geese in a nest
Photo by Town of Osoyoos

Canada geese take over osprey nest in live video feed

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The osprey (AKA the sea hawk) is a formidable bird of prey, but apparently it’s no match for the Canada Goose. Need proof? A video feed from this spring that was meant to showcase a family of osprey revealed, in a surprising twist, that geese had taken over.

The saga began when the town of Osoyoos, B.C., set up a camera to film activity in an osprey nest. The camera’s livefeed, which streams on YouTube, tends to be quite popular and has been revived three years running. This year, the camera’s feed went live on March 31, and by April 5, there was already an egg sitting in the nest. There was just one problem: it was a goose egg. Geese had taken over the nest, and the osprey were nowhere to be seen.

The Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program soon posted a message informing the public that geese sometimes take an osprey nest early in the season. The message said that the geese would either hatch their eggs and leave before the osprey returned, or attempt to keep the nest, which could lead to a confrontation between the two birds.

Back in April, Steve Shannon, an community programmer with the town who helped set up the project, told the Osoyoos Times, “I don’t honestly know what’s going to happen when the osprey returns.”

By early May, the geese had hatched several young at the nest, and the osprey appeared to have left to start another nest somewhere else. However, after the geese and their young left the original nest, the osprey returned, and there was an osprey egg in the nest by May 15. Now, if you tune into the live video feed, you’ll see osprey and not geese—to the relief of the feed’s managers.

Ospreys in the osprey nest
A more recent screenshot of the nest shows it is once again inhabited by ospreys.

Gerald Davis, the director of community services for the town, says that the next year the town will put a goose deterrent on the nest. However, he notes that the takeover didn’t hurt the livestream’s popularity. “From everything I’ve heard, viewership is still really strong and people are still interesting in observing what’s going on,” he told the Osoyoos Times. “It’s sort of like a Mother Nature soap opera between the osprey and the Canada geese.”

To see what the osprey (and hopefully not the geese) are up to right now, check out the video feed live on Youtube.