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  • Location: City of Independence, Polk County, Oregon, United States
  • Source: City of Independence
  • Info: Live streaming webcam showing ospreys nesting in Oregon, United States. The webcam is focussed on the nest of a pair of breeding ospreys near the City of Independence and the Willamette River..

More Info: Most ospreys in Oregon migrate south beginning in late August, to over-winter in coastal areas of Mexico such as Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. Ospreys have been tracked from Oregon to wintering grounds as far south as Honduras. Biologists note an increasing number of ospreys now wintering in Oregon.

Individual members of adult osprey pairs migrate separately and winter at different locations, later reuniting around late February to March at the nest site and remaining until September. In Oregon, the ospreys breed statewide, except in arid treeless regions of the southeast part of the state. Nests are usually located within two miles of water with an accessible fish population.

There are 5 main factors which influence osprey populations : the abundance of suitable nest sites. food supply, human disturbance, man-made hazards and chemical contaminants.

The population of ospreys in Oregon declined drastically during the 1970s as the result of pesticide use. Their numbers have recovered and now ospreys are a common nesting species along the lower Columbia and Willamette Rivers and in the high lakes of central Oregon. The number of pairs nesting along the Willamette River between Eugene and Portland increased from 13 in 1976 to 78 in 1993. In 2001, there were to 234 pairs. In the Klamath Basin, osprey numbers appear to have stabilised.

Unlike most birds of prey, ospreys are tolerant of human activities and will build nests on almost any suitable structure close to water with an abundant supply of fish. Ospreys catch fish by hovering and then plunging up to 3 feet (1 meter) into the water to capture their prey. Their dense, oily feathers make them well suited to repel water and quickly regain flight. The male brings fish to the female throughout the incubation and nestling periods. An osprey pair raising two nestlings consumes about 375 pounds (170 kilograms) of fish during the breeding season. This means that the 234 pairs found along the Willamette River in 2001 probably consumed 88,000 pounds (40,000 kilograms) of fish during their six-month nesting season in Oregon.