OSPREY CAM: Minn. Arboretum's avian duo gets global attention - KMSP-TV

OSPREY CAM: Minn. Arboretum's avian duo gets global attention

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The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's 24-hour stream isn't for the birds. In fact, the osprey cam has a huge following online that is attracting attention from across the globe.

The two birds will soon be parents, and they can be seen guarding their two eggs online. Followers from as far away as Holland and China are checking in on the progress thanks to the technology that is allowing people a chance to spy the nest at any time.

The arboretum in Chanhassen always offers the opportunity to spy some of the state's finest trees and flowers, but some new tenants recently flew in and quickly became famous.

"This is the ultimate in reality TV," said Barbara DeGroot. "Move over, Beverly Hills house wives. We've got the bird cam."

The camera catches two magnificent birds -- a mom and dad osprey who are clearly expecting, but the bird's-eye view is only available on the Internet.

"We want to respect the birds' daily habits," DeGroot explained. "Too many people would obviously be disturbing to them."

That's why the arboretum won't reveal the exact location to the public. Instead, DeGroot's team built a 40-foot pole and mounted a camera next to the nest in March.

"We're also learning that technology, if used correctly, can bring us closer to nature," she said.

Since the camera went up, the streaming views and traffic on their website are exploding thanks to visitors from all over the world.

"They're keeping track of the daily life of these two birds, so they're becoming really connected with them," DeGroot explained.

The big screen inside the visitor's center has become a hot spot for bird watchers who visit the arboretum as well.

Ospreys, which are also known as seahawks, were once on the endangered species list. Today, the population is thriving and the Twin Cities is home to at least 60 nests. It's not yet known when the two eggs will hatch, but the arboretum may hold a naming contest in the near future.

If all goes well, DeGroot estimates that visitors could also get up-close and personal with other interesting creatures as well.

"It would be really cool to get some live footage of bees or humming birds during their migration," she said.

Online resources:

- Osprey cam: http://www.arboretum.umn.edu/ospreycam.aspx
- Minnesota Landscape Arboretum on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MnArboretum


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