The Town of Osoyoos’s Osprey camera proved to be a popular attraction over the spring and summer months.
Between April and September this year, the camera’s web link recorded 71,831 views and more than 1.3 million total viewing minutes.
CAO Barry Romanko told Council Monday visitors to the site spent an average of almost 19 minutes each watching the osprey pair and their chicks.
Viewing through the stationary osprey camera, installed last year to watch over an osprey nest discovered on a FortisBC power pole in the community, peaked in June when the camera provided 8,250 streaming hours.
The birds, known for their hunting abilities — they are able to dive into the water from a height of up to 40 metres — breed in Canada between April and September. Eggs are incubated for about 40 days and then the chicks fledge (develop wing feathers large enough for flight) when they are about two months old.
Osprey are adaptable birds and are able to nest in natural and artificial structures close to water, including at the top of dead trees, hydro poles and other tall structures.
When the nest was found in 2014, FortisBC and the Town saw an opportunity to use it as an educational tool. FortisBC de-energized the pole to make sure the birds are safe and the camera was set up on a nearby pole to stream a live feed to a YouTube channel.
The funding will come from Resort Municipality Initiative monies, which has $8,900 remaining from $15,000 set aside for entertainment programming.
Funds set aside in 2007 to deal with the threat of the West Nile Virus were transferred to a newly created Grant-In-Aid program reserve fund to be expended in 2017. Council heard there was no need over the last nine years to utilize the $5,000 set aside.
Council approved $98,600 in emergency roof repairs to the Sonora Centre. The work was awarded to Interior Roofing Ltd. The work will be completed as quickly as possible.