Text: Triin Leetmaa, Urmas Sellis
Kalakotkas Pandion haliaetus
In 2022, there are two Osprey nest cameras in Estonia, one in Võru County (camera since 2012) and the other in Tartu County (camera since 2013). The nest camera in Võru County is called “kalakotkas”.
The osprey camera nest in Võru County was built in the winter of 2011 about 300 m from the natural nest that had fallen down that year. The pair of ospreys immediately adopted the artificial nest with the camera and this year we can follow the nestlife for the eleventh year in a row. The history of the nest can be seen on the osprey cameras page. The first female bird nesting here was named Piret. Her migration routes can be seen on the migration map. In 2022, the public livestream from the Võru County osprey nest started on April 15, though camera was installed in April 2. In between, Marko and Miina had already arrived from their wintering grounds. They don’t have rings, but individuals can be distinguished by plumage details. The first egg was laid on April 20. Since then Miina has laid a total of three eggs at intervals of a few days. The chicks are expected to hatch in late May. All important events are covered by the forum.
We are using an AXIS F41 camera with a separate sensor and a microphone made by Omar. The camera image is transmitted with MikroTik antennas to the nearest broadband mast and from there to the server of the Estonian Fund for Nature. Streaming to the viewers is done through the Eagle Club YouTube channel. We recommend following the Kotkaklubi channel in case you need to restart the live broadcast of the nesting camera for technical reasons, which may change the web address of the broadcast. All other Estonian eagle and black stork nest cameras and a capercaillie camera can also be found on the Eagle Club channel. The use of the stream from the nest elsewhere for non-commercial purposes is not prohibited, but please let us know if possible (send a message to urmas (at) kotkas.ee)
Osprey nest cameras operate autonomously without external energy and data communication. Energy comes from the sun, it is stored in batteries for stability. Data is transmitted via WiFi links to the broadband mast. With the help of supporters, we have been able to update the technology over the years to make the camera image sharper and better. Though, not always things go according to the plans… We can’t be satisfied with sharpness. The Environmental Investment Center supports the installation, dismantling and maintenance of cameras.
Osprey Nest Camera Team and Supporters:
Eagle Club Estonia - camera installation and information sharing
Beta-Grupp OÜ - camera testing and setup, microphone construction, technical support
Looduskalender - camera forum
Estonian Fund for Nature - server
AkuKeskus Tartu - battery support
Environmental Investment Center - financial support for everyday activities
Private donors - covering unexpected and expected hardware costs
Bea - moderator of osprey camera forums
Thousands of observers - who are the most important, because otherwise the camera would not make much sense!