15 Sep 2011

Aussie eyrie internet hit

By BirdLife Australia
A budding internet phenomenon, Birds Australia’s (BirdLife Partner) nest monitoring camera has been transmitting live online footage of a family of White-bellied Sea-Eagles in Sydney since early August. Designed to expand the knowledge of scientists and researchers about the eagles’ nesting and habitat requirements, the camera has also proved hugely popular with bird lovers, with over 900,000 unique online views, and $12,000 in donations for a campaign to upgrade the technology for future nest cameras. ‘It is wonderful to see the enthusiasm for these birds amongst the community’, says Paul Evans, Birds Australia’s Fundraising Manager, ‘being able to watch them at all times of the day and night has proved to be a wonderful educative tool. We’ve had local primary schools watching online during class and learning about these wonderful birds and their environment in a new and exciting way’. Paul has also been astounded at the international response to the birds. ‘We have had people watching the birds and chatting online about them from all corners of the world’, he says, ‘and many people have generously donated to our campaign to improve the camera in time for next year’s breeding season’. Video shows 'A day in the life of a White-bellied Sea-Eaglet'. Sadly, one of the nestlings died a week after it hatched, but the second eaglet is thriving on a varied diet of fish, eels, sea gulls, bats and mice – greatly adding to our knowledge of the habits and preferences of this species. Growing larger by the day, and now venturing to the edge of the nest and eating on its own, the young bird should be ready to fledge in October. Check out the Sea-Eagles Donate to the campaign Click here to subscribe to The BirdLife Pacific Quarterly E-Newsletter.