Georgia raptors star in bird version of TV’s ‘Real World’
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A pair of ospreys along the Georgia coast is captivating viewers watching their daily routine on a webcam.
So far this year, the two raptors on Skidaway Island have renovated their home, fought off an intruder, and mated, with the cameras rolling, The Savannah Morning News reported .
Cameras trained on their nest send a live feed to the internet. Volunteers remotely control the pan, tilt and zoom on two of the three cameras, offering commentary and highlight rolls on Facebook and Twitter.
Eagles originally built the nest they occupy, high in an aging loblolly pine on a golf course. In fact, the cameras were installed in August 2014 in the hopes of capturing eagles on the web cam.
Now that its occupied by a nesting pair of raptors, viewers are tuning in.
“I’ve been reporting starlings and bluebirds, and some core followers have been there,” said Becky Racaniello, who operates the cameras several hours a day from her home in Florida. “As soon as both ospreys arrived, bam — the Twitter fans shot back up to the 4,800s.”
Volunteer camera operator Mary Lambright of Savannah said she’s hoping there will be chicks to watch later this spring, around May.
Ospreys eat only fish and the male has been courting the female with his catches, though they’ve struggled with the long-taloned hand off, the Savannah newspaper reported. Because they’re strict pescatarians, other bird species don’t avoid the nest the way they tended to when owls were there. And there’s plenty to hear as well as see on the nest cams.
“They’re so loud,” Lambright said. “The female is sitting on the nest calling forever, wanting her fish delivery.”
Ospreys are large slender hawks, brown above and white below with a wingspan of up to nearly 6 feet.
“They are beautiful and they’re our coastal birds,” Lambright said. “You’ll see them on channel markers out in the river.”
Information from: Savannah Morning News, http://www.savannahnow.com