The ospreys are back in town and fans of the popular Severna Park Osprey Cam can gear up for another popular viewing season. Comcast Business is providing the internet connection that will give thousands of wildlife enthusiasts an up-close and personal look at these amazing birds in their nest via a live video feed that is available for viewing at www.severnaparkospreys.com. The ospreys’ nest is atop a Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE)-constructed platform outside Severna Park High School.
This is the sixth year that local residents Mark and Heather Jeweler – apprentice and master raptor rehabilitators respectively – are collaborating with Comcast Business to provide connectivity for the live broadcast that is made possible by HDOnTap, which donated the camera, solar and battery equipment.
“Our nonprofit, Maryland Raptor Conservation Center, is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of sick, injured or orphaned birds of prey, and educating the public about them,” said Heather Jeweler. “So, this nest cam is a great outreach to the community. Through the support of incredible partners like Comcast Business, BGE and HDOnTap, we’re able to provide wildlife enthusiasts the opportunity to watch these amazing birds as they nest.”
Ospreys are large, diurnal, fish-eating birds of prey that are black or brown on their upper parts and grayish on their head and underparts. These birds are unique among North American raptors for their diet of live fish and the ability to dive into the water to catch them. The ospreys’ outer toe is reversible, allowing them to grasp prey with two toes in front and two behind, which is particularly helpful when grabbing slippery fish. Osprey pairs are generally monogamous and often mate for life. The male selects a nesting site in a dead tree, on a cliff or on a man-made structure in or near the water. The pair collects sticks and other nesting materials together, but the female generally arranges the nest, which is large and bulky.
In 2014, the ospreys lost their home on a light pole that was removed during the construction of Severna Park High School. When the ospreys returned the following spring to find their nest gone, they tried building a new one atop a construction crane, and later settled on a nearby live utility pole. Mark and Heather, who had admired the nesting pair for years, reached out to form a partnership with BGE, Comcast Business and HDOnTap – giving the ospreys a long-term nesting location and providing a livestream from it.
“Throughout the years, this nest cam has been such a great outreach to the community and Comcast Business is proud to again partner with the Jewelers to provide fast, reliable and secure internet service that will continue to enable nature lovers throughout Severna Park and beyond to watch these amazing birds as they nest,” said Dan Carr, vice president of Comcast Business in Comcast’s beltway region.
The osprey cam will remain live until September 2021 – through egg laying, incubation and hatching, and until the chicks fledge (take their first flight).