A webcam set up near an osprey nest in Bremen, Maine, is documenting the hatching of three chicks.
The first of three eggs in the osprey nest, which sits atop a 30-foot tower at the Hog Island Audubon Camp, hatched on Thursday. An Explore.org spokesman confirmed that the second chick hatched on Friday morning (viewable in the video above), and said that the final chick is expected to hatch in the next three days.
The live feed is a collaboration between the National Audubon Society's Project Puffin and Explore.org, a philanthropic media organization that hosts wildlife cameras from zoos, beaches and natural habitats around the world.
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Viewers will be able to remotely watch the baby chicks as they are fed, grow and learn to fly. The female osprey laid the first of the three eggs on April 29.
The camera will run during daylight hours until the osprey family flies south for the winter in September. The Explore.org website indicates that there are plans to add an infrared light source to the camera, which will enable continuous viewing, even at night.
The two adult birds, which return to this nest every year, have been nicknamed Steve and Rachel, after scientist and Audubon vice president Steve Kress and marine biologist Rachel Carson.
“We’re excited to give people a window into this wonderful world of birds, and we hope to inspire viewers everywhere to take actions that improve the planet for all its inhabitants,” Kress said.
Kress' work has been vital to reintroducing puffins and other marine bird species to Maine, while Carson's book, "Silent Spring," was influential in banning the use of DDT, a pesticide that poisoned the food chain and nearly drove many bird species, including ospreys, peregrine falcons and bald eagles, to extinction.
In 2011, a Ustream channel webcam was set up to observe a bald eagle nest on land near the Decorah Fish Hatchery in Iowa. Since then, thousands of people have tuned in to the channel every spring to watch bald eagle chicks hatch.