White-tailed eagle nest camera 2018

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Thu, 08.03.2018 - 15:56

Text: Urmas SellisEOÜ
Images: Triin Leetmaa

Transmission courtesy of  EENet
Translation Liis



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The white-tailed eagle camera is installed at a nest in West Estonia. In the same area the web camera was placed in 2009-2013, at the so called Linda and Sulev’s nest. The first of the nests at that time was situated across the bog from the present nest which is visible behind the tree crowns. The first plan to install the camera at the new nest of white-tailed eagles Anna and Uku, popular in 2016, did not succeed since the new nest too had fallen down in winter.

The installation of the camera in the new location was made in two snowy days in early February; Renno, Omar, Triin and Urmas took part. We did not see the eagles then. Hopefully neither did they see us .

Renno, Omar and Urmas heading towards the nest with batteries and other goods.

Renno placed the solar panels in a suitable place.

A good place was at the forest verge with a view towards south.

Triin – the lightest of us - circled above the nest forest and made these photos.

At the level of the nest when Urmas was busy there.

A view on the nest directly from above – the nest tree in the centre.

Merikotkas pesal

It seems that the installation of the camera was successful – the eagles watch us with interest from there (screencap caught by forum member Liz01, 3.03.2018).


Renno found this nest situated at a height of 23 meters three years ago but as far as is known there have been no young in it. Because of this we have not succeeded to photograph the adults earlier. 2016 the nest had fallen down from the tree together with the eggs. We added two strong pine branches below the nest so that camera watchers would not have to see such a drama once more. The birds that have built the nest are not ringed so their origins and ages are not known. But the female seems to be younger or at least looks youthful. Anyhow, she is not Linda who lived earlier in this territory. The female was at first suspicious with regard to the camera lens but got used to it. The male is older, he did not bother about the camera. Whether he is Sulev as before, will be homework for our watchers to decide! In the  forum you can compare your opinions to those of others.

From the nest a view opens up behind the tree crowns to the bog (a former sea bay) partly covered with reeds and from where water rails can sometimes be heard.

The camera system is constructed so that when darkness falls all power consumers are turned off and when it turns light are again turned on. This allows us to reduce the power need significantly in early spring and we need not risk disturbing the nest life of the eagles with a change of batteries. The solar batteries work well when they are not covered with snow and  the sun shines. As days become longer we can transmit the whole night and day. This can be regulated from a distance without visiting the site. The camera is the familiar  AXIS F41 from the earlier nest of white-tailed eagles Uku and Anna, and the microphone Omar built himself. As for transmission we abandoned constructing a WiFi link and hope for the 4G mobile internet to bring the camera image to the  EENet server. In the server the image  is split for the thousands of viewers all over the world who want to take part in happenings in the nest. If possible we will also use the YouTube streaming service in parallel. The mobile 4G transmission is not quite as stable as the earlier permanent links but it is much easier to use (a direct view is not necessary and the antenna need not be brought up into a tree crown).

According to the Nature conservation act, beginning from February 15 human movement near the white-tailed eagle nest location is prohibited (without special permission). Each camera watcher of the nest can check that the law is fulfilled and has the opportunity to feel as an invisible nature protection inspector at this nest...

...but let us hope that all works out nicely and that in July we will see the first flights of the eaglets.

As always many splendid and helpful people are connected to the enterprise. The camera system we assembled thanks to the very significant support of ventilation equipment producer  ETS NORD AS  (at the opening of their new plant they asked partners and customers to support the nest camera project of the Kotkaklubi instead of bringing flowers) and many thanks also to private donors. The system parts are quite expensive and without friendly supporters we would not be able to use them.

The minimal expenses of the running of the camera are covered by KIK this year but the appliances we would not have been able to purchase with this sum.

Using the stream from the nest elsewhere is not prohibited but please let us know in such cases (see the contacts at the end of the page or send a message to urmas(ät)kotkas.ee). Godparents are welcome to every camera; ETS NORD already became godparent on their own initiative.

More information about happenings at the nest is in the Looduskalender forum  and the white-tailed eagle news.

For comparison it is worthwhile looking at the  Latvian WTE camera and its news in the forum

Partners in the enterprise: 

Ornitoloogiaühing Kotkaklubi EEnet