Thursday, May 31, 2007

Osprey Cam Live!

I am writing a quick update from the road. I have just gotten off an island and am heading out to another in 10 minutes.

I wanted to give you the exciting news that with the help of FPL Energy Maine Hydro and Kids in the Nest we have just launched a live osprey cam. You can watch the birds at

On this camera, BRI is providing the live stream and we would greatly appreciate it if you would mind respecting the 2 minutes of live video, and like our other camera, your donations are vital to keep the system up and running free of charge. To donate, please follow this link

Unlike our other cameras we are a little further from the birds, so we won’t be able to zoom in as far and we are still working on the audio.

I will be away from my computer for the next eight days. I hope that you enjoy the new camera. Below is the press release that I sent out today.

Wing Goodale, BioDiversity Research Institute

New Maine Osprey Webcam Launched

GORHAM, Maine, May30, 2007—BioDiversity Research Institute launches new live osprey Internet camera in Casco Bay, Maine to build upon their successful eagle and loon webcams.

The osprey cam, which can been seen at, is provided free of charge by Gorham, Maine-based BioDiversity Research Institute with collaboration and support from FPL Energy Maine Hydro and Kids in the Nest.

“We are very excited,” says osprey cam project director Wing Goodale. “Since we started the eaglecam, we have been looking for a suitable osprey nest to focus a new camera system.”

The camera is mounted 200 feet away from a historical osprey nest, has night vision, a windshield wiper, and can be move 360 degrees. The osprey pair began building their nest two weeks ago and we believe are now tending to a least two eggs. Biologists at BioDiversity Research Institute are now eagerly waiting along with the public for the chicks to hatch, which may be as soon as the last week in June.

“This osprey pair has successfully raised young for the last couple of years,” Goodale says. “With this new camera, we will all be able to watch the chicks hatch, and be raised by the adults.”

Students and people around the world followed the trials of an eagle pair on BioDiversity’s eagle cam intently and provided valuable observations for scientists at BioDiversity on the Web cam’s accompanying blog. At its height, the Web cam had over 8.5 million hits a day. BioDiversity Research Institute hopes the osprey cam will draw in even more viewers.
BioDiversity Research Institute is a nonprofit ecological research group dedicated to progressive environmental study and education that furthers global sustainability and conservation policies. The organization believes that wildlife serve as important indicators of ecological integrity.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


I wanted to give you a quick update. We are still working hard on the new camera system that I hope will be up and running by the end of the next week—of course I have been saying this for the last couple of weeks. These systems always take longer to get going than one thinks. The good news is that the birds that I hope we will be watching are building their nest and look like they will be putting down eggs soon.

Charlie Todd told Bangor Daily News that 12 nests were destroyed between Harpswell and Eastport during the storm. Here is a link to the story

We are fortunate that the nest that we are viewing through the webcam didn’t come down, and the birds continued defense of the nest site against intruders as well as the amount of time they have been spending on the nest, strongly indicates that the birds will nest again at this site.

Next week will be my last week in the office for a while. I will be out on remote islands from southern Maine to Downeast Maine. This summer I will be working along side my colleagues at BRI, collecting samples to be analyzed for mercury and contaminants from Maine to Virginia to New York to Alaska. We are working with everything from bats to sharks to birds of all sorts.

I hope to be able to give you updates throughout the summer on how our research is progressing, and hopefully I will be able to be providing comments on our new camera!

I know that there have been questions about how long the eaglecam will be running and I wanted to assure you that we plan on having it up year round, because we are learning along with you how eagles use a nest site when they are not tending to young.

Please be sure to check out the looncam at Lee Attix will have the live streaming up I believe nest week. You can now watch however the refreshing still image.

Wing Goodale, BioDiversity Research Institute

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The coming field season

Good morning. I wanted to let you know that I won’t be able to update the blog until Monday night because I will be in the field.

I have been carefully reading your observations and for a while I was sanguine that the birds would renest—copulating on the nest site, working on the nest. However, we are now well past the May 6th date of the latest recorded nesting of eagles in Maine and the amount of time that the birds are spending at the nest is decreasing. If there was a 1 in a 100 chance of them renesting three weeks ago, we are now in the 1 in 10,000. Nature is hard to predict.

I am still working on our next camera installation and I very much hope that we will get it up and running shortly. Putting together these cameras is a lot like piecing together links in a chain—if just one link is broken then you have no image. The good news is that the looncam is up and running and we will have the live video up shortly. And this year we have two cameras.

I also wanted to report that BRI received funding to initiate a broad based contaminant study on birds in Maine. We will be looking at 102 contaminants (flame retardants (PBDEs), industrial chemicals (PFCs), organic pesticides (OCs), PCBs, and mercury) in 18 species of birds in six locations. This study will help us track how these contaminants are moving through different habitats, locations, and trophic levels (the position an organism hold in the food chain). As far as I am aware this is a first of its type study. Among the species that we will be studying are eagles, peregrine falcon, sharp-shinned hawk, great-horned owl, common loon, and belted kingfisher. I will not have results until the fall, but as soon as I do I will let you know.

I am also gearing up for a number of studies that will take me out to remote Maine islands for a week at a time. I will do my best to update the blog when I come out of the field and will work with my colleagues to update the blog when I am away from a computer.

Have a great weekend.

Wing Goodale, BioDiversity Research Institute

Friday, May 04, 2007

Loon cam live

Good morning. Lee Attix and I set up the loon cam yesterday. You can see the refreshing still image at We are currently working on the live video which we hope to have running shortly. Lee is writing on a blog dedicated to the looncam at We now have a second camera set up that points out towards the water in order to get a view of what is happening on the water in front of the nest. Our current system only allows one camera to be on at a time. We will switch back and forth depending on where the birds are.

We have confirmed that both the male and female loons from last year have returned, which is a very good sign for successful nesting. Over the last four years the birds have initiated nesting around the third week in May. Generally a week prior to the birds nesting they will start working on the nest site and may copulate on the nest site.

Like the eaglecam, we will depend upon your observations to let us know what is happening with the loons. Please post your comments on the looncam blog.

I am also working on the other cam—I just received another important component which I will deliver to the site today! I will keep you updated on how it all is progressing.

Fundraising update. We are now at $14, 200! Thank you!

Wing Goodale, BioDiversity Research Institute

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Nesting behavior and two new webcams

I was interested to see your observation yesterday about the female sitting down. That is the type of pre-nesting behavior that we want to look for. If they do renest, then the female will start increasing the amount of time on the nest and we would know for certain that an egg had been laid if the bird spends the night on the nest.

As one commenter speculated, it is possible that other birds are moving around and looking for new sites because they lost their nest in the storm. Charlie Todd of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife was telling me that he saw many nests that had been blow out of trees and it looked like many pairs of eagles around the state were affected by the storm.

I wanted to let you know that I am working on another webcam system on a new species! We have the equipment, and the location. Now we have to work on the Internet connection, installation, and equipment. If we don’t run into a problem of some sort, which is entirely possible, we should have a very exciting and dynamic pair of birds for you to watch within a couple of weeks, perhaps sooner.

Tomorrow, we will be installing the looncam, now with not one by two cameras. If all goes without a hitch we will have the camera online by the beginning on next week.

I should have an update on the fundraising campaign, latter today.

Wing Goodale, BioDiversity Research Institute