In 2001, the Friends of Blackwater embarked on a new project whereby they mounted a small camera on an osprey nesting platform near the Wildlife Drive at Blackwater Refuge. Images were then wirelessly transmitted to a monitor at the Visitor Center and also to the Friends of Blackwater website. Every season since 2001, the Friends have operated the osprey cam and allowed visitors at the refuge, and on the Friends' website, to witness the miracle of seeing numerous osprey chicks hatch and fledge.
Due to the overwhelming success of the osprey cam, the Friends decided to mount a camera over an active bald eagle nest on the refuge property beginning in 2004. The live eagle cam has proven even more popular than the osprey cam, and numerous eaglets have hatched and fledged on the cam.
Currently the eagle cam is live from December through July (when the eagles are at the nest), and the osprey cam is live throughout the year, even though the ospreys are only on the nest from March through September. After the ospreys migrate to South and Central America in the fall, bald eagles take over the osprey platform and use it as a riverside perch, so the Friends leave the osprey cam on all year to allow cam watchers to see the visiting bald eagles.
Visit the Friends of Blackwater Cam Central page to find links to the cams, as well as links to the cam web logs and past image galleries.
Also, the Cam Central page provides visitors with fact sheets on both raptor species, as well as an "Eagle Watchers Guide" for all ages and a "Project Osprey Curriculum" guide for teachers.
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The Delmarva peninsula fox squirrel (DFS) is a large tree squirrel that lives in mature hardwood and pine forests throughout the Delmarva peninsula. Recently removed from the endangered species list, this squirrel is still a rarity on the eastern shore, with Blackwater refuge hosting the largest natural population.