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 1,635

  1. Becky

    Okay, don’t ask me why I was checking out the nest on the last day of January. I guess I got to thinking about and hoping for the ospreys to return in March. I looked at the time-lapse and around 2:00-3:00 pm there were 4 birds coming and going, so I guess the nest is still being used for a resting place and a look-out. 🙂

  2. Mary Allen-Rippy

    I have checked nest a couple times today. Appears one Osprey on perch. Is that possible. I thought they were all gone. Haven’t seen any turkey buzzards for awhile.

    1. Kris

      I checked the time-lapse feature and saw him too! He was on the perch for a long time preening his feathers in a high wind. I hope he has sailed for warmer climates by now.

  3. Becky

    Just returned from the lake. The birds put on a totally unexpected, but awesome show for us again. We were out looking for any remaining ospreys. Didn’t see any yesterday, but today we watched an eagle repeatedly swoop down over a flock of about 15 small black ducks that were out in the middle of the lake. The eagle was determined to snatch up a duck, but every time the eagle came close, all of the ducks “ducked” under the water. When the eagle would fly up, all of the ducks popped their heads back up above the surface until the eagle swooped down again and then they would all disappear under the water. It happened over and over and over again. Finally the eagle flew off with nothing.
    Then we came around a cove and spotted an osprey perched up high in a dead tree. It was the only one we saw after checking out four places where we have seen them before. There very well could be a few others still here, but we only saw the one.

    And then we got another show not too far from the osprey. An eagle was standing by the shore eating what were probably the remains of a fish. Not much left of whatever it was. The eagle flew up to the trees and landed on a limb, only to have five angry crows squawking at it. The crows finally flew off and then a turkey vulture flew down to the shore and began eating the remains that the eagle had left. The eagle didn’t do anything about the vulture so I am assuming it had its fill already. My goodness, so much goes on in nature that we don’t even know about unless we see it.

    1. Sharon

      I think they bug the Osprey’s too. Occasionally you will see them pulling on the tubes like they are trying to remove them. Not sure what they were supposed to be for.

  4. Mary Allen-Rippy

    Five big birds on nest. Two looked solid color feathers & three had light color tips on their wing feathers. Didn’t
    See any with red heads,?????

  5. Becky

    Back to the lake this weekend with boat and binoculars. Not as much osprey activity as last weekend, so maybe some are leaving. We saw one near the cove quite a bit north of the camera nest. It made 4 dives while we sat there with our anchor dropped. No fish caught though. North of that site quite a ways we saw 2 eagles soaring and searching.

    There is an eagle nest we have watched for the last 3-4 years. The first year we noticed it, there were eaglets in it and we continued to check it out when at the lake. Last year and this year it didn’t seem to be in use. We went to look at it yesterday and, ironically, there was in osprey sitting on a bare branch right next to the nest. So, only 2 ospreys sighted this weekend. Very well might have been more back up in the trees, but they will be heading south before long.

    1. Kris

      Thanks, Becky, for another update. Looks like winter is well on the way with your sightings reduced from nine a week ago to two this weekend. Will miss our Os and hope for their safe return next spring.

  6. Sharon

    Heavy fog this morning. Cannot even see the lake. The poor osprey nest is definitely not the same. Dang old vultures have pooped all over it and the perch. The osprey’s are neat and tidy birds.

  7. Becky

    I know there has not been much, if any, osprey activity at the nest (only crows and vultures),but rest assured the ospreys are doing well at Stockton Lake. We just spent the weekend there with our boat and binoculars and I kept count of what we were seeing. We had a total of 13 ospreys sightings and I am certain there were at least 9 different ospreys based on the locations we found them at. They are the same coves and electric poles where we have seem them for the last 3 years. These other locations are quite a bit west and north of the camera nest. Four of the osprey were within approx 1/4 mile of the camera nest and we saw them at the same time, so I am sure there were 4.
    We witnessed 4 dives for fish with 2 of them successful.
    The most amazing thing happened as we were about to leave the lake. We were at the location quite a bit west of the camera nest. We saw an osprey dive and come up with a fish. An eagle appeared and flew after the osprey, trying to get it to drop the fish, I suppose. They flew overhead, around and around, the eagle chasing the osprey. The osprey was able to fly up and away and then circle back where it had come from. The eagle tried to follow, but the osprey was putting distance between them and finally the eagle flew off to the south. Unbelievable!!!!! What a show they put on for us.

    1. Mary Allen-Rippy

      Becky, thank you for your beautiful story of seeing the ospreys & the eagle/Osprey entertainment.
      I do miss seeing them on nest. However, will look forward to seeing them nest year.

    2. Sharon

      WOW………..what a story. Wish we lived closer so that we could experience them first hand as well. Thank you so much for the update. It is good to know that they are all doing well. I too am looking forward to watching again next year. Take care to all of my Osprey friends, people and birds alike. And until next time……….have a wonderful year.

      1. Marlaine

        All is forgiven. Not the first or last time it’s been misspelled and don’t ask how many times it’s been mispronounced. What were my parents thinking.

  8. Becky

    We went to Stockton Lake for Labor Day weekend, out in the boat more on the north end, and of course, osprey watching. We saw eight sightings, but they fly so fast and over treetops, so I don’t know how many there actually were. We witnessed four dives for fish, but all seemed to be unsuccessful. Three of the flybys were right in front of us and over our boat. I like to think they were saying “Hi!”

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