Golden eagle nest camera at the Central Range of the Defense Forces: Kaljukotkas 2

Submitted by Looduskalender on Sun, 31.03.2024 - 13:53



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Golden Eagle       Aquila chrysaetos


The Golden Eagle 2 nest camera is located in an expanded danger zone near the Central Training Area of the Estonian Defence Forces in Northern Estonia. The training of the Defence Forces involves quite noisy activities or a large number of vehicles and people operating within the training area. To clarify the impact of these activities on golden eagles nesting in the vicinity of the training areas, the State Defence Investment Centre has commissioned a study to be carried out by the Estonian Eagle Club. As part of the study, we installed a nest camera on the golden eagle's nest, among other things.

Golden Eagle 2 is a traditional golden eagle territory - one of those located south of Lahemaa National Park in North Kõrvemaa. Over the years, the nests have been located on different bog islands or on the edge of the bog in this territory; generations of golden eagles have changed there, but the territory has remained the same. Eagles have been nesting in this nest on the top of a large aspen tree since 2016. In recent years, an eagle chick has fledged from this nest, albeit later than average, which indicates later than average egg-laying.

In 2023, our German colleague Oliver Krone helped our chick get a transmitter. It flew from its nesting territory to Latvia in early November, returned to Estonia in early December and spent the winter here. We have not added traceable golden eagles to the migration map, as they tend to be quite sedentary. However, some young birds hatched in Estonia move to Poland and Ukraine for the winter.

Both old birds in the nest are unringed, so we do not know their age or origin.

The female laid the first egg in the nest yesterday, March 26 at 14:46 so we can expect the eagle chick to hatch in late April.

Eagle camera
First egg in the camera nest.

The live broadcast from the Golden Eagle 2 nest can also be watched on the Estonian Eagle Club YouTube channel.

At this camera, we ask for the help of interested people in documenting observations on the LK forum.

The purpose of the camera is to assess the impact of noise or other activities associated with military exercises on golden eagle nesting. Describing the behavior of eagles on the forum allows us to analyze it and, if necessary, find a specific video clip from the recorded material. Due to the large volume of material, it is very time-consuming to process all the recordings after the nesting period is over. Therefore, all descriptions of observed behavioral ... peculiarities are welcome in the forum, so there is no need to hold back. Nothing bad will happen if two observers write about the same event at the same time. To join the forum, please write a letter to the forum administrator.

A pair of golden eagles in the nest.

The nest camera was set up by Urmas Sellis and Gunnar Sein from the Estonian Eagle Club and Omar Neiland ( We use an AXIS F41 camera with a microphone made by Omar at the nest. The microphone is attached under the nest, which is almost 2 meters high. It is possible that for the next season we will raise the microphone higher, so that the sounds from the nest reach the observer better. Initially, we did not want to place too many new things above the nest. The main body of the camera is located below in the tree trunk, the lens with the sensor is on a branch next to the nest. Therefore, the camera looks relatively small when viewed from the nest. In addition, we tried to hide the camera lens and cable as much as possible.

The camera runs on battery power, which is charged by solar panels. To save energy, the camera turns off at nightfall. The live broadcast from the nest will resume at sunrise. Until the sun is rarely seen, there may be interruptions in the transmission due to a lack of energy. We transmit the camera image via 4G mobile internet, therefore disruptions in the transmission may occur due to intensive network usage and during maintenance work of the webcam system.

When the days get longer and sunnier, we will be able to keep the camera running all day.

The live broadcast is transmitted to viewers via the Estonian Eagle Club YouTube channel. We recommend subscribing to the Estonian Eagle Club channel in case the live broadcast of the nest camera needs to be restarted for technical reasons, which may change the web address of the broadcast. On the Eagle Club channel, you will also find all the other nest cameras of Estonian eagles and black storks as well as the tawny owl camera as the season progresses.

The preparation and recording of the camera signal transmission is carried out with the support of the Estonian Nature Fund. What happens in the nest is reflected in the Nature Calendar forum. The use of the broadcast from the nest for other non-commercial purposes is not prohibited, but if possible, please let us know (send a message to urmas(ät)

Sponsors are welcome for every camera because some components need to be replaced every year. The running costs of this golden eagle camera are covered by a procurement from the State Defence Investment Centre. For comparison, we have used the help of Eagle Club supporters to maintain the monitored Soomaa Golden Eagle camera. A big thank you to all donors!

Golden Eagle 2 nest camera team and supporters:

Estonian Eagle Club – involved with the nest, camera installation, information sharing, daily administration
Beta-Grupp OÜ – camera testing and tuning, microphone building, technical support
Looduskalender – camera forum online
Estonian Nature Fund – server room
State Defence Investment Centre – project support for three years

Kotkaklubi elf LK

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