Loon Camera Watches Local Birds Nest (UPDATED)
People watch birds raise their young at a local lake
UPDATE, Wednesday, 12:45 p.m.: From Loom Cam operator Jean Tam - "I saw the first chick about 11 a.m. this morning. It must have hatched overnight because there was no sign as of 1:30 am when I went to bed. The second chick should follow within 24 hours. Stay tuned to http://www.allaboutbirds.org/page.aspx?pid=2454." The chick is pictured at left, courtesy of Tam; click the image to see the original report.
ANCHORAGE - The world is watching a pair of nesting loons on Connor’s Lake in Anchorage.
After a few glitches the “loon cam” is finally up and running.
The camera streams live video of the loon’s every move from a floating island on the lake in a popular dog park.
Cornell University sponsors the loon camera, but it is a local woman and her husband who make sure the camera is up and running every year. Jean Tam and her husband moved to a home by Connor’s Lake in the mid 1980’s. At that time, Tam says, the loons were not doing so well.
“There were so many people, and dogs over there and the loons were so disturbed by that,” says Tam. “They just never had successful nesting.”
On the advice of a visiting biologist the Tams built and launched the first artificial loon island in 2003. Designed like a floating raft with a covered top, the loon island offered the birds the privacy they needed to breed and thrive. Tam says they have been rearing chicks on the lake ever since.
Not long after that, the Tams equipped the island with the loon cam, which now streams video to anyone with a computer around the clock. This year’s brood includes two eggs, which Tam predicts will hatch on June 16.