First came COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns. We all bunkered down, baked bread, watched a lot of Netflix - and over 400,000 viewers streamed the Duke Farms Eagle Cam.
Just when we were all going stir crazy, on the night of April 30, 2020, a strong storm hit Hillsborough, New Jersey. The Duke Farms Eagle Cam went dark. Within a few days, we knew that luckily the nest was intact, but the severe weather took out the camera feed.
However, we had to wait until a window of opportunity opened after the Bald Eagle nesting season closed on August 1. (Bald eagle nesting season runs from January 1 to August 1, and no access within 1,000 feet of an active nest.) During that time period, and continuing after, the repair project was impacted by COVID-19 related delays.
Fast forward to September 21, 2020, when anyone subscribing to the Duke Farm's YouTube Channel got a joyfully received alert that the Eagle Cam was finally live!
Notes from the field, courtesy of Charles Barreca, Manager of Ecological Stewardship:
"There were two eagles flying while we worked - an adult and a juvenile.
It seems the old cam was broken in some way, its splice up in the tree was wet and the cam itself was able to power up but couldn’t get network connectivity. The new cam worked immediately upon plugging in and the splice was redone with a new splice as well as generous amounts of flextape and silicone sealant."
We'd like to thank all the viewers for their patience and support during this time. AND most importantly, we'd like to thank the camera team for their hard work:
- Staffers Charles Barreca and Jim Hanson
- Action Tree Service climbers Brian Murphy and Nelson Sinchi
- Jack Kuhlman, from Nature's Hands Tree Service. Jack is our usual climber and this year he communicated from the ground with the Action Tree climbing crew via 2-way radio and Facetime.
- Bullet Communications staff diagnosed and troubleshot the camera and cable from the ground.