Live streaming coming soon to Marsh Meadows osprey nest
After seven years, members of the Conanicut Island Raptor Project have decided to update all of its hardware and software. The equipment is used for the osprey cam, a wireless solar-powered video camera that allows bird lovers to view the osprey family that lives at the nest in Marsh Meadows.
“Our technology is ancient compared to what is available today,” said Chris Powell, who heads the raptor project.
Powell planned to install the new camera before the three eggs hatched. He spoke with Rob Bierregaard, the project’s osprey expert, who said the eggs wouldn’t be harmed if he changed the camera in the early morning when the air temperature is around 75 degrees. Bierregaard is a research professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte who began studying ospreys more than 40 years ago on Martha’s Vineyard.
Listening to Bierregaard’s advice, Powell made plans to install the camera Sunday – until project member Mark Baker, while doing software work for the webcam, reported that three chicks were chirping in the nest early Saturday morning.
Because of the newborns, Powell erred on the side of caution and decided to postpone mounting the camera Sunday. Bierregaard agreed: He told Powell to wait a bit longer before installing any electronics.
The new camera is expected to have the capability to stream the osprey family live, unlike the current system that requires refreshing the browser.
The Conanicut Island Raptor Project is also expected to launch its new website this season. Powell’s nephew, Tyler Lane, developed and designed the site. Also involved is Tony Lush, who along with Mark Baker is taking care of the computer work.
The technology upgrades cost $1,200. Powell has applied for a grant with the Jamestown Education Foundation and hopes project members can be reimbursed for the expenses.
The chicks will migrate at the end of the season. If they survive, they are expected to return in two years when they are mature enough to breed.