26 Jul 2012

Ozzy EagleCam approaching take-off

By BirdLife Australia

For the past few years, the BirdLife Australia (BirdLife Partner) Discovery Centre at Sydney’s Olympic Park has played host to EagleCam, a remote camera system which has allowed researchers to observe and record the lives of a pair of White-bellied Sea-Eagles at their nest, and 2012 looks set to be another exciting year. The EagleCam team has been hard at work since the last breeding season to prepare for the next exciting episode in the lives of the BirdLife Australia Discovery Centre’s resident pair of White-bellied Sea-Eagles. Geoff Hutchinson, EagleCam’s technician and all-round driving force, has spent the months leading up to the 2012 breeding season purchasing, testing and installing new camera equipment, audio cabling and optical fibre to stream the eagles’ activities on the internet.

This year there is an added feature — we will be able to hear the eagles at their nest as well as see them. The team had been waiting patiently to see whether the birds would renovate the nest that they built last year as a replacement after their historic 20-year-old nest collapsed dramatically. However, it appears that the eagles have chosen to move house this season and are currently building a new nest, which is perched 25 metres up in a Scribbly Gum. The eagles are currently paying regular visits with extra nesting material to be incorporated into the structure.

This season EagleCam is a new PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) camera that is currently positioned on the forest floor about 45 metres from the eagles’ nest and is zoomed in on the action. Once the team can confirm that the eagles will not revert to using last year’s nest, cabling will be extended to their new nest site and the camera will be carefully positioned in a tree nearer the nest, along with an infra-red camera and the new audio system. Once this system is in place, the lives of the resident Sea-Eagles will once again be streamed to the world live on the internet. If you would like to find out more about the BirdLife Australia’s Discovery Centre’s EagleCam, why not pay us a visit at the Discovery Centre, or visit us online at Subscribe to The BirdLife Pacific Quarterly E-Newsletter