Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Egg

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Raptor Resource Project
15 hrs
Work Updates, Camera Installs & Unhatched Bald Eagle Egg Retrieval
2016 Decorah Camera Crew: John Howe, Dave Kester, David Lynch, Ann Lynch, Kike Arnal
Decorah Eagle camera maintenance began last Sunday, September 18, 2016, with the crew starting at N1. The recent flooding in Decorah and surrounding areas have changed the landscape around both of the Decorah Eagles nests. Trout Creek/Trout Run Stream has lost about 20 feet of stream bank at the base of N1, making work a bit difficult around the nest tree, but a new PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) camera was mounted, along with a new microphone and IR illuminator (providing “night vision” for the nest and “Y” branch). The work at N1 was completely finished by Tuesday afternoon, and the crew then focused on N2B.
Work at the Decorah Eagles new man-made nest (N2B) began in earnest on Wednesday morning. Before camera work began, John Howe and Kike Arnal retrieved the non-viable egg from the nest. The egg was buried under approximately 6-8 inches of nest material and was in perfect shape (picture provided with this post). Working with the Iowa DNR, the egg will be sent to Iowa State University for analysis. As a note, Amy Ries worked very hard to obtain the proper permits for the crew to retrieve the egg. Thanks, Amy! After egg retrieval, the work of mounting of a new PTZ camera, microphone, and IR illuminator began up at the nest. While the camera at N1 was replaced, at N2B, the new camera is in addition to the old PTZ and stationary cameras, so as to provide a different view of the nest! On Thursday morning, work was slowed at N2B by a 3-4 inch rainfall overnight, which caused Trout Creek/Trout Run Stream to rise right to the base of the nest tree. The crew worked slowly and methodically to promote safety, and finished up the job by late Thursday evening!
As a side note, Raptor Resource Project welcomed an Iowa Public TV crew to the work site for the week. The crew documented all of the camera work and what goes into replacing and maintaining the cameras, as well as the egg retrieval. The crew also interviewed all of the cam team for use in a documentary about Raptor Resource Project and the legacy of our founder Bob Anderson. They still have much work to do, and we do not know when the film will be finished, but we anxiously await the final product!
Currently, work is ongoing at the Decorah North nest, with an additional, new PTZ camera system being mounted. The new camera will record video in 4K high definition and should provide a spectacular picture!
Also, Amy Ries has been working in Platteville, CO at the Fort St. Vrain Bald Eagle nest for the last week to mount a brand new camera system with our partners at Xcel Energy. We know Amy would love to be in Decorah helping with the eagle cam work, but she is working VERY hard in Colorado (while still helping us in Decorah!!) to provide a much-needed update to the cameras and infrastructure so we can continue to help bring you the live stream of the FSV nest!
Thanks for your support of Raptor Resource Project, and stay tuned for updates on camera maintenance and dates when our live streams will resume broadcasting. We are all excited for another season of raptor watching!
~ David Lynch, Board of Directors