GREENPORT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Talk about being watched like a hawk.
A female osprey is being watched closely by countless followers online as she eagerly waits for three of her eggs to hatch.
“It looks like they are getting ready to hatch,” said Paul Henry.
Henry is a property tax consultant on Long Island’s North Fork, but his new hobby operating the live osprey webcam has quickly become his all-consuming passion, CBS2’s Elise Finch reported.
“I’ve had an interest in ospreys for a long time. Our local osprey population has come back from near extinction,” said Henry.
Hundreds of people now watch the osprey webcam every day, waiting to see the three eggs hatch. To watch the live webcam, click here.
Yet, no one’s really sure who’s the mama or papa.
“We don’t know which is the male and which is the female. The problem is they look so similar,” said Henry.
Henry first learned of the ospreys from his Greenport neighbor Tommy Aprea, who saw the birds constantly landing on an old 80-foot-tall radio tower on his property.
“Every morning I’d come out, there would be an osprey standing at the top, holding on, screeching when I take the garbage out,” he said.
Aprea hired a welder to build a platform for the ospreys to build their nest.
When Henry put up the live webcam, he became instantly hooked and even set up a monitor so he could watch while working.
“It’s on 24-7 on my computer. I hear a screech and I run to see what’s happening. He’s either bringing her a fish or he’s swapping with her to sit on the eggs, it’s just amazing,” Henry said.
Both men said they’ve heard from people who are disabled or home-bound about the joy they’ve experienced just watching nature at work.
At the nearby elementary school, teacher Mary Ann Rempel’s third-graders can’t get enough of the ospreys in action.
“You can see all the questions that the kids have and that will lead to our next lesson, the next thing they can learn about,” Rempel said.
The parents have been named George and Gracie, but Henry said he is thinking of starting a contest to name the babies when they’re born.
The first egg is expected to hatch this week, with the others following not far behind.