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University of Victoria osprey cam offers bird's-eye view of campus raptors

08/03/2015 12:30 EDT | Updated 08/03/2016 05:59 EDT
They moved in one summer about 10 years ago, and they've been back every season.

Each summer a family of osprey makes its home on top of a 24-metre tower that houses floodlights for the University of Victoria's athletic fields, attracting photographers and onlookers.

Now curious folks no longer have to crane their necks to see the university's resident raptors — they can log on to their computers and watch at their leisure.

That's because a camera has been installed to broadcast a live feed of the osprey, which are also known as fish hawks.

A day in the life of an osprey

Viewers can watch the live feed to look at the nest and see the ospreys' activities, like delivering food and defending the nest.

"I'm fascinated by all the different kinds of fish that come in," said raptor photographer Sarah Blackstone, who led the initiative to set up the webcam.

"I've seen the male bring in koi from somebody's fish pond, I've seen giant flounders ... I've seen little tiny fish you'd think weren't even worth the effort," she said.

This year the male and female osprey have two chicks in their nest, and within the next few weeks they will develop wing feathers and learn to fly and hunt.

Blackstone, a special projects advisor to the provost at the university, said the osprey cam has been a hit on and off campus.

"I wander around the building where I work here and I see it up in the corner of people's computers — they're keeping their eye out to see what's going on," she said.

View the webcam and learn more about the osprey family.

To hear the full interview click on the audio labelled: UVic osprey webcam

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