The Scottish Wildlife Trust is harnessing the power of Axis network cameras to provide live video to anyone wanting to track the arrival of a rare osprey as it returns from West Africa, where it spent the winter, to Scotland.
The AXIS Q6035-E PTZ Dome Network Camera is mounted at the top of the tree canopy, some 60 feet high, and is focused on one particular osprey’s nest and captured the moment it returned from its annual 3,000 mile long journey from West Africa to the Scottish Wildlife Trust Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre, near Dunkeld in Scotland.
The osprey in question is affectionately known as ‘Lady’ or ‘the Lady of the Loch’, a remarkable female who has returned to breed at the nesting site for the last 24 years and is thought to be the oldest known breeding osprey in Britain.
The high-definition camera provides a constant live stream of events at the nest site directly to the Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre and to the Trust’s website. Atul Rajput, regional director northern Europe at Axis Communications commented: “Come rain or shine, day or night, our camera is providing real-time footage for everyone to watch the moment when the Osprey returns to the nest.
“Working with our specialist installation partners at Scottish Communications, we decided that the AXIS Q6035-E PTZ camera was the best contender for the job due to its excellent tolerance of extremely harsh environments, its 20x high definition optical zoom and its ability to see in low light conditions thanks to infra-red technology.”
Stuart Leslie, sales engineer at Scottish Communications added: “We’ve been using Axis cameras for years and this particular installation required a specific type of high specification, hard-wearing and reliable equipment.
“We chose Axis cameras as they were ideal in this situation. They had to be robust and reliable as we don’t want to have to keep climbing the 60 feet to the top of the top of the nest as it might scare the osprey and our staff!
“We used a direct fibre connection to relay live, high definition images back to the visitor’s centre half a kilometre away and out across the internet. At the visitor’s centre we used the Axis Camera Companion software so that visitors can easily move the camera and manipulate the view. We’re really pleased with the results.”
Michael Lennon, ICT manager at the Scottish Wildlife Trust added: “We’re really pleased with the high definition output of the new camera system to the visitor centre. The equipment is coping really well despite the extremely windy conditions – our staff are finding the operation of the new camera much easier than the previous system.”
The Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve has been home to breeding ospreys since 1969. The expected lifespan of an osprey is approximately 10-15 years. In her estimated 28-year lifespan, Lady has laid 68 eggs, fledged 50 chicks and thought to have travelled nearly 130,000 miles.
Ospreys are listed by the IUCN on the species of Conservation Concern. There are now approximately 240 breeding pairs in the UK, producing approximately 250 chicks a year. In the UK, ospreys are still rarer than golden eagles.
To watch the live feed from the Loch of the Lowes camera, click here.
For more information about Axis Communications visit: www.axis.com.