Live-Streaming Wildlife cams need to post emergency contact information. That is the minimum that should be on their site and it should appear clearly at the top so when an incident occurs, help can be summoned quickly. Saving minutes can be crucial to saving the bird or animal.
This past July the need for quick action happened when the second Osprey to be re-nested on the Patuxent Osprey Cam 2 fell off the nest into the water. Immediately people on the chat, who heard the splash, set about trying to get in touch with someone to help. The problem was the “time” of the event. The office for Patuxent River Park had just closed for the weekend. Individuals from as far away as Hawaii began calling the various wildlife agencies in Maryland to get help for the chick. Luckily someone knew to contact Katherine Dami who rushed out and with her significant other were able to get the chick back in the nest. The chick was saved and Katherine said they were lucky that the tide had not come in! The Park has since posted an e-mail contact which Katherine told me is monitored by staff.
Since this incident, several others have come to my attention. One of the most touching is of a White-tailed Eaglet at its nest in the Kurzeme Region of Latvia. ‘R’ who was so kind to send me the detailed information said that this rescue, despite being three years ago, remains clear in her mind.
Here is a video of the eaglet falling out of the nest at 6:37 am 22 June 2018. The eaglet’s name was Knips and its parents are Cilla, the female, and Osis, the male. The sibling in the nest with Knips is Bossa.
As you watch, I want you to imagine that this could be any other nest. Would you want an emergency number at the very top so you can see it to call immediately?
Bossa comes near to Knips. Perhaps Bossa is wanting a bone or a piece of prey. Knips slips over the edge of the nest. This is witnessed on a live streaming cam. You see this. What do you do? What can you do if there is no urgent contact information? no active chat? a chat but no moderator?
It is very fortunate that the chat for the nests cared for by the Latvian Fund for Nature are monitored. This is very important. Many chat rooms are not monitored and there is no emergency information for the nest if something happens. The local vet, Janis Kuze, was contacted immediately. Lucky for Knips, he contacted and drove Ugis Bergmanis, Senior Latvian Environmental Expert and a renowned European eagle expert, to the nest site. Within two hours, Knips was in care at Bergmanis’s rehabilitation centre which is located near to this nest site. Just as heart warming was the response to the call for fish to feed Knips – more than 20 kilos arrived immediately. How generous.
My contact, ‘R’, says: “It helps that there are in fact two forums (the Estonian Looduskalender and the Latvian Dabasdati) associated to the Baltic nests
and there are active chats and via the forum every member can contact someone who knows how to contact a responsible. And the helpful people are numerous and dedicated.”
Here is the image of Knips being released. What a joyful day for everyone this must have been. It certainly brings little tears to my eyes.
Knips and ‘Silo Chick’ are not the only birds ever to fall out of a nest. Each of you reading this might have a story or two, maybe more. It is horrifying watching something unfold like this. One gets quite anxious if they want to help and do not know how.
As you can also see from above, the active chats at both Putaxent and the White Tail Eagle Cam in Latvia are the front line of what I will call “immediate nest knowledge.” Chatters love the birds. They care for them as if they were their own family. It is essential for the health of the birds and animals on these live streaming cams that an easy-to-locate emergency number be provided if there is no moderator or responsible party on the chat 24/7. That number can be the local wildlife rehabilitation officer if they have a 24 hour emergency line – but that number needs to be the individual who will be responsible for getting help for the birds or animals.
There are other aspects of wildlife streaming cams that make the experience of watching more pleasurable. Information about the birds and their history help people care – and some, like me, love data. I want to know the history of the couple, the dates the eggs were laid, and the hatch dates. I would like a link to a full biography of the birds and a full history. Active FB groups help with individuals contacting one another if something happens on the nest. A reader noticed something not right in a nest and realized that an individual on the FB group lived nearby. They were contacted and able to assist the event to a happy ending. Every connection counts! The community of animal and bird watchers and lovers is about sharing information and observations, discovering new birds or animals – knowledge and educational sharing – as well as helping the animals and birds that need our help. As ‘S’ said to me, “letting our voices be known to change the world of birds and other animals for the better.”
So if you know a steaming cam or a FB group get involved. Help them make their streaming cam site “user friendly” in case of an emergency while, at the same time, adding current and historical information for educational purposes. Thanks!
In other news, the Collins Marsh chick that we have been calling ‘Malin’ will be getting an official name. To add a name suggestion please go to the Neustadter Nature Centre at Collins Marsh FB page (you don’t have to be a member of their group) and add your suggestion in the comments. Scroll down a little to get to the topic. You do not have to support ‘Malin’ but if you do – it means ‘little warrior’ and he certainly is going to have to be one.
Malin went without food all day Sunday. This morning a small fish was delivered and he practically sucked it up he was so hungry. I hope that Collins and Marsha will get out fishing and bring some more on to the nest for Malin. Thanks, ‘S’ for digging deep to find the names of these parents!
Do any of my readers live in this area of Wisconsin? I notice that there is a trend of little food during the weekend. Is there a reason for this? Are the rivers and lakes full of people and boats?
This was the first feeding today for Malin.
A second fish came in just a few minutes ago – around 3:05pm nest time. Malin could hardly contain herself.
This is great behaviour – the mantling. Since Malin is the only chick on the nest she has to learn to protect her fish!
On another topic, please look at how well these feathers are developing on this little one. There is an angel watching over this wee osprey.
Mom is getting the message – Malin is hungry!
According to ‘S’, Malin sucked that fish up in 8 minutes!
Our “Not so Tiny Little” on the Foulshaw Moss Osprey nest was waiting for White YW to deliver one of his whopper’s this afternoon.
Tiny Tot on the Achieva Nest became one of the most elegant Ospreys that I had ever seen. Tiny Little is becoming more gorgeous as each day passes. My heart still skips a beat when I think of these two – they thrived! Against the odds. It is a good lesson for all of us to never give up.
Thank you so much for joining on a day when it poured rain and is now lightly raining on the Canadian prairies. It is so wonderful – I don’t care if every joint in my body aches. Take care all, see you soon.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Collins Marsh Osprey Cam, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, and the Latvian Fund for Nature. I want to thank ‘R’ for the information about the rescue of Knips, for the links to the videos, and the images – what a wonderful rescue of that little white tail eaglet by the community. I also want to thank ‘S’ for her fabulous sleuthing.