City's Cameras Are For The Birds

Mar 26, 2015

The City of Coeur d'Alene has three new remote cameras in operation. But they're not to catch red-light runners - they're to catch ospreys doing osprey stuff. The cameras are installed atop 70-foot poles in the newly rebuilt McEuen Park in downtown Coeur d'Alene.

A Canadian goose hanging out this March in the nest viewed by the North Camera in Coeur d'Alene,
Credit City of Coeur d'Alene

Before extensive remodeling of the park, the poles held lights for nighttime baseball games.

City parks and recreation director Steve Anthony said osprey were attracted to the poles, probably because of the heat generated by the lights. So when the park was rebuilt last year, the poles - minus the lights - were left in place - as Anthony put it - as another park amenity for the big fish-eating birds.

There's only one problem right now. The nesting boxes atop the poles are occupied at the moment by squatters - Canada geese. Whether the geese will be gone by the time the migrating ospreys arrive, generally in early April, remains to be seen.

The cameras were paid for by memorial gifts and by donations from contractors and Ednetics of Post Falls.

The webcams are available on the city's web site cdaid.org.