Osprey Recovery Program

Live Osprey Cam

Liberty Utilities and Mid Central Contractors invite you to view our live video stream of nesting osprey at Stockton Lake. The pair typically arrive mid-March to raise their young before returning south for the winter in late August. The live stream can be accessed below.

  Osprey Live Stream


Information about Osprey

Ospreys are an uncommon migrant to Missouri. They are listed as an endangered species in our neighboring state, Illinois, and are listed as a species of concern in Missouri. Ospreys are up to 24 inches long, with a 5 to 6 foot wingspan. They are midway between eagle and large hawk size. They eat almost exclusively the fish they have caught. Also called “fish hawks” or “fish eagles,” the ospreys usually fly back and forth over- and 50 to 200 feet above- the water while searching for fish. When an osprey spies a fish, it hovers a moment before diving and plunging into the water feet first. Often it will completely submerge except for the wings. Ospreys live about 7-10 years but have been known to live for 25.Osprey usually nest near water on a tall structure, such as a tree or rocky bluff. Like bald eagles, they generally mate for life. Nests are built of sticks and other materials. Two to four eggs are produced and hatch in about five weeks. The chicks fledge after about nine weeks and both parents care for the young.

Source: Missouri Department of Conservation

Why did Liberty Utilities build a nesting platform for the Osprey?

Liberty’s decision to build a nesting box for the pair is a result of the pair’s continued efforts to build their nest on transmission towers and Liberty’s desire to help the pair establish a safe nesting alternative. The live video feed is not only for the viewing enjoyment of the community, but also to confirm the bird’s acceptance of their nesting alternative so it can be utilized at other locations in the Liberty system where this is occurring.

Why did crews relocate the nest?

By relocating the nest, Liberty increased the likelihood the pair would adopt the new nesting site. Liberty’s willingness to protect these endangered birds and create a safe nesting location is what conservation is all about.

Nesting platform specifics

The nesting box is a 4-feet by 4-feet platform located approximately 70 feet high at a distance of approximately 100 feet from the transmission lines. The camera(s) utilize solar power and are equipped with infrared technology for night viewing.

Peregrine Falcon Recovery Program

Liberty Utilities has installed two peregrine falcon nesting boxes on stacks at our power generation plants with another planned in the near future. This is part of our continuing collaboration with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). MDC is initiating a statewide nesting box placement project to foster peregrine falcon recovery in Missouri. Peregrine falcons are listed as endangered in the state.

Historically, peregrines nested in small numbers on bluffs along the Mississippi, Missouri, and Gasconade rivers. By the late 1800s, only a few pairs remained in the state. Many of the peregrines living now in Missouri’s urban centers were captive- raised and use nesting boxes and other suitable locations on tall buildings for their eggs. The tall stacks of power plants make for ideal nesting box locations.

At this time, there are 14 active falcon boxes in Missouri, meaning there are 28 individual falcons that nest in the state. Eight of the fourteen nesting sites are at power generating plants. Liberty Utilities is hopeful a nesting pair will soon use the boxes placed at the power plants.

Photo courtesy of Missouri Department of Conservation

Information about Peregrine Falcons

Powerful and fast-flying, peregrine falcons catch medium-sized birds in the air with swift, spectacular dives, called “stoops.” Their diet consists primarily of other birds. In urban areas, peregrines hunt starlings, pigeons, and other city birds as they watch for prey from high perches. The peregrine falcon is a very fast flier, averaging 25-34 mph in traveling flight, and reaching speeds up to 69 mph in direct pursuit of prey. During its spectacular hunting stoop from heights of over 0.62 miles, the peregrine may reach speeds of 200 mph as it drops toward its prey. Adults are blue-gray above with barred underparts and a dark head with thick sideburns. Juveniles are heavily marked, with vertical streaks instead of horizontal bars on the breast. Nests in the wild are typically a “scrape” with accumulated debris on ledges and cliffs and in old tree cavities. Eggs, numbering three to four, are typically laid from April through June. Incubation lasts 29-32 days, and it takes 35-42 days for the young to fledge. Length: 15-21 inches (tip of bill to tip of tail); wingspan: 38-45 inches. Females are larger.

Source: MDC and the Cornell Lab