Nu-Sun Cinema is a non-profit company based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Their goal is to educate people about wildlife and they hope that by sharing their experiences it will inspire others to learn and appreciate the wonders of nature around them.
Population of American Kestrel Falcons is on the decline partly due to loss of habitat. In an effort to help increase the population of these magnificent birds, Nu-Sun Cinema built custom nest boxes. Installing cameras inside the nest boxes would allow for conducting valuable research about breeding pairs and the rearing of their brood.
Observing the falcons’ activities needs to be non-invasive, ensuring the least amount of disruption while providing the viewers the opportunity to collect data regarding their natural behaviour.
Nu-Sun Cinema chose VIVOTEK and a total of four of its IP surveillance camera solutions to monitor numerous breeding pairs of American Kestrel Falcons.
According to Nu-Sun Cinema, cameras installed inside the nest box on the top provides the best viewing of the eggs. Typically one egg is laid every second day with an average of 5-7 eggs in a clutch. Knowing the exact number of eggs laid is an important element of study because it provides Nu-Sun Camera with insight about egg viability after hatching has completed. The top-down view also provides an interesting perspective during incubation since eggs are rolled and placed in various formations by the adults.
Conversely, a camera installed inside the nest box on the side provides an up-close view of the adults as they incubate the eggs for approximately 26-32 days.
Nu-Sun Cinema installed two VIVOTEK FD8151V compact 1.3-megapixel fixed dome cameras on the inside and side wall of the nests. Throughout this period the temperature inside the nest box can fluctuate several degrees and this viewing advantage provides insight into how the adults control egg temperatures with the position of their body.
For a top down-angle view, Nu-Sun Cinema installed two VIVOTEK FD8366-V compact 2-megapixel IR dome network cameras. With IP66, IK10 and NEMA 4X-rated rugged design, the camera will withstand shocks, vibration, humidity, dust and even extreme temperature fluctuations to maintain stable and reliable video no matter how harsh the environment. Armed with built-in IR illumination, the FD8366-V delivers superior image quality for up to 15 metres in total darkness. This all-in-one camera meets a diverse array of needs for a multitude of outdoor surveillance applications.
“Using the cameras, we monitor when incubation of the eggs start and this enables us to determine an approximate date for hatching,” explained Rick Onskie, Owner of Nu-Sun Cinema. “During this period our observations provide data about how the adults share in the incubation. And through the camera’s audio we’re able to hear when the male calls the female from the nest to feed. Once the eggs have hatched, data for our study is collected about the nestlings. In the first week or so the nestlings are very small and the camera on the side of the nest box is invaluable for observing the care they receive from the parent.”
Onskie added that with the help of the cameras, throughout the nestling period of approximately 28-31 days they are able to identify the frequency and type of food being feed to the nestlings. As the nestlings develop over the weeks they begin to identify characteristics of the nestlings’ growth. The combination of both cameras provides clear images of their feather development as well as gender markings and colouration.
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