Home / Streaming birds with an eagle eye
16 May 2018 - 14:55
Streaming birds has gained lots of popularity recently. But why are more and more video fans, viewers, and professionals turning their attention to bird streams?
Unless you’re a trained ornithologist, the joy of observing different bird species in the wild might stay hidden in the trees. Cleverly installed live cams can solve the problem of “I can hear them but never see them” very easily. Skilled ornithologists also often appreciate the unique viewpoint that live cameras offer. Professionals among zoologists, ornithologists, and nature conservationists value wild nest cams for the opportunity to bring the birds closer to the public eye, with the birds themselves staying safely in their natural environment.
As we’ve already mentioned, wild bird nest cams are ideal for keeping birds safe from the negative effects of man-made environments. Yet even the live cams that are set up in zoos or other artificial habitats can bring unique and surprising shots. Why? Because birds (and animals in general) often behave differently when you’re standing close and looking at them. On the other hand, they usually grow used to the cameras very quickly, so you get much more natural behavior when watching them by means of live cameras.
Streaming birds has another very important aspect. It’s fun and it’s interesting, which makes it a great way to learn. Many zoos (as you can read in our previous blog article) together with conservancy foundations have discovered that live streams can be a very effective way to raise awareness about their cause. In the following chapter, we’ll show you one extremely successful example of live streaming.
How can expertise, devotion, and smart technology (CamStreamer, of course) bring eagle nests live to millions of viewers? The story of the American Eagle Foundation (AEF) proves that streaming can serve many good causes. It all started in late 1990’s, when the AEF – a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to care for and protect the USA’s living symbol of freedom, the bald eagle – installed the first security cameras on their non-releasable breeding pairs. The AEF wanted to keep a close eye on the eaglets being raised by their parents. Eagle nests are vulnerable to many threats, and the young eagles would be ultimately released into the wild; therefore, cameras were an important instrument in ensuring the health and security of the eagles. Considering many successful rearings and the progress in internet technologies, the AEF decided to share their live streams with the public.
With CamStreamer serving as an excellent tool for their live nest cams (read more about the technical solution in our case study), the AEF runs live nest cams in four locations in the USA. Liberty and Justice, Romeo and Juliet, and Lady Independence and Sir Hatcher II – these are the names of the AEF’s eagle celebrities. On the most popular nest cam, located in the National Arboretum in Washington D.C., eagles named Mr. President and The First Lady showed millions of viewers the daily life of the once endangered species.
To date, 60 million viewers of the most popular nest cam, as many as 2.5 million total viewers per day, and 60 thousand viewers watching at the same time say it all. The project was an instant success and has been an incredible benefit to the AEF’s mission.
As we’ve seen above, CamStreamer is an ideal solution for streaming bird nests. Why? It’s most important competitive features are highlighted in the streaming of birds:
Streaming birds is a very delicate thing. You know, birds usually don’t appreciate having people with cameras and tools around, especially when nesting. “We can’t go up to the cameras while the eagles are around the nest and reset them or tweak them, so stable and reliable performance is essential to us,” explains Connor O’Brien of the AEF, and he continues: “Axis cameras and CamStreamer offer that peace of mind, stability, and high performance. That’s what we need to be able to focus on our educational message, not troubleshooting streaming issues.”
We know that troubleshooting is a pain in the… you know. We also know that if you’re not a technical expert, you probably don’t really have a clear picture of how to fix problems with streaming. That’s what we’re here for! “Aside from a great product, the customer support has been excellent! They have gone above and beyond for us without hesitation,” says Connor from the AEF. We make our apps to be user-friendly. Moreover, when things don’t go as planned, we’re here to help.
Weather conditions? Location information? Information about bird species? Or something else? Thanks to our app CamOverlay, you can add almost any graphic overlay you can imagine to your live stream. So, you can combine entertainment, marketing, and education in one perfect live stream.