Mar 04 2010

It’s Peregrine Time!

Published by at 7:00 am under Peregrines

Falconcam splash screen (from the National Aviary and Wildearth.tv)
Hooray, the falconcams are up and running!

Last month the National Aviary installed new webcams with streaming video, audio and infrared night vision at the Gulf Tower and the Cathedral of Learning peregrine nests in Pittsburgh.  Both cams are now live on their website.

At the Gulf Tower you can see and hear Tasha2 dig the scrape where she’ll lay her eggs.  Sometimes she stands on the nest, all puffed up, and chirps to tell Louie she’s there.

At Pitt’s Cathedral of Learning there are two cameras.  The new one broadcasts sight and sound when Dorothy or E2 arrives at the nest and calls to the other for courtship bows.  The original camera provides snapshots of the action on the same webpage at lower right. 

Both nests have infrared lights now and all three cameras can “see” it so you’ll be able to watch the birds day and night.  Wow!

This new technology was installed by PixController and streams from Wildearth.tv.  They’re the ones who set up the famous Lily the Bear webcam where viewers saw Lily give birth to a cub on January 22.  PixController is based near Pittsburgh and has lots of streaming experience including their own Pennsylvania Woodland Cam where you can watch deer, wild turkeys, foxes, squirrels and birds. 

The falconcams have been live at wildearth.tv for a week or two.  If you’ve been watching there you’ll be happy to see that the Aviary’s webpage images are a little larger.

So bookmark the pages below, click on the Play arrow and keep watching.  You’ll be glued to your computer – just like me – watching Dorothy and Tasha2 lay their eggs.

See the Cathedral of Learning webcams here (http://www.aviary.org/cons/falconcam_cl.php) or click on the splash screen above.
See the Gulf Tower here (http://www.aviary.org/cons/falconcam_gt.php).
And for quick reference I’ve posted the links as “Resources” in the left hand column of this blog.

It’s peregrine time!

(This photo of Dorothy by Pat Szczepanski is the splash screen for the National Aviary’s webcam at the University of Pittsburgh.)

20 responses so far

20 Responses to “It’s Peregrine Time!”

  1. Double Glazing Birminghamon 04 Mar 2010 at 7:54 am

    Technology evolves everything, now we can explore more about national aviary through video streaming and chat.All we have to do is seat and open the net to surf on the site.Good job.

  2. Kate St. Johnon 04 Mar 2010 at 9:11 am

    9:00am: The Gulf cam is working but the streaming Pittcam is down.
    However at Pitt the snapshot cam is running at bottom right. Click on the small image to see a larger one. While viewing the larger snapshot you can press Ctrl-R on your keyboard to refresh it. A new image is available every 15 seconds.

  3. Kathyon 04 Mar 2010 at 9:30 am

    Wonderful!!! Miss Dorothy is there “fluffing and poofing”! She has been faithful every morning this week. (on the refresh image)

    Ain’t Spring Grand!

  4. Kate St. Johnon 04 Mar 2010 at 10:30 am

    That’s great news about the bald eagle. How lucky you are!

  5. John Englishon 04 Mar 2010 at 3:39 pm

    It’s unfortunate that they have moved to wildearth.tv. Many of us were avid fans there until they started changing and “updating” their pages a few months ago. Now several hundred of us can no longer view anything that originates there. We have found alternates to the Safari cam and the PA woods cam and the bear cam.
    I’ll miss watching the peregrines :-(

  6. Kate St. Johnon 04 Mar 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Tell me more. By “they started changing and updating their pages a few months ago” do you mean Wildearth or the Aviary? If Wildearth, what were the changes? Maybe there’s a way around it.

  7. Sharonon 04 Mar 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Finally … I can get a close up fix of the Gulf Tower when I can’t see Tasha and Louie flying outside my window.

    How old is Tasha now? Isn’t she in her “golden years”? I remember last year she laid 4 but only 2 hatched … was this a result of her age?

  8. Kate St. Johnon 04 Mar 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Tasha was unbanded when she first nested at the Gulf Tower in 1998 so we don’t know her real age. We can only assume she was a 2-year-old when she arrived so that would make her 14 this spring. (The typical age at first nesting is two years old.) Yes, she is old and it probably explains why she has fewer viable eggs.

  9. Patsyon 04 Mar 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Kate, I seem to be having trouble viewing the Peregrine webcams from the Aviary website, although I can view both of them periodically from the Wildearth.TV site. For example, I was able to view the webcam from the Gulf Tower tonight from Wildearth, but could not view it from the Aviary link. Could not view the webcam at the Cathedral, though, on either of them. The white ring just kept going around and around. Do not have a problem viewing the bear cam from wildearth, so I am wondering if the problem may be with the Aviary link. Am wondering, also, if others are having these problems along with myself and Mr. English.

  10. Kate St. Johnon 04 Mar 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Patsy, the streaming Pittcam is down – has been all day. It will be fixed late tomorrow (fingers crossed!).
    I am not sure why you can sometimes see the Gulfcam on Wildearth but not see it on the Aviary page. That is indeed odd.

    Your feedback is helpful. Thanks!

  11. Tracion 04 Mar 2010 at 11:00 pm

    What I don’t like about Wildearth is that we can no longer take snapshots – which we could do at Earthcam. You still can save the image for the alternative camera at the COL, but not close-up. On the other hand, we can now actually see the Gulf box…although I wish they would zoom it closer.

    I have been able to use both sites, but prefer the Aviary’s because it doesn’t have that hideous ad banner obstructing the view. And being able to hear them is fantastic!! And I like the idea of the chat box!! and Twitter feed!!

    Overall, I like the transition – except for the lack of snapshot capability. I guess I’ll have to download a web capture program…or something.

  12. John Englishon 05 Mar 2010 at 12:24 am

    Wildearth. And it’s not the PixController cam either. I watch Murraysville cam and the Bear cam on thier own sites just fine. A few months ago Wildearth made several “upgrades” to it’s website. When they added the bear cam, a lot of the other cams started to be unreachable. I think they have too much traffic and not enough servers or routers. Like Patsy, I can get on them periodically if there is low traffic, but if there is an alternative stream, I’m better off. Many of us use the stream on Djuma.com or Justin.tv to watch the game drives from Sabi Sands.

  13. Kate St. Johnon 05 Mar 2010 at 5:40 am

    Traci, all three cameras can zoom so they’ll be moved in closer when it’s egg time. I see that Tasha has apparently spent all night in the nest box so maybe it’ll soon be time to zoom in & check for eggs.
    Yes, I do miss the snapshot feature at Gulf. The snapshot cam at Pitt will be moved in closer so we can get snapshots of eggs and babies when the time comes.

    John, I did hear there were problems with too much traffic when Lily the Bear gave birth. This could be an issue at hatching time with the falconcams. If alternative streams become available let us know. Meanwhile I’m sure there will be tweaks to the Aviary pages as they get more experience with the streaming tool.

  14. Kathy McCharenon 05 Mar 2010 at 7:37 am

    I had problems similar to Patsy’s on Thursday. Trying to watch the Gulf cam, the white ring just kept going round and round…

    It will be wonderful to have close-up views of eggs and the babies if we’re able to get in!!

    Thanks to the Aviary for working towards a great peregrine viewing experience!

  15. Tracion 05 Mar 2010 at 8:45 am

    I just forwarded the Aviary links to my son’s Kindergarden teacher. I was thinking that the chat box could be a powerful tool for use by kids to ask questions. They have classrooms come in at the Norfolk Garden Eagle’s nest, and the kids ask questions about the Eagles and their eggs.

    I’m such a huge fan of the Aviary and I thank them and you for this upgrade! Aidan keeps asking when we can go back to the Cathedral to see them! :) In my view, this upgrade makes the peregrines more accessible and ‘real’ to the kids. So they will be more likely to want to protect them in the future.

    Thanks again for all you do Kate!! :) :) :)

  16. Kate St. Johnon 05 Mar 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Hello all. If you’re having trouble seeing the streaming Pittcam (which is true today) try this 15-second snapshot: http://aviary.org/cons/FalconCam/Cathedral_refreshCam.php

  17. Kate St. Johnon 05 Mar 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Friday at 5:00pm. The streaming falconcam at Pitt is up now.

  18. Jon 05 Mar 2010 at 10:02 pm

    Those new webcams are really cool. I was watching Tasha for a while around 6:30 tonight. At first she was sitting on the edge looking down at the highway and you could hear the wind really whipping and ruffling her feathers then she moved back to the nest box and the camera followed her as she began putzing around and preening and even started chirping for a few secons (calling Louie perhaps). I just checked again and she’s still sitting in the scrape area and I could hear some sirens in the background, turned off the speakers to make sure it wasn’t here in Oakland.

    One question though. Is someone controlling the camera when it moves and zooms or does it have motion sensors that automatically follow the motion and zoom in?

  19. Kate St. Johnon 06 Mar 2010 at 12:16 am

    J, someone at PixController was controlling the pan-tilt-zoom this evening. It’s not automatic.

  20. renéeon 09 Mar 2010 at 10:13 am

    The new cameras are so exciting! Yesterday evening, on the Cathedral of Learning cam, one falcon was sitting in the nest box, “barking,” while the other was apparently flying around making a sort of whistling call.

    Then, the falcon in the nest started doing belly flops and snuggling its belly into the gravel, spreading out her wings and feathers. She did it several times in a few different spots. Was the bird making a space for eggs? Maybe just excited?

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