News24

Johannesburg eagles to make web debut

2012-04-13 22:26

Johannesburg - A pair of black eagles nesting in a Johannesburg reserve are to have a powerful webcam trained on their nest to broadcast the hatching of their next chick on the internet.

Paul Penzhorn, spokesman for Africam.com, which already has webcams at watering holes in reserves in other parts of the country, said the black eagles, nesting at the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens in Roodepoort, would make fascinating viewing for nature lovers across the world.

"The Americans have a similar webcam on a nest and it regularly makes headlines as events in their lives unfold."

To film the South African eagles, Africam.com needed extensive permission from various conservation authorities. The webcam was sponsored, Penzhorn said.

The webcam was in a position where it would not interfere with the eagles and had been made as inconspicuous as possible. As the nest was on a cliff-face a custom-made camera rig weighing about 40kg was designed. It had a 2m long extension arm drilled directly into the rock.

"This will allow the remote controlled pan, tilt and zoom camera to swing out from the cliff and provide an unobstructed view of the nest," Penzhorn said.

The eagles were an old pair thought to have been nesting in the same spot for 35 years.

"They have raised many chicks in an environment close to urban areas," Penzhorn said.

Also imminent was a cheetah-cam that had been placed in an enclosure at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre. The cheetah in the enclosure was a pregnant female due to give birth in the coming weeks.

"We hope to capture the birth so that viewers can see, for the first time ever, how these endangered creatures are born."

The livestream would stay on as the cheetah cubs grow and would make for entertaining viewing.

The webcams are to go live within the next few weeks. They will be available on http://www.africam.com.

Comments
  • barry.mcbride - 2012-04-13 23:02

    Talk about an invasion of privacy!

  • Sipho - 2012-04-13 23:20

    I wonder how disguisting dis is goin 2 b, cant dey live de poor animals alone

  • Sipho - 2012-04-13 23:21

    I wonder how disguisting dis is goin 2 b, cant dey live de poor animals alone, tokn abt ppl hu dont know wat to do

      marc.potgieter2 - 2012-04-14 09:59

      Sipho, c'mon man, this is supposed to be an educated site. Dont use teenage sms speak or learn to speak and spell.

      marc.potgieter2 - 2012-04-14 09:59

      Sipho, c'mon man, this is supposed to be an educated site. Dont use teenage sms speak or learn to speak and spell.

  • Sipho - 2012-04-13 23:23

    I wonder how disguisting dis is goin 2 b, cant dey live de poor animals alone, tokn abt ppl hu dont know wat to do

  • Karl - 2012-04-14 05:08

    Sis....waisting of money

  • Morn%c3%a9 - 2012-04-14 09:54

    I'm not sure what the fuss is all about. They had a cam up there 4 or 5 years ago; only possible difference is that they are streaming it live now (you used to be able to watch the eagles on a webcam at the entrance shop). The intrusion is a once-off affair in setting up the came, after which the birds will ignore the camera; it's humans and noise they have a problem with, not a small inconspicuous device. Surprising as it may seem, this camera might actually ensure the survival of these birds. There is enormous pressure to develop in the area near to where these birds are nesting and international fame might prevent this. It is also certainly not the same pair of birds as 35 years ago. I distinctly remember that the male disappeared a few years ago and the female took a new mate.

  • paul.prinsloo3 - 2012-04-14 12:19

    complain about real issues; there are enough of those for all of us upon which we could air an opinion. there are people, myself included, who just adore wildlife and want to know all about them and the problems they face in order that we could be better equipped to preserve them. Invasion of privacy is something genealogists and urologists, amongst others, do all day, and we're thankful for them being able and willing to do that, however boring it might become. because they save, or at least improve life. Black eagles are on the list of endangered species and won't mind human interest in them with a view to learn how to prevent extinction of those gracious creatures.

  • Rose - 2012-04-14 13:29

    I LOVE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THE BIG STRONG BIRDS. I WISH YOUR CAMERA ARE HD.

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