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April 12, 2016

Jersey Shore Osprey cam goes live again outside Atlantic City

Bird's-eye view of nest at wildlife refuge

The ospreys are back, streaming live, 24/7, on a nesting post at Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge after being offline for awhile.

Their nest is atop a platform, installed on a salt marsh, bordering glimmering Reeds Bay, with the best possible view of Atlantic City.

And while the broader view of the horizon is stellar, it’s the close-up shots into the nest that have sucked Stockton University employee Susan Allen in to watch – and rewatch – the osprey cam for the past two years.

After all, the mascot for Stockton, where she has also studied, is the osprey.

“It’s awesome to see the Stockton mascot up close. They were endangered when the osprey became the school’s mascot, and now they are not.

“Yesterday, for the first time, standing in the driveway of my house, I heard a call and then I saw one flying, a first from my house,” said Allen, who lives close to a coastal creek not fare from the refuge.

An avid nature watcher, Allen spends hours afield in her shore environs, but the osprey cam provides a bird’s-eye view not otherwise visible from the ground.

“You can see things you can’t see otherwise. You can see into the nest, observe their behavior, see the male bringing back a fish or nesting material,” added Allen, a gifted wildlife photographer.

Ospreys are also known as sea hawks or fish hawks due to their habitat and food.

They have a fascinating life history, which is explained in detail by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, including recordings of the birds' distinctive calls.

The Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey and Friends of Forsythe are partners in the osprey cam project.

Ben Wurst, the habitat program manager for the foundation said the camera helps to engage people throughout the world and highlight the foundation's work in assuring safe nesting places for ospreys.