AVIEMORE, SCOTLAND - JUNE 07: An Osprey catches two Rainbow Trout at Rothiemurchus on June 6, 2016 in Kincraig, Scotland. Ospreys migrate each spring from Africa and nest in tall pine trees around the Aviemore area, the raptor was hunted to the point of extinction in the Victorian era, their migratory habits eventually brought them back to Scotland with the first successful breeding pair being recorded in 1954. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

I just might spend half my day watching this. If you like birds, consider watching the live webcam of nesting Osprey on Lake Norman.

The birds are named Reuben and Cherise. They are beloved osprey pair that flew the coop from their wintering grounds and made their way back to their nesting platform on Lake Norman, on NC Wildlife Federation’s live webcam. Ospreys are prevalent along the 225-mile long Catawba River, running from western NC to South Carolina, but this wasn’t always the case.  Sadly, their numbers have significantly increased through a concerted effort to re-introduce osprey populations. Previously, the birds built nests in Lake Norman atop old navigational markers that were precarious and unsafe for eggs and chicks during heavy summer storms.

Volunteers from NCWF, Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists, and Piedmont Area Wildlife Stewards replaced the markers with 30-foot poles attached to metal platforms and deployed by barge. The platforms provide nesting sites on large open bodies of water and healthy prey options, primarily live fish. The unencumbered height of the platforms attracts ospreys while also protecting them against predators like black snakes and raccoons.

Platforms are also installed in Lake James, Mountain Island Lake, Lake Wylie, and Lake Norman, which are all reservoirs of the Catawba River. Nesting ospreys are found on nearly all of the platforms year after year. A young bird fledges in the summer and migrates to Central and South America in the fall (the females usually leave about a month before the males), and they return to their nesting sites in March.

As a part of our organization, Gestwicki said, “We support access to North Carolina’s wild places and opportunities to enjoy them.” The thriving osprey population on Lake Norman shows how we can work together for conservation in North Carolina and have a lasting impact on wildlife and habitat for generations to come.

You can see the Osprey here.

Alexis Zarycki is your average girl with the hopes of leaving an everlasting impact on the world. Follow her on Instagram @official_lexpaige