Just when the holidays couldn’t get any happier, a new bundle of joy has arrived on the SWFL Eagle Cam. Come say hello to E3, the newest addition to the Eagle Cam here: http://www.ustream.tv/SouthwestFloridaEagleCam
If we had to pick one topic that Ustream viewers can’t seem to get enough of, it’s undoubtedly bald eagles. Our nation’s bird never fails to entice, intrigue and keep viewers returning back for more. With love stories, treacherous falls and nest intruders, watching nesting eagles on Ustream is the real reality television.
This week’s Featured Ustreamer is one of our standout eagle cams: MNbound.com Solar Powered Eagle Cam. Located in south central Minnesota and broadcasting live on Ustream for about 3 years, the MN Eagle Cam is 100% solar powered and has a crisp, beautiful picture. The channel made news last year when one of the two eaglets fell 75 ft from the nest and died. A few days later, the remaining eaglet got stuck in the nest and major drama ensued. With nesting season approaching, this is the perfect time to bookmark the MN Eagle Cam.
Below, broadcaster Mark Wegscheid tells us more about MN Eagle Cam’s unique technical set-up, why they like broadcasting on Ustream and the heroic actions that saved the life of the stuck eaglet last year.
What is your favorite thing about broadcasting on Ustream?
The people you get exposed to! We have met absolutely the most wonderful people through this cam! We have a group of wonderful moderators from around the world and the viewers are great!
What makes your broadcast unique?
The first thing that pops out is that it isn’t a typical set up at all. The equipment is located in the middle of a flood plain surrounded by a river; the equipment cabinets are on custom-fabricated stands to hold the equipment above the water level when it floods. We have solar panels that are also on a similar stand, all custom-made by us in our shop.
The internet is a wireless connection that passes up to 50 meg through the link, allowing us to provide a crisp 1080 picture. The wireless radio is connected to a 2 ft dish that shoots the signal about half a mile from the site to the top of the Hutchinson Co-op’s elevator. From there, it is relayed wirelessly about 7 miles to another tower where yet another 2 ft dish is located about 150 ft in the air. It is then relayed from the tower to the server and to finally to Ustream. The camera itself is pretty cool, too! It is a mechanical PTZ that can zoom almost half a mile; the shots and clarity are incredible!
What’s the best live moment you’ve captured live on your channel?
The best and worse was last year when one of the eaglets fell from the nest and died. A short two days later, the remaining eaglet was stepped on by a parent and pushed into the rain-soaked nest where he became stuck. There were so many people worried about the remaining eaglet that we were issued a special permit by the Department of Natural Resources to go up into the tree and retrieve the eaglet to save his life.
Myself and a climber from the Raptor center went up to the nest and pulled the eaglet from the mucky nest. It was already infested with maggots and would surely have been eaten alive. We brought the eaglet to the Raptor center where they rehydrated him and nursed him back to health. Twenty-four hours later, we went back up to the nest and put the eaglet back in the nest in hopes the parents would come back. Another 24 hours passed and they had not returned, so we were preparing to go up yet again to retrieve the eagle and raise it in captivity. Literally 5 minutes before we were about to head out, we had Ustream up on our 54” monitor and as the sun was setting on the nest, the parents came back!
Everyone yelled and shouted and a few people even cried. It was incredible and I am sure these words don’t do the experience justice. It was all live on Ustream!
What’s the number one tip or word of advice you’d offer to other broadcasters?
Make sure you have good MODs!
Anything else we should know?
We enjoy every minute of it and couldn’t do it without Ustream!
Watch the MN Eagle Cam live now:
Ustream is proud to announce the Featured Ustreamer series, a weekly spotlight on the broadcasters that are such an important part of who we are. Without our broadcasters, we would just be a live video player; they provide the amazing, unique and ever-interesting content that makes Ustream awesome.
For our first post in the series, we are featuring Owl Channel, three 24/7 cam featuring wild barn owls from Southern California. They’re currently awaiting four bouncing baby owlets, making this the perfect time to grab some popcorn and watch the nesting and hatches unfold.
Broadcasters Mike & Angela took some time to talk to us about why they love sharing their owls with the world on Ustream. Check out their interview and some amazing pictures below.
Ustream: How long have you been broadcasting on Ustream? Is this your only channel?
Owl Channel: We have been broadcasting on Ustream for 2 years now. We started out with one channel and now have three: www.ustream.tv/owlchannel www.ustream.tv/owlchannel2 and www.ustream.tv/owlchannel3.
U: How did you hear about Ustream? What made you decide to start broadcasting?
OC: We heard about watching live streaming on the Internet from friends and found Ustream. We started broadcasting because we wanted to share the wonderful and amazing footage we were getting with the world.
U: What is your favorite thing about broadcasting on Ustream?
OC: The fact that Ustream provides a means to broadcast live is terrific. If this was a business instead of a hobby for us, we would get a Pro-broadcasting account and broadcast commercial free. I have to mention how awesome the Ustream customer service is. They have been nothing short of outstanding.
U: How has broadcasting on Ustream impacted your community?
OC: Broadcasting on Ustream has enabled a vast online community to get connected using social media. The chat room enables people to communicate in real time as they watch the live streams. From there, external links are provided to share pictures, recorded video, educational information, etc. We ensure the chat is G-rated so people of all ages can enjoy.
U: What makes your broadcast unique?
OC: Our broadcast is unique as we are streaming wild barn owls live from our backyard. We have cameras inside and outside of the nesting box. We see everything they do around the clock. We see them eat prey such as mice, voles, gophers, rats and rabbits. They will regurgitate their prey as pellets and then break it up for nesting. The owls will lay eggs 1 to 3 times a year and then feed and raise the owlets until they leave the nest. We have witnessed many wonderful things here. We have seen a pair of owls meet for the first time, go through a courtship, bond and then have a clutch of owlets.
U: What’s the best live moment you’ve captured live on your channel?
OC: We have many priceless moments since we are live 24/7. It is amazing to watch them eat, lay eggs and fly for the first time. The best moments have to be when we see the eggs hatch, though.
U: What’s the number one tip or word of advice you’d offer to other broadcasters?
OC: The number one tip I have for broadcasters is get a good team of moderators to handle the social stream. We are very fortunate to have top notch team. The chat is always paused unless there is a moderator present to ensure the G-rated standard. The moderators answer questions and provide external links for everyone to follow as well as engage the chatters with interesting conversation.
U: Anything else we should know?
We named the first pair of barn owls that occupied the owl box Bonnie and Clyde. They were followed by the current pair named Roy and Dale. Our website www.owlchannel.com has lots of pictures and information about all of our owls and the clutches they raised and also provides a live streaming page made possible by Ustream. We also have a campaign to raise donations to keep the stream going at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/watch-barn-owls-live/x/902599.
What can you expect from Owl Channel? All sorts of awesomeness. Here’s proof:
Watch Owl Channel live:
Ustream Animals and Wildlife is home to a wide variety of animal streams from household pets to wild animal streams alike. Though we love them all equally, there is a special place in our hearts for our shelter, rescue and adoption groups that use Ustream as a means to get others involved in their cause and find animals loving homes.
This Sunday, one of these broadcasters, Los Angeles-based rescue organization Bill Foundation, is holding the first ever live rescue event from Healthy Spot in Santa Monica, from 11am-3pm PST.
Bill Foundation will feature 4-5 dogs at a time (with a roughly 30-35 dogs to be featured), and will rotate new dogs in and out over the 4 hours so everyone gets a moment in the spotlight.
Volunteers will be chatting live through the Ustream chat and will share stories about each dog’s rescue, their personality and the like. They’ll also be discussing the joys of fostering and volunteering for Bill Foundation and animal rescue.
While most dogs will be adopted locally in Los Angeles, Bill Foundation makes exceptions for excellent applicants. These applicants will be required to visit Los Angeles in person and be willing to allow a local rescue to do a home check.
Bill Foundation will also be accepting donations through the PayPal link on their channel page as a means to continue doing their fabulous rescue work.
Nine years ago in the Congo Basin, an infant chimpanzee looked on as its mother was brutally massacred by poachers. Today, that same chimp rests safe inside the Goodall Institute’s Chimp Eden sanctuary, ready to give birth herself, as the entire world watches.
This chimpanzee’s sad beginning is far too common, as thousands of the species are killed each year, victims of the bush meat trade. Although poachers will usually spare the lives of the very youngest chimpanzees, even if they survive their early years these orphans are often doomed to a life of misery and abuse as illegally kept pets. Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Jane Goodall, the world’s leading primatologist, supporters and volunteers, the young female chimp now known as Nina escaped this fate. After first being kept in a Sudan zoo, she was rescued and removed to the animal sanctuary Chimpanzee Eden. Nestled within the Umhloti Nature Reserve, it is the first and only chimpanzee sanctuary in South Africa dedicated to rehabilitating rescued chimpanzees.
As in most rescue centers, Chimpanzee Eden has a strict no-breeding policy, but somehow Nina’s contraceptive implant malfunctioned (hey, it happens.) After much careful consideration, the Institute has decided to share this rare event with the world. Filmed around the clock, special care has been taken to ensure that the filming process does not disturb Nina.
Now in maternal isolation and due to go in to labor any moment — the story won’t end here. Because Nina was deprived of both a normal chimp childhood and chimpanzee mother role models, it’s not known if she will accept her infant once it is born, or if it will need to be hand-raised by Chimpanzee Eden staff. Watch events as they unfold and join Ustream Animals for this awareness (and eyebrow)-raising internet first.
Check out the birth watch:
Follow the Twitter conversation about Nina on #ninachimpbirth and donate to Jane Goodall Institute South Africa Chimpanzee Eden Sanctuary.
Just four days into the new year, two of Ustream’s animal broadcasters welcomed three new additions. Southwest Florida Eagle Cam welcome two eaglets on January 1 and 3 (see blog post here), and early this morning, Hummingbird Nest Cam welcomed egg #1 into the world. The baby hummingbird was named Sandy in honor of the victims of Hurricane Sandy and the Sandy Hook shootings.
Sandy’s mom, Phoebe Allens, is a non-migratory Channel Islands Allens Hummingbird from Orange County, California. This stunning HD cam has been on Ustream since 2009 and has seen Phoebe give life to dozens of new hummingbirds. Hatch watch continues on Sandy’s sibling, egg #2.
Below, watch Phoebe feed Sandy her first meal and join Hummingbird Nest Cam live for hatch watch on egg #2. Learn more about Phoebe on her website here.
Update: eaglet #2 hatched on January, 3 at approximately 9:45 pm EST. Watch its entrance into the world:
Happy New Year, indeed! Ustream’s Southwest Florida Eagle Cam welcomed eaglet one on New Year’s Day and eaglet two is due any minute. Parents Ozzie & Harriet have been guarding the nest and keeping everything under control as “Hatch Watch” continues.
Check out some exciting moments from the past few days, and join us as we welcome eaglet #2 into the world. Follow @UstreamAnimals and @SWFLEagleCAM on Twitter for breaking news about the Southwest Florida bald eagles.
First pip from eaglet one:
Eaglet one is revealed to the world:
Eaglet one’s first lunch:
Watch live as hatch watch continues:
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