying “you kids need to keep this room clean!”

  14. Sharon T

    On the 4th my husband and I took a road trip and drove down to Stockton Lake. We had never been there before. We stood on the dam, waved and yelled “HI to the Osprey family”, where ever they were nested. LOL It is beautiful and peaceful down there. No wonder the Osprey’s love it and keep coming back.

    1. john farris

      You were a long ways from the ospreys, they are just east of Ruark campground. There are many other nest around the lake w/o cameras.

    2. Becky

      Love it, Sharon! You made me chuckle. Yeah, the nest is quite a bit further south from the dam, but if osprey hearing is as good as its vision, they might have heard you and it’s the thought that counts….and yes, it is a beautiful, peaceful lake. 🙂

  15. Mary Allen-Rippy

    Checked back. Dad joined nest. Oldest on edge flapping wings. Others standing watch. Interesting!!

  16. Mary Allen-Rippy

    8:40 pm. Amusing on nest. Four young’uns were snuggled on nest. Mom began flapping wings
    Suddenly all four were up and began flapping wings. Maybe Mom has decided it is getting close to time
    To fly!!!!

    1. gail

      One is doing a lot of wingersizing. A few years ago at another nest we had one doing that on a very windy day and accidentally took flight.
      If I remember correctly, he didn’t come back to the nest for 24-plus hours(?) can’t remember for sure how long….do you oldollady?…..
      Scared us to death!!

  17. Mary Allen-Rippy

    11:30 am. Mom & Dad sitting on each end of utility pole. Two oldest are really testing wings. Raise a small
    Amount above nest. Really wanting to fly I think.

  18. Denise Rahjes

    Oops! Now I can see there are still 4 babies in nest, one was hiding behind a sibling! Looks like it is raining on the nest right now.

  19. Mary Allen-Rippy

    Mom came back to nest. Feeding time again. But I still saw two birds on utility pole after she came back
    None of them seemed alarmed.

  20. Denise Rahjes

    Happy 4th Osprey friends! Just checking in on the nest before I head for bed myself and it looks like Mom is sitting on her perch while 3 babies sleep and one baby preens itself. Guess I shouldn’t call them babies anymore since they are almost the size of mom and dad now! Won’t be long until they try out their sets of wings! Good night sweet Osprey family!

  21. Mary Allen-Rippy

    1:45 pm. Two oldest sitting on edge of nest. One was really exercising its wings. Difficult to tell which is which
    Mom shielding youngest from sun and other one was staying close to Mom.
    Does anyone have any knowledge as to male or female markings. Would be interesting to know.

    1. oldollady

      there is little difference in male and female. altho the females have the necklace-brown chest feathers.and the females-even as chicks are bigger. i hope that helps 🙂

    2. oldollady

      another thing–the males will usually fledge first,and spend lots of time off the nest. the females like to be fished for,often wail til dad leaves before they do, to migrate. However on this nest in the past i have noticed all chicks leaving nest-do not know where they go-but the dont often come back. lets see what they do this year. i love this nest

  22. Denise Rahjes

    Dad just flew in with a fish and then Mom flew in directly behind him with some nesting material and landed directly on one of the babies! LOL!! It’s definitely a “full house” at the nest! Dad is eating the fish and nobody else seems to be interested so they must all have full crops! Have a nice day everybody!

  23. Denise Rahjes

    Looks like Mom is spending more time off of the nest now. Maybe she is helping Dad fish. These 4 have gotten so big and are becoming more and more anxious to explore the big world!

  24. oldollady

    i agree,this is one of the best nests. they raised 4 last year and 3 the year before. they are lucky dad is very involved. yes the belwood nest is a l;earning experience, and i pray for them

    1. Denise Rahjes

      Yes, we are lucky to watch a nest with a Dad that is so good at providing for his family and for being so involved. I also find that the Dad at the Boulder Colorado nest is a very involved Dad, too and loves to hang out with his family! I started watching this Stockton cam last year and honestly, for some reason I never thought there would be Ospreys in Missouri but this nest is a gem and I’m so glad to have found it!

      1. Marlaine Meeker

        I first noticed these strange birds about 3-4 years ago on Stockton Lake. I thought they were Ospreys, but like you ,”How can that be!” so I called the Mo. Dept. of Conservation and sure enough they confirmed there are Ospreys on Stockton Lake. I know of 3 nests. Stockton Lake is a jewel. I am blessed to live here. Oh, we sometimes have Pelicans,too. Who would have thought. I really enjoy your observations and posts Denise Rahjes.

  25. Denise Rahjes

    A very windy day for our Osprey family! Right now it is suppertime on the nest for the babies! Have any of you been watching the Belwood cam in Canada? Mom died on 6/18 so Dad is raising the 2 babies. He is a wonderful provider and brings in lots of fish for the babies. Everybody is hoping for the best for this family. They are not sure how mom died – perhaps she was electrocuted but they are doing a necropsy of a female osprey that was found close to this nest and are assuming it was her. Makes me feel even more happy about this Stockton nest so far this year and what a success it has been. Knock on wood that everything continues to go well! Have a good evening Osprey friends!

  26. Mary Allen-Rippy

    12:15 pm. Mom was standing on edge of nest and really talking to or about something. I didn’t see
    Dad or any shadows or birds flying in camera scope. Really windy. Young’uns lined up side by side close to Mom

    1. Denise Rahjes

      That is funny we were both checking the cam at the same time! It was fun to watch mom feeding the little ones a late meal before bedtime!!

  27. Mary Allen-Rippy

    Mom feeding! Wing span on oldest is looking really wide. Color of two oldest is looking more solid & less
    Variegated. Difficult to tell who is who.

  28. Denise Rahjes

    Late night meal for the babies! Mom is just finishing up the last feeding of the day before everyone gets tucked in for bed! They are so big now it is incredible!

  29. Denise Rahjes

    Breakfast is ready and Inky Dink is now being served! Have a good day Osprey friends! It looks like another beautiful day at Stockton Lake!

  30. Denise Rahjes

    It looks like a beautiful evening for Mom and her babies on the nest! The scenery is just beautiful and the babies look happy and well cared for, as usual! Sleep tight Mom, Dad and babies and sweet osprey dreams to all!

  31. Mindy

    The poor birds are getting pounded with rain. It appears the 2 older (Glory & Stormy) are helping mom protect the other two (Charm & Inky Dink). It is pretty cool to see this. I hope the weather clears soon for them.

    1. Mary Allen-Rippy

      Thanks for writing names. I had not written down & was having difficulty remembering
      It should be getting close to time older ones can begin feeding themselves. Dad will be busy bringing
      Fish to them.

      1. Sharon T

        I am looking forward to the little ones feeding themselves. Should be interesting to watch them wrestle with their food.

  32. Denise Rahjes

    A fresh fish was just brought in and is flopping while 3 of the babies get lined up to get their share of breakfast! They have grown so quickly and are really becoming much more coordinated as they meander around the nest and flap their wings! I will miss them when they fledge so I am going to enjoy every moment I can watching them. Mom and Dad are the best parents!

  33. Sharon T

    Lots of movement going on in the nest today. One of the chicks is walking around up on it’s feet and flapping wings like crazy. Working those muscles!!

  34. Mary Allen-Rippy

    I believe it is No. 1 really testing wings this AM. 9:30
    Almost as big as Mom. Mom on edge of nest as they all want to be close to edge. Who wouldn’t want
    To look out over the beautiful scenery!

    1. Sharon T

      #1 was born 6 weeks ago today. If indeed they fledge in 9 weeks, we do not have long to go now. It is really getting exciting!!

  35. Sharon T

    Babies are getting some alone time. One parent is watching from the utility pole. I figure we might be seeing a little more of them being left alone for short periods. They are so cute when they stretch their LONG wings out and their LONG legs. Like Denise said, they are getting so big now you cannot tell who the little runt was. I am so glad.

  36. Denise Rahjes

    I agree with Kimberly about the joy of watching this family after all the sad events that have happened at several other nest sites! Last night it was a joy to watch Dad feed one of the babies and I think it was Inky Dink. All of them have gotten so big now that it’s hard to tell who is who! Let’s all hope that this nest continues to thrive so all these babies can fledge!

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