Ospreys livestreamed from Lake Capote

Jon Broholm, Wildlife Technician for the Southern Ute Wildlife Division monitors the Lake Capote osprey nest from his office on Tribal Campus on Tuesday, March 28. Broholm has the ability to change the video camera’s focal length, the camera’s direction and even capture high quality still frames from the live feed.
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
SU Division of Wildlife
SU Division of Wildlife

Wildlife Division installs webcam at nest

For the past nine years, a pair of ospreys has made its seasonal home at the Tribe’s Lake Capote, and given visitors spectacular displays of nesting, fishing, and fledging young. Ospreys are a type of raptor related to hawks and eagles and feed exclusively on live fish. They spend their winters in South and Central America, and return north for the breeding season. Beginning this spring, viewers can get a much closer view of the birds’ activities, via a webcam installed at their nest.

The Tribe’s Division of Wildlife Resource Management initially installed the nest platform at the Lake in 2005, and only two years later the platform had already been spotted and put to use by the ospreys. With the many subsequent years of successful nesting, and improvements in web video-streaming technology, the Division decided to take advantage of a great educational opportunity.

Working with View Into The Blue, a Boulder-based company specializing in outdoor webcams, experts designed a webcam and livestreaming system for the Lake Capote nest site. Installation was done in February, before the ospreys’ return migration, and involved using an aerial lift to safely reach the top of the nest platform near the lake. A mounting system was attached to the pole, and includes a lightning rod to divert any strikes away from the camera and the nest.

The high-definition 1080p camera has pan, tilt, and zoom capabilities – allowing it to capture not just what’s happening on the nest, but also video of the lake or Chimney Rock for example. The camera data is transmitted wirelessly from the webcam to a communications tower near the campground. Live video can be viewed at http://www.lakecapote.com/osprey-cam/and accessed using a link on the Tribe’s homepage.

Jon Broholm, a Wildlife Technician with the Division, called this a challenging but exciting project. “The project has both construction and technology components, but with the help of several other tribal divisions, we got all the pieces put together,” he said.

Wildlife Division Head, Steve Whiteman spoke about the educational and promotional opportunities the webcam will provide.

“We’re excited to give the Tribe and the public an opportunity to learn more about and appreciate these fascinating birds by viewing them up close. We think this will draw visitors to Lake Capote, who will look forward to seeing the ospreys while fishing or camping,” Whiteman said.

The Division anticipates a lot of interest in the project and recommends that any inquiries be directed to the Tribal Wildlife office in Ignacio.




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