Saturday, January 21, 2017

HBEC is Experiencing Technical Difficulties

Since 2010 The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay has been blessed to be the home of a pair of American bald eagles.  With the addition of cameras, infrared lighting, and microphones over the past five years we have had the unbelievable pleasure of getting an up close and "birds eye" view of the nesting and brooding habits of Elliott and Eloise. Last years addition of the approach cam allowed us to get a different view of their activities.

The 2017 nesting season was to be an exciting and intriguing viewing season since we now have a new female eagle, Eliza A New Lady in HBEC . Lots of questions were in the air. Would Elliott take to the new female?  Would they make a good pair or was there a new male waiting to take over as well? How would Eliza's parenting style differ from Eloise?  Unfortunately we have not factual idea of what happened to Eloise and we continue to pray that she is okay and somewhere else raising a new family.

As fate would have it, and a reminder that you can't beat Mother Nature, the storms that came through our area in the beginning of December that helped to put out the raging wildfires also took out the electronics in the top of the nest tree.  We have lost communication with the HD PTZ cam, the infrared light, and the in tree microphone.  Basically everything that we need to continue enjoying the famous view of the HBEC nest is down and at this time can not be fixed.

Looks a little like HBSP Ranger Matt Vawter

So Fix-It Felix!!! If it was that easy, we would, but we can't.  The eagles have begun the nesting process and we cannot do anything that might disturb them based on the International Migratory Birds Treaty, and the Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle Protection Act (Act 16 U.S.C. 668-668C). Even if the Protection Act was not in place we still would not take any actions that would disturb them. It's just not the right thing to do.

So what is the plan?  Right now we are putting together a package to place a new camera at the ground level with infrared lights to light up the tree, along with a new microphone.  Will it be perfect or what we are used to? No, it will not but it will allow us to get a better view of the nest tree activities than we have now.  We are hopeful to have all the technology in place within the next two weeks so we can start streaming a better picture for you.  In the fall when we can do some maintenance on the cameras we will replace the PTZ camera and other items in the top of the tree and install backups so if this happens again we will not be in the same predicament.  

If you would like to help our project out and donate to the camera/tecnology replacement and upgrade campaign please visit the HBEC website for different ways in which to donate.  Our project is completely funded by donations from our fabulous viewers so every penny helps.  All donations are tax deductible and we can provide you with any donation information you might need.  Matt will be placing a Fund Raiser page on the website soon with more detailed information about the components, timing, and need.

Thanks for your support of the Harrison Bay Eagle Cam Project.

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