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A New Season and a New Look

Wildlife News
Welcome to our new-look Hancock Wildlife Foundation web site. Over the past month or so a dedicated team of volunteers has been working toward what you are now viewing - and there is more to come. Along with the new look, we're finally getting back to the organization of the site, including getting the Biology Reference materials all into one place and organized.

You'll also notice a new banner and color scheme on our Hancock Wildlife Channel web site. Our Discussion Forum will not be changed until we have the new version of the discussion software ready for installation - likely a few weeks. At that time it too will share our new graphic logo and brighter colors.

One of the major complaints about our web presence has been that the three different sections looked so much alike that people in many cases didn't realize there were actually three different web sites with three different purposes. This caused quite a bit of a problem since all three sites also have their own "membership" database and the login info is not yet shared between them. People would sign up on one, then try to log into another and get an error message saying the system didn't know them - not good.

The three sites serve completely different yet complimentary purposes. For a look at why things are the way they are, you are invited to the Web Discussion section in our Discussion Forum. If you have time and are interested in helping, there's still lots to do and will be on an ongoing basis.

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Welcome to our new look

Wildlife NewsHancock Wildlife Foundation is growing and changing.

The Foundation is taking on more projects, and we're working hard to make your web experience and camera watching not only educational and entertaining, but also as easy and enjoyable as we can.

We've learned a lot over the past two seasons. We know you, our members and viewers and supporters better, and we're going to get to know you even better in the coming months and years. One of the things that has bugged people the most has been the confusion over our various web pieces. We've had a Discussion Forum topic where you've told us what you felt were the major problems, and where we've discussed some of the solutions, and where we've put together a team of volunteers to help us make things better.

Our new Home Page and the changes to our main Hancock Live Camera selection page and each of the individual nest site camera pages is a direct result of your feedback. You wanted things simpler, and with a bit of technical wizardry in some areas we think we've managed to make things at least a bit easier.

Besides the new splashy Home Page, which we'll be changing periodically to introduce the various seasons and projects that happen throughout the year, the biggest change is in the way you find and select cameras, and how the camera pages themselves work. As in the past, each nest site is the topic for articles and information about the site - and we welcome you to submit articles on your experiences with the images and information you've gained. In addition, now each camera has its own separate viewing page - linked from the main camera selection page directly. In some cases the story topic and viewing page are in fact one and the same, such as our new Haines Alaska Eagle Cam page

In other cases such as our Sidney Nest site cameras, each camera (in this case the Wide and the Close-up) have their own pages that automatically start showing you the camera - and may allow you to switch back and forth between the two (or more) views if you are viewing via Windows Media. If you have the Neokast plugin installed, you'll immediately get the camera view that way. You'll also see the usual link to Insinc for our subscription viewing.

In addition to the new camera page, we've introduced a new Biology Reference Index where we've linked in all the existing items and given you an indication of where we'll be pushing our specialist authors to organize reference works on biology, anthropology and history.

We've also simplified the top menu bar and made it the same across the main web sites. We'll be changing the discussion forum site to match both the new look and the new menu system as soon as the new version of its software is ready - very shortly.

If you have any comments, good or bad, on our changes, please feel free to post them in our Web Discussion Forum area or as comments to this posting.

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Italian Children (7 years old) Create Animated Story of the Cycle of Water

Wildlife News"Water" - The cycle of water as told by children One of the many mail lists I subscribe to is on Cinelerra - an open-source video editing suite that I've been using to compile some of the massive amounts of video we capture at the various nest sites and with cameras at conferences, etc.

Here is an example of what children in Italy have done using animation that was then completed by one of the members of the list. I think you'll find it fascinating and instructive that there is so much that can be done by our children.

As one of the Foundation's goals is education, we're always on the lookout for such interesting projects. If you know of one, please drop us a note or submit a story such as this one to tell the world about it.

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Annual Slaughter of Migrating Waders on Barbados

Wildlife NewsA small minority of Barbadians are responsible for shooting up to 45,000
migrating waders (shorebirds) every year between August and November in
Barbados, West Indies. These birds breed in North America, sometimes as far North as the Arctic, and then migrate South to spend the winter in Latin America. En route they fly over Barbados.

The slaughter on Barbados is highly organized and takes place in a number of shallow, man-made lakes, which are made attractive to exhausted migrating waders. The lakes have up to 4 acres of open water with specially built mud banks within range of the shooting hut. Caged birds (maimed from last years' shoot) are placed close to the mud banks and the hunters use whistles to imitate the bird calls, which are supplemented by amplified recording calls to attract entire flocks. Decoys are also used.
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Fledge Fest a Success! Skye has Fledged

Wildlife NewsOn July 12, 2007, about 30 of us gathered on the road beside the field where the Sidney cameras are. It was time for the eaglet, now named Skye, to become a Fledgling by taking its first flight.

Please visit the Sidney BC Bald Eagle Nest topic in our Discussion forum for pictures and lots of observations on this historic event.
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2007 Winding Down - Looking Forward to 2008 as the cycle continues

Wildlife NewsSkye fledged this past week and is spending less and less time in the Sidney nest. The eagle cam season is winding down for 2007 but don't go away, there are lots of things still ongoing and more to come.

The whole "Story of the River" cycle includes fish, bears, orcas and of course eagles - as well as a host of other species and concerns that together depict the cycle of nature in and around the rivers of the world. These are the lifeblood of the continents and it is our intention to bring you to an understanding of the cycle of this lifeblood through our cameras and other aspects of Hancock Wildlife Foundation. We're only just getting started. Come on along with us on this exciting adventure.

David and I have been talking quite a bit over the past weeks about a number of things, not the least of which is our need to get cameras into nests and do maintenance on the ones already there during the brief period when the eagles are gone. Much of this will depend on your donations, personal as well as corporate, and on other things in the works, but I expect that it will be a mad dash to do as much as possible with what we have for now.

In the mean time, despite the current network problem I feel confident that we'll be bringing you a full season of salmon spawning and eagle feeding in the Goldstream Estuary. Bob Chappell and Darren Copley have been working to get the underwater camera back online on the intertidal channel. In the mean time the bats will be back in the attic and with the infrared lights there those of you outside North America in timezones that are awake while the rest of us are asleep will be treated to their antics at night here.

We're also working hard to get similar cameras into a river near Vancouver where literally thousands of eagles feed in the late Fall and early Winter. By the time they start to tail off in Febrary, it will again be time to watch our birds nest-build in the nests for the new season. Bob and Darren were testing the new camera in 50' of water at the Goldstream Marina last week - passed with flying colors.

Read on for details...
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Drama at the Dutch Peregrine Falcon Nest

Wildlife NewsPeople from all over the world have been watching events unfold at the Peregrine Falcon Nest in Noord Brabant, The Netherlands, via the Live Streaming Video. Two cameras were installed in February, 2007: one inside and one outside the nest box.

Three eggs were laid. Before they were hatched, a female falcon entered the nest while the father was brooding the eggs. He flew away, she inspected the eggs, then left, never to be seen again. The three chicks hatched April 14 and 15. On April 22 another female falcon arrived and attacked the mother. The fight began at the nest box and continued in the woods a short distance away. The mother was driven from the nest and possibly mortally wounded because she did not return. The father then took over the responsibilities of feeding and raising the chicks by himself. The chicks were 7 and 8 days old, much too young to be without a mother.

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Streams and Eggs and all - an update from the trenches

Wildlife NewsIt has been a hectic April and it's not over yet.

First of all I want to appologize to those trying hard to view the cameras through our Windows Media server. We have had to cap the amount of traffic it can put out due to the cost of the link. At the current cap it should easily handle about 90 simultaneous viewers but has at times had over 300 trying to share its link. This has nothing to do with how capable the actual server is - it is capable of serving well in excess of 3000 simultaneos sessions if we opened up the flood-gates (network bandwidth) but at that rate it would be costing the foundation something over $10,000/month which we simply don't have at the moment. We're looking for sponsors to step up to the plate, and the advertising revenue is starting to climb, but it appears that this simply won't happen in time for the onslaught we expect once chicks appear.

In fact, we've pretty much known this all along - that we were caught in a catch-22 situation where the ad revenue wouldn't rise unless more people could view, and more people couldn't view until the revenue rose to pay for the added bandwidth - so we've been working on several fronts to address this.


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