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The Golden eagle nest camera is situated in a remote bog in Soomaa National Park in Southwestern Estonia. This territory has been used by the eagles since the second half of the 20th century at least. The current nest was built by the eagles in 2011.
Livestream from the nest can be seen on Eagle Club Estonia’s YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/Kotkaklubi.
In 2020 one eaglet fledged from the nest. She was named Kelly by the viewers of the Looduskalender forum. Find out more about the nestlife in 2020 from Looduskalender forum or Eagle Club Estonia homepage and watch recordings on YouTube channel.
The origin of the male golden eagle Kalju is unknown, but the female Helju has a metal ring on her left tarsus. Therefore, we believe that she was born and ringed in Latvia, but until we manage to read the full ring code, we cannot be absolutely sure of that.
The golden eagles start decorating the nest with fresh branches already in late winter. Usually the eggs are laid in the second half of March, but it is not uncommon for the so-called non-nesting seasons, when the nest is decorated with fresh branches, but no eggs are laid. There are up to two eggs in the golden eagle brood and the chick(s) hatch in late April. In general however, only one eaglet fledges, even if originally two hatched. The weaker chick usually dies because of food deprivation.
The nest camera was set up by Urmas Sellis and Gunnar Sein from Eagle Club Estonia and Omar Neiland (Beta Grupp OÜ) at the beginning of January. We use AXIS F41 camera with a custom made microphone from Omar. The main body of the camera is below the nest on the tree trunk, but the lens and sensor are at the nest level. Therefore the camera seems quite small when seen from the nest. Additionally, we tried to camouflage the camera as much as possible.
The camera is powered by solar panels, and to save energy, the camera turns off when it gets dark and the batteries are weak. Live broadcast from the nest resumes at sunrise. We transmit the camera image via 4G mobile internet, so in case of intensive network use, there may be interruptions in the transmission.
The camera is streamed through the Eagle Club Estonia’s YouTube channel. We recommend following Kotkaklubi channel in case the broadcast needs to be restarted due to technical errors, which may change the direct link of the broadcast. As the season progresses, Kotkaklubi channel will also feature all other nesting cameras of Estonian eagles and black storks, as well as a capercaillie camera.
The preparation and recording of the camera signal for streaming takes place with the support of the Estonian Fund for Nature. The use of the stream from the nest for non-commercial purposes is not prohibited, but please let us know if possible (send a message to urmas(ät)kotkas.ee). Contributors are welcomed with each camera, as some components need to be replaced every year and we do not have any project support for hardware costs. The Environmental Investment Center supports the installation, removal and maintenance of cameras.
Golden eagle nest camera team and supporters:
Eagle Club – nest related actions, camera installation and information
Beta-Grupp OÜ – camera testing and setup, microphone construction, technical support
Looduskalender – forum on the Web
Estonian Fund for Nature – server support
Akukeskus Tartus – battery assistance
Environmental Investment Center – financial support
Mitmed eraannetajad – to cover unexpected and expected hardware costs
Tuhanded vaatlejad – The most important, because otherwise the cameras would not make much sense!