Empire District Electric Company and Mid Central Contractors invite you to celebrate the return of osprey to Stockton Lake. Through a live video stream the birds can be viewed as they prepare for the nesting season. The live stream can be accessed from the Empire District homepage at www.empiredistrict.com. Select Osprey Camera under Announcements.
In February 2015, Empire District Electric Company crews moved the osprey nest from one of their transmission towers to a newly built nesting box. By relocating the nest, Empire increased the likelihood the pair would adopt the new nesting site. Ospreys typically mate for life and will return to the same nesting site each year. Since then, viewers have been able to watch the pair raise seven young, three in 2015 and four in 2016.
The nesting 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 ospreys are not bothered at night by the infrared light illumination. The cameras are powered by two solar panels.
The pair had a nest burn in 2014 after coming in contact with an energized electric line. The fire also did damage to the transmission tower and line, interrupting electric service. The new home for the pair of osprey is meant to be a safe nesting alternative while also increasing Empire’s service reliability by helping to avoid outages our customer’s experience. The live video feed is not only for the enjoyment of the community to watch, but also to confirm the bird’s acceptance of this nesting alternative so it can be utilized at other locations in the Empire system where this issue is occurring.
Enjoy this brief peek into the lives of this osprey family! But, please be aware, at times, nature can be difficult to watch.