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"Watch the Birdie" gets a whole new meaning

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While it's nothing new to have a camera pointed at wildlife, this article from CNN details a slightly new take on things.

National Geographic Society, along with Africam.com and the Friends of the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge have tired a weatherproof camera to the top of an 85-foot pine tree. The camera has been pointed at a nest in which researchers hope a pair of eagles with hatch and raise their fledglings. According to the article, "It is believed to be one of the first broadcast-quality cameras to track the lives of a pair of mating bald eagles." Now that may not seem to be much of a milestone, but I for one am intrigued because of the sheer majesty of these raptors, as well as the fact they ARE one of the great symbols of our nation.

The article details how the camera is using a microwave-based transmitter to send streaming images to a local ISP. Of course, since last year only 13 or 14 pairs of the 99 eagles in the area actually hatched fledglings it's still "up in the air" if the eagles will actually use the nest or not. I guess if I had been the sucker that had to climb 85 feet into the air and out onto a branch to mount that camera I'd want to be certain ahead of time that my work was going to be worthwhile.

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If you live in the US midwest you can see large numbers of bald eagles around the Quad Cities area (Moline, Davenport, Rock Island, Bettendorf) on the Illinois/Iowa border. Go there in December through February when the Mississippi River is frozen -- the eagles congregate downstream of dams where the turbulence clears the ice (and stuns fish, which the eagles eat.)

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Feren (Jason Olsen)read storiescontact (login required)

    a network engineer and Black panther from Chicago, Illinois, interested in furry literature, art, and camaros

    Sometimes network engineer. Sometimes coder. Sometimes ranting editorial writer.

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