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High atop historic Richmond crane, webcam captures fresh osprey chicks

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Two osprey chicks hatched this week and a third may be on the way in a nest high above the Richmond waterfront that’s being closely monitored by webcam, according to the Golden Gate Audubon Society.

The nest, atop a historic World War II crane, is home to Rosie and Richmond, two adult ospreys that raised three chicks there previous year. This year’s first chick hatched at 6:57 p.m. Thursday and the second followed shortly before 6 p.m. Friday.

“Over the next two months, we can all watch these youngsters close-up as they grow, explore their nest, and learn to fly,” said Cindy Margulis, executive director of Golden Gate Audubon Society, which launched the 24/7 live video feed of this nest in 2017.

The adult pair is still incubating their third egg, expected to hatch within the next few days.

The first two chicks have been temporarily named Alpha and Beta, and the Audubon chapter will hold a naming contest sometime after the third chick emerges.

The osprey nest is monitored by two HD live-streaming cameras and is perched 75 feet above the ground on the Whirley Crane, a decommissioned World War II crane in Richmond’s Shipyard 3.

Rosie and Richmond will take turns feeding and warming the chicks and will protect them from predators such as eagles and ravens, according to the Audubon Society.

In the 1960s and 70s, Osprey populations plummeted and the species was threatened with extinction when the pesticide DDT made Osprey eggshells so thin that they broke during incubation.

After the federal government banned DDT, Osprey numbers rebounded and their nesting range expanded to San Francisco Bay. Ospreys began nesting along the Bay for the very first time in the early 2000s, and this year there are more than 40 active nesting pairs along the Bay.

Live video of the nest can be seen at http://sfbayospreys.org. In addition to the live nest feed, highlights are available on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bayospreys/ .

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