A bald eagle takes flight from a tree near its nest at St. Patrick's County Park on Nov. 17, 2021 in South Bend. Staff photo by Robert Franklin
A bald eagle takes flight from a tree near its nest at St. Patrick's County Park on Nov. 17, 2021 in South Bend. Staff photo by Robert Franklin
SOUTH BEND — The University of Notre Dame’s eagle cam is back, livestreaming video of the eagles in their huge nest atop a tree at St. Patrick’s County Park. The old eagle camera broke down and stopped feeding video this spring after the eggs had hatched.

Local tree experts from the company Davey Resource Group recently scaled the tree using ropes and installed a new camera, which hovers directly over the nest. The HD camera can pan 360 degrees, tilt and zoom up to 32x, according to the university. Low-light capabilities will help viewers to see more activities overnight, too

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But it doesn’t provide the sound that was originally planned. Brett Peters, assistant director of Notre Dame’s Linked Experimental Ecosystem Facility, which operates the eagle cam, said he’d tested the microphone a week before. But, on installation day, just before the gear was installed, it failed. It would have allowed viewers to hear the eagles squawk and make their high-pitched chipping noises, but likely would have picked up a lot of wind noise, too. 

A new feature the eagle cam does include is a measuring device, which the Davey crew simply calibrated during installation, that allows Notre Dame researchers to estimate the size of the eagles’ young and the prey that adults bring into the nest, Peters said. 

Notre Dame researchers published their findings this year after studying the types of prey that the eagles bring to the nest, as reported in The Tribune’s Outdoor Adventures column on Aug. 25. Graduate students had combed through more than 26,000 photos of the eagles’ nest that were shot in the spring of 2018.

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