Johannesburg eagles to make web debut
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.