JOPLIN, Mo. – Liberty Utilities - Empire District and Mid Central Contractors invite you to celebrate the return of Osprey to Stockton Lake. Through a live video stream the birds can be viewed as they prepare for the nesting season. The live stream can be accessed from the Empire District homepage at www.empiredistrict.com. Select “Osprey Camera” under Announcements.

In February 2015, line crews moved the Osprey nest from an electric transmission tower to a newly built nesting box. By relocating the nest, crews increased the likelihood the pair would adopt the new nesting site. Ospreys typically mate for life and will return to the same nesting site each year. Since then, viewers have been able to watch the pair raise 11 young, three in 2015, four in 2016, and four in 2017.

The nesting box is approximately 4-feet by 4-feet and approximately 70-feet high. Although the power lines are visible in the background, the nesting box is approximately 50 feet away from the power lines. This nest also has night vision provided by infrared light illumination. Birds and humans cannot see infrared light, so the ospreys are not bothered at night by the infrared light illumination. The cameras are powered by two solar panels.

The Osprey lost a nest in 2014 after it came in contact with an energized electric line. The fire also caused damage to the transmission tower and line, interrupting electric service. The new home for the pair of Osprey is meant to be a safe nesting alternative, which will also increase service reliability.

The live video feed is not only for the enjoyment of the community to watch, but also to monitor the bird’s acceptance of this nesting alternative. Due to the success of this first nesting box, 11 additional nesting boxes have been installed. Enjoy this brief peek into the lives of this Osprey family. But, please be aware, at times, nature can be difficult to watch.

Based in Joplin, Missouri, Empire District is a subsidiary of Liberty Utilities Co. and headquarters for the Liberty Utilities Central Region, providing electric, natural gas, water, and wastewater service to nearly 320,000 customers across six states. A subsidiary of the company provides fiber optic services. For more information regarding Empire District, visit www.empiredistrict.com. For more information about Liberty Utilities, visit www.libertyutilities.com.