Osprey cameras in Estonia

Text: Urmas Sellis, ESTLAT Eagles project coordinator in Estonia
Transmission courtesy of Televõrgu AS and EENet
Photos: Bea from LK forum and Urmas Sellis

Ospreys in first camera. Click on the image for direct stream viewing.

Second osprey camera.  Click on image for direct stream viewing.
Within the  joint  Estonian and Latvian activities (ESTLAT Eagles Cross Borders) osprey nest cameras were installed in three locations this year – two in Estonia and one in Latvia. There will be more about the Latvian camera when transmission from it can be watched. In Estonia we managed to get the cameras in the forest working on April 6th and 7th. Much more work was still needed at the transmission towers and the networks however to have a stream viewable by all. The Televõrgud team mounted receivers in the tower owned by Elering. After some system tuning by Kernel and EENet transmission from the nests came on-line,  beginning on April 19th. The new camera set  was mounted by the Beta Grupp.
Both Estonian osprey nest cameras were installed at artificial nests built within the ESTLAT Eagles project. The Osprey 2 camera nesting territory is known as one of the oldest and most successful in South Estonia. Last year the ospreys built a new nest here. However, with the autumn storms it fell down from the tree and so we built an artificial nest in the same tree in winter. After the camera installation in spring it turned out that the same pair had another nest as well, about 400 meters away, and this year they are using that. So maybe we will not see ospreys very often in this camera, but the view can be enjoyed, and you can follow the shooting exercises of the Estonian Defence Forces. The first osprey nest is also an artificial nest that we have built about 200 meters away from the previous year’s broken-down nest. Last year this pair had two young. When we saw the camera image for the first time on April 19th the male was already at the nest and on April 23rd the female arrived too.
I thought that Osprey 2 was more likely to be inhabited but things turned out otherwise. The distance between the two nests is about 4 kilometres. From the ESTLAT Eagles project we could finance one camera set but the other camera was installed with aid and support from Kotkaklubi (Eagle Club) to make it more likely that nesting of ospreys will be seen by the public (when we install the cameras we don’t know whether a nest will be inhabited or not this year).
Transmission from the Estonian osprey nest cameras works thanks to the helpful contributions of Televõrgud,  and also thanks to the Estonian power systems operator Elering, who kindly allows us to use their substation tower for mounting our transmission equipment. From the Elering tower the signal moves on to the Televõrgud cable. By way of the cable the video reaches the EENet server room where it is decoded and split for viewers. Internet access  to the cameras and administration of the international forums is within the Looduskalender.ee web environment and the Eagles project web.
Photo: Olev Lüütsep

The osprey cameras run within the ESTLAT Eagles Cross Borders project.
Thank you to helpful people who have willingly participated in various activities:
Olev Lüütsepp; Urmas Lett; Ell, Triin and Ott Sellis; Omar Neiland; Marti Savi; Raivo Laats; Kalle Saaremägi; Arne Ader; Joosep Tuvi; Josephine Coleman; Lembe Szynkiewicz; Kaija Eistrat, Brit Erlangen, Gennadi Skromnov; Kaido and Eili Einama; Tiiu and Kalle Timmas (the latter sadly no longer with us)
and many more! 




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