Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to clarify the type of bird an osprey is.
A visiting male and female osprey touched down in a nest at the Boulder County Fairgrounds Sunday, exciting live stream camera viewers who caught the birds snacking on fish and prodding around the nest throughout the day.
Two cameras, one above the nest and below it, capture sound and images of the birds’ haven, which is located on the east side of the Cattail pond on the Boulder County Fairgrounds. The cameras were set up by Boulder County Parks and Open Space, which moderates comments on a web page about the raptors.
The birds return to their nest structure each year, therefore park officials said they hope to see the resident male and female home again, but expressed enthusiasm about the visitor sighting and the breeding season ahead.
“The osprey seen yesterday are visitors and are not the residents,” the moderator wrote. “But, amazingly the male that has been on the nest yesterday and today looks very similar to our male resident. Could it be offspring from prior years? It is fun to wonder and think that they are sometimes, he seems super comfortable on the nest.”
In 2003 an osprey pair first nested on a light pole at the Boulder County Fairgrounds. The birds began coming back to the site each season.
For the creatures’ safety, wildlife biologist moved the nest in 2009 east of the Cattail Pond, according to Boulder County’s website. An osprey with a metal band around its leg appeared in 2014 and 2015 and was believed to have not been a resident, but to have lost her mate and in search of a new partner.
Following the activity Sunday, dozens of residents shared comments and screen shots of the birds, including one with a fish firmly grasped in the talons of a bird, which one viewer deemed “lunch time.”
On Monday, the nest appeared empty and wavering slightly in the wind for most of the day, but just before 6 p.m., an osprey flitted into view and stood there for several seconds before soaring off.
Boulder County Parks and Open Space encourages nature lovers to check out the live streaming and share their questions and comments with those watching.
“It is a fun way to interact with other osprey lovers and we hope that you learn something about them too,” the moderator wrote. “Our goal is to both have some fun and be educational at the same time.”
The osprey can be viewed on the Boulder County Parks and Open Space website at bouldercounty.org/open-space/management/osprey-camera.