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South Pier Falcon Cam

Live from the Oakley C. Collins Memorial Bridge
over the Ohio River between Ironton, OH and Russell, KY

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About these cameras and this project

The replacement of the old Ironton-Russel Bridge over the Ohio River with the new Oakley C. Collins Memorial Bridge included an interesting wildlife component as part of the scope of project. The old bridge was home to a pair of nesting peregrine falcons, which at the time of the project were designated as a threatened species in Ohio and actively monitored by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife (DOW).

New nest boxes were created as part of the new structure in a successful attempt to encourage the falcons to move their roost prior to the old bridge’s demolition. ODOT’s environmental commitments complied with State regulations and addressed the DOW’s concerns for the safety and access to monitor of these birds of prey. Thanks to efforts such as this, and increasing numbers throughout the State, peregrine falcons are no longer considered threatened.

However, the species’ overall well-being and numbers are still being actively monitored and they continue to receive high interest from the public. Since access to the underside of the new bridge would be limited and difficult, ODOT opted to install cameras on the nest boxes to allow the DOW (and now, the public) to continue to monitor these falcons.

These views inside of the nest boxes allow ongoing assessments of the activities and nesting success of these majestic birds. Based on DOW leg band tracking, the birds currently nesting on the bridge include a male named “Colby,” who hatched in 2007 in Hamilton County, Ohio; and a female christened “Samantha,” which hatched in 2011 in Brown County, Ohio. Colby and Samantha have nested and raised chicks every year since the boxes have been installed.

This picture shows the family, with their young chicks, in May 2020.
Colby and Samantha with their chicks, in May 2020