As I write this, I can hear geese and a Belted Kingfisher in the distance and I'm watching a Great Blue Heron sitting over her day-old egg. I'm thousands of miles away from the birds, who reside near Sapsucker Woods pond, outside the Johnson Center for Birds and Biodiversity at the Cornell Lab for Ornithology. But I've got a front seat on the action, along with 2,500 other lurkers, thanks to the lab's Livestream video link. And if we grow bored, we can switch to Big Red, a Red-tailed Hawk, who is currently laying on her three eggs, protecting them from the wind on an unseasonably cool day in Ithica.
Streaming video links to nesting birds isn't a new craze, but it's a growing one. Last year, an eagle nest cam established by the Raptor Resource Project captivated thousands who sat, staring into their computer screens as a Bald Eagle in Decorah, Iowa, laid and guarded her hatchlings. It was the most popular feed on the Ustream service, reports Wired.com.
And now the show is back on in Decorah. Two eaglets hatched on Tuesday and one more on Wednesday, which you can watch here. Skip to around minute 7 to see the hatchling being fed. This year, the eagles in Decorah are under more advanced surveillance; the cameras use night vision, high definition and panning capabilities. What's next? GoPro cameras strapped to the birds' chests?