On May 29, we launched the first Osprey NestCam in the province! Through a live video stream, you can get a bird’s eye view of the osprey nesting on a special platform at the Virginia Waters Substation on Snow’s Lane in St. John’s.
Safety is paramount at Newfoundland Power, so we developed a management plan to reduce potential impacts to migratory birds, while minimizing any operational effects. Relocating nests to specialized platforms provides nesting sites for protected species, while minimizing risks of electrocution, equipment damage, power outages, and even fire if debris falls onto energized power lines.
In 2016, Newfoundland Power was contacted by Ornithologist, Rob Bierregaard from Drexel University in Pennsylvania, who was very interested in tagging several juvenile Newfoundland osprey to track their migratory journey to and from their southern homes on the border of Columbia and Venezuela. One osprey in particular, named Shanawdithit, after the last known living member of the Beothuk people, has been actively migrating each year and has gained quite a following since being tagged.
We discovered Shanawdithit has a partner, but we didn’t have a name for him, so we decided to launch a “Name the Daddy Osprey Competition”, open to students across the island. Aurora Drew Hickey, an 11 year-old Grade 5 student at St. Francis of Assisi in Outer Cove answered the call and named the Daddy Osprey, Beaumount. When we launched the competition, we asked that students submit a name that has a very strong connection to the province, just like Shanawdithit. We agreed with Aurora and felt that the name Beaumont is a very appropriate tribute to the brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives over 100 years ago.
If you’d like to follow Shanawdithit and Beaumont, you can view the NestCam here. Please be advised that this live feed shows birds in their natural habitat, so events may occur unexpectedly and may not be appropriate for all viewers.