A new birdcam could be installed on the Eastern Shore this spring - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Mar. 2, 2016 3:21 pm

A new birdcam could be installed on the Eastern Shore this spring

The Chesapeake Conservancy is turning to crowdfunding for a new great blue heron cam, complete with night vision.

A great blue heron stalks its prey.

(Photo by Flickr user Cristóbal Alvarado Minic, used under a Creative Commons license)

From Baltimore’s skyscraper falcons to those territorial osprey on the Bay Bridge, the Chesapeake Conservancy does webcams right. And with word taking flight, the organization is getting invites to spread its wings. (Sorry.)

An Eastern Shore homeowner wants the Conservancy to install a webcam within prime view of a great blue heron rookery. The area has been home to 10-12 heron nests, with up to 50 herons at a time once hatching is complete. If installed, the webcam would feature infrared technology to view the herons at night.

The roughly four-foot tall birds with S-shaped necks typically have a 5-6-foot wingspan. Spoiler alert: “It silently stalks its prey in shallow waters, and then plunges its bill into the water to capture it. It will spend about 90 percent of its waking hours hunting for food,” the Conservancy states.

A Rehobeth-based tree service is providing the mount as a donation, and Skyline Technologies has agreed to provide a discounted rate for equipment and installation. But the Conservancy is still short of funds. The organization didn’t plan on a new webcam this year, so it’s turning to a crowdfunding campaign to help raise the $10,000 necessary for the camera.

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“We must move fast, as the heron customarily return to their nests in the next two weeks,” Chesapeake Conservancy Director of Communications Jody Couser said. “We have to mount the camera quickly so as not to disrupt the rookery.”

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