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Ospreys Plague Maryland Traffic Cam

Ospreys spotted on Sunday, April 20, 2014, by a camera installed at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. (Image credit: MDTA)

Thanks to a group of stubborn ospreys, a traffic cam watching over the flow of cars in Maryland has become an improvised wildlife cam.

The birds of prey built a nest in front of a camera installed at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, which prompted the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) to dismantle the twiggy home on Friday (April 18), local news station WTOP reported. The ospreys returned shortly thereafter and rebuilt the nest, forcing MDTA personnel to remove it a second time on Monday (April 21).

Ospreys fly to the Chesapeake Bay area every spring, usually in early March, after spending the winter in warmer climes, and they build nests in high, exposed areas. The fish-eating birds are federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, but MDTA officials were reportedly allowed to move the nest as long as it didn't have eggs in it. The latest eviction might have been futile. Around 2:25 p.m. EDT Tuesday, this reporter checked the live feed and found an osprey blocking the camera's view.

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Megan Gannon
Megan has been writing for Live Science and since 2012. Her interests range from archaeology to space exploration, and she has a bachelor's degree in English and art history from New York University. Megan spent two years as a reporter on the national desk at NewsCore. She has watched dinosaur auctions, witnessed rocket launches, licked ancient pottery sherds in Cyprus and flown in zero gravity. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.