What is Happening for 2007!
Sunday, July 09 2006 @ 11:56 PM EDT
Contributed by: davidh
This is a summary wrap-up from Victoria and Sidney’s surrogate dad as our companions face departure day.
1) Some very exciting news for next year: We have already decided, with a couple of loose ends to be tied up, that we will attempt to repeat the CAM experience at the Victoria – Sidney nest for next year. For 2007 we will, as soon as the young and adult depart, insert the cameras directly into the nest tree. In fact we will install two very small cameras like we had at Hornby Island very close and medium close to the nest for the very intimate view we all so appreciated at Hornby. The third camera, the one now in place, which has a pan-tilt head and zoom lens, all of which can be remotely controled, will be at a 8 -10 foot distance enabling us to zoom in very close without any interference to the birds.
We have been modeling the site and rehearsing. WE have about a 6 - 10 week window for installation.
2) A second site, a backup, will be similarly equipped with 3 cameras. I tell you all this now as we expect to loose most of you when our “babies” fledge. While we will be presenting some interesting options, possibly sealions, orcas and grizzly bears, some the strictly “bird people” may not be back until next year. Thanks for participating.
Read on for more: Support Materials, New Web look and function, Interactive zoom, Ads or No Ads
3) Support Materials: 2007 will also be special as the volunteer editorial committee is presently preparing several books and workbooks and DVD’s to assist teachers and the public in following the life cycle of the eagles. This years spontaneous experience will be greatly enhanced, particularly for schools.
4) New WEB Look and Function: The Web site will also have a totally different look with a closer relationship between forums and the relevant eagle biology. We will also have a biologist to answer the forums. We have been most thankful for the incredible suggestions you have offer to enrich the experience. We are trying to incorporate all of them.
5) Interactive Computer Screen for 2007: It is even possible we may have the screen interactive – you the viewers may be able to control the zoom camera.
6) Ads or No Ads: Also, it appears we will be able to split the distribution. If you don’t want the ads you can pay for a subscription. If you don’t want to pay then we will get advertisers to pay for your viewing – as we only partially succeeded this year.
My Parting shots: This has been, to use the popular expression, awesome. Truly awesome! While this experience and the response was totally unexpected, it has been most reaffirming of my life’s dedication to eagles and conservation.
I wish to thanks all of you who have written me personally with so many kind compliments and fine suggestions. And by the way I am still very open to other suggestions of how to make this site or other sites more educational and informative – and soothing, gripping and entertaining. What is indeed overwhelming is that this experience touched so many people is so many ways. I hope most very positively. Understanding the infertility of the first eggs was tough and at best disappointing to many – me included.
The stresses of a second nest where one chick was possibly to be starved and bullied out by the only one receiving enough food was also difficult to grapple with. The controversy surrounding the “to rescue or not to rescue” the bullied chick was and will remain a difficult choice. Some purists will argue with my position of supporting, at least indirectly, that supplemental feeding might not just be OK but be beneficial to both the birds, the people and long term conservation.
All told it was an incredible ride. I only wish I had been more organized and prepared so I could have spent more time watching the incubation and chick rearing rather than trying to find an alternative nest that I felt totally confident in placing a camera mounted crane nearby. All appears well. Seeing the adults use the camera as a perch was the piece-de-resistance! Now I have to wish the chick a happy first season on their own. This will be a difficult test. Our best guess is that 50 – 60% of fledglings do not survive the first year. Learning to avoid powerlines and a host of other challenges, not to mention how to find and eventually how to catch live food, is a life-long challenge. We wish them well.
Please check our site – www.hancockwildlife.org from time to time to follow eagles and other wildlife news – and what is happening on the Sasquatch–bigfoot front!! Also, if your time permits consider participation in any of the many Bald Eagle Festivals – many listed at our site.
Again much thanks for your kind comments and we welcome more.