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This is my old blog, which I no longer update. Feel free to browse around old posts and such, but the much more recent version of my ramblings are to be found at MarilynAnneCampbell.com

Friday, April 14, 2006

Bird's Eye View

It's been all over the news the past few days - the Eagle Eye Camera that's focused on a Bald Eagle nest on Hornby Island, British Columbia. I looked in on it the other day and the first thing that struck me (after I got over the clarity of the close-up view) was the effect of including sound. I've visited other live animal cams in the past, but this is the first one I've seen with a live audio feed as well. Somehow, that was what bridged the gap. Just watching the eagles would be fascinating of course, but hearing the wind, the other birds in the background, and the stars of the show themselves made me feel like I was hiding out just a few feet from an eagle nest rather than sitting in my warm living room hunched over a laptop.

I realized I could move to another window and keep listening in, so I took to doing just that as I worked, clicking back over at the first sounds of any action (they really do make a lot of different squeaks and screams). I started thinking about how this was a great way to experience nature... and then I felt sort of ridiculous for thinking that. The Eagle Eye Cam is great for providing an opportunity to observe nature with a certain intimacy we otherwise couldn't achieve, but I have to make sure web sites and nature shows don't become the only time I see the great outdoors.

As I watched, the eagle's head pivoted at every sound, tuned to any predator who might have been watching. More than once that yellow beak was suddenly pointed right at the camera and I couldn't help but feel like the eagle knew this thing beside it was worth keeping an eye on. I wonder what sort of noise they'd make if they ever understood that over two million people a day have been using it to take a peek.

Quick Link:
The Eagle Eye Cam

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