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 1,634

  1. Becky

    September 16…..back to the lake in the boat with binoculars. Did not see any activity near the camera nest. Saw 4 vultures on the poles near the other nest across the cove. But boy, did we ever get an osprey show a little farther north. There is a cove where we saw an osprey last year and we went to check on it on Saturday. There were 3 ospreys and they were busy fishing. One dove into the lake and came up with a fish and flew to a dead tree limb to eat it. Another took a dive and flapped around, but came up empty-handed. A short time later, it took another dive and caught a fish and flew right up over our boat. The fish was carried in the classic osprey head-first, aerodynamic direction. Then a third osprey arrived and dove into the water, struggled a bit, but came up with nothing. It flew around a bit before taking another dive and then it also caught a fish. What an amazing show they put on for us!!! Glad to see they are still in the area before heading south.

  2. Becky

    Back to Stockton Lake this weekend. One osprey on the nest on Saturday. Four crows on the nest on Sunday….probably looking for remnants of fish.

  3. Mary Allen-Rippy

    Becky, thanks for update. I keep checking camera. I miss being able to look in on family.
    I do appreciate being able to view the nest and family for the weeks we had.

  4. Becky

    Update from Stockton Lake….. We went to the lake with boat and binoculars to check on our feathered friends (also to camp and swim, lol). Happy to report that we saw 6 ospreys. Two appeared to be from “our” nest. One looked like an adult, but it was all wet, sitting on a tree limb closer to the water, so I’m not sure. Might have been one of the offspring. Also saw one up on the perch by the nest that was dry and it appeared to be one of the younger birds.

    Across the cove from the camera nest is another osprey nest and there was an osprey sitting on the top of the electric pole nearby and another osprey flew in and landed on the nest. A little further to the east is another nest up in the power lines and there were 2 ospreys sitting on the nest up there.

    I’m sure there were others back in the foliage, but thought you might like to hear that they are still around and doing well.

    1. Denise Rahjes

      Thanks, Becky, for the update! Glad to hear that you saw so many osprey in the area! I miss not being able to check in and see the family periodically!

  5. Mike Gordon


    The cameras went off around 2:40am this morning, I was hoping they would come back up on their own. However so far that has not been the case. So we will need to make a trip over. I can see my system in Greenfield so I know it’s a site problem. We will get to it as soon as we can squeeze it in.


  6. Mary Allen-Rippy

    11:45 am. Mom on nest. One kiddo on perch. When Dad brings fish, he always had the head removed.
    Guess he needs to teach the kiddos how to do that (lol).

  7. gail

    Oh my!! Kiddo has a live flopping fish on the edge of the nest.
    And now he’s gone….hope he didn’t drop it off the side.

  8. Mary Allen-Rippy

    7:20pm. Mom on nest. One kiddo on perch w/big fish. Having trouble balancing & eating so flew off
    Re greenery, I have also wondered about the purpose.

    1. Charley

      Most likely to rid the nest of parasites I know other big birds does this. I have watched this nest ever since they laid their eggs
      really enjoyed watching them work together raising their family.

    2. Kris

      I found this on a website related to eagles http://www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/eagle/NestAbout1.html

      Eagles, along with several other hawks, add sprigs of greenery to their nests throughout the spring and summer. No one knows why they do this, but scientists have some ideas. 1) may serve as an insect repellent 2) may be a clear signal to other eagles that this nest is well-tended so they better keep away 3) may provide a bit of camouflage 4) may help keep inside of nest clean.

      1. Sharon T

        Really interesting, Kris. Thank you for checking that out. I have been wondering about the greenery as well. There is some new in the nest this morning, too.

  9. gail

    One on the nest….parent brings in a fish and is followed in by another chick….first one gets to keep the fish…….

  10. Denise Rahjes

    Well, the baby that got the fish that Mom brought in was having difficulty eating it so left it laying in the nest and the baby on the perch swooped down and was thinking about taking the fish, but Mom intervened, got the fish and started tearing away at it. In the meantime, Dad comes in with a headless fish and the baby that couldn’t figure out how to eat the fish took this one from Dad! Mom feeds the other baby and is still feeding since it’s a whopper of a fish and looks to be a little challenging to tear apart. These kids are so entertaining to watch!

  11. Denise Rahjes

    Perfect timing for me to check in! One baby was on the nest squawking away and probably ready to eat and just like that, here comes Mom flying to the nest with a big fish and she drops it and the baby grabs it. The other baby that was hanging out on the utility pole saw Mom come in with the fish and flew directly to the perch but too late because the fish is already being eaten by the other baby! Mom is panting now but I’m not surprised – it is a huge fish! So good to see mom and 2 kids on the nest!

  12. Denise Rahjes

    Mom or Dad on the perch looking out and scanning the area for the kiddos! Hope they aren’t getting into too much trouble! One is also hanging out on the utility pole!

  13. Denise Rahjes

    Three on the nest and one is eating and one is on the utility pole! So good to see the babies on this beautiful evening!

  14. Mary Allen-Rippy

    10:20 pm. Gail, I have so enjoyed watching this nest & keeping tabs on them. Worry during storms
    And check afterward to make sure they are ok. I’ve also enjoyed reading everyone’s comments.
    It’s as if we have all taken them into our hearts and embrace this family.

    May they all capture the wind beneath their wings when it is time to move on (I hope not too soon. Lol)
    And fly safely.

  15. Denise Rahjes

    Finally, I get to see Mom on the nest with one of her kids! It is so good to see them as it seems that every time I check in, I don’t see any of them! Have a safe day Osprey family! I bet Dad is busy trying to catch fish for all of you! Soon you will all be catching your own!

  16. Mary Allen-Rippy

    9:35 pm. Mom on perch nest empty. I wonder if Mom is protecting nest from predators or likes the
    Quietness of the night.

    1. gail

      Now seeing that two have fish and one fish was just taken by the third sibling….
      Parent came in and is trying to arrange an unruly stick…

  17. Sharon D.

    For a brief moment mom, dad and 3 babies were on the nest and the 4th on the perch. Now mom is feeding two of the babies.

  18. Denise Rahjes

    Mom on nest and one kiddo on the perch! Hoping for a good day full of fun and safe adventures for our osprey family!

  19. Mary Allen-Rippy

    7:10am. Mom & 2 kiddos on nest. One flew off. Looked like 2 pcs fish on nest another flew onto perch
    Maybe using nest as their breakfast table.

  20. Mary Allen-Rippy

    3:30 pm. Nest still empty. Difficult to catch them now. But I am extremely happy they were able to leave
    Nest and not have to suffer thru these hot, hot temps on nest

  21. gail

    I just saw a dark flash on the right side of the cam like a wing(?)….I wonder if someone is sitting on the cam…..

  22. Mary Allen-Rippy

    10:10 am. One kid on nest one on perch. Maybe Mom sent one in so she could take a break. One on perch
    Flew off but came back quickly.

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