About our nest and site cameras
It is not practical for us to stream the live video from our cameras
openly over the internet either through our
own system or through the resources of a third party. In the
latter case a requirement is that cameras operate in the area all year
and we do not wish to accommodate this.
Why is it not practical for us? Because we observe a strict
policy of not approaching the colony (nest camera) during the breeding
season and simple occurrences that we will not rectify during the season cause a loss of suitable images.
As it is compelling viewing we are making an alternative arrangement as outlined below. Although it is
almost 40 years since our Adviser first noted how juvenile Sand Martins
prepare themselves for flying by pressing their wings and tail down onto the
nest (after flapping their wings vigorously) until they are able to hold the
weight of their body by their wings and tail alone, we still see little work
done by him whilst they are performing this act. The terrific
fights in the burrow should an unwelcome adult enter the hole, or when
juveniles are considered to have outstayed their time and are being
thrown out, are also work stoppers, although he tells us he is studying
their behaviour and that's his job! Apparently others also find them interesting as the clips on the internet www.hbw.com/ibc/ have the highest ratings for interest value; as infra red images they cannot equal the normal clips.
The alternative we are trying is to show the images through
MSN Messenger. This will allow us to show current images, or, if these are
unsatisfactory, or it is out of season, archived video of behaviour as
requested by interested viewers. This will have the benefit of
being of more educational
value as we will be able to describe the behaviour and answer questions
whilst the images are shown, but it will not raise the profile of the
Sand Martin as we wished. If you would like to take part in our MSN Messenger trials please email us.
The cameras were required and supplied by our
adviser to record the breeding behaviour of Sand Martins (Riparia
riparia) at his site in southern Scotland Lat. 54o53' N Long.40o01'W.
This site was built to his design after testing
various constructions, the first built in 1971. It incorporates the
necessary features for the safety of the Sand Martins as well as
allowing them to carry out their full breeding behaviour.
The first site camera was installed in
2002 to archive film of breeding behaviour. This camera is
capable of giving a full screen image of activity at one hole entrance,
to coverage of 12 adjacent holes. The second site camera was
used from 2003 to give full coverage of all the site's holes at one
A third camera is used independently for covering the
feeding area used by the colony and does not stream at real time.
The nest camera was installed in 2006 and
has been incorporated in the new site in hole RT1. That is the box on
the 'R'ight as seen, in the 'T'op row of holes and number 1. The
holes are numbered from the left, each box separately and each row
separately. The boxes are referred to as 'L'eft, 'C'entre and
'R'ight. L,C and R. The rows as 'T'op, 'M'iddle and
'B'ottom. T.M and B. L and R boxes hold three rows of 13
holes and C box holds three rows of 14 holes, giving a total of 120
Photo shows juvenile being fed at the nest camera hole RT1
The Sand Martin Trust * Sand Martin artificial breeding sites * About Us * Links
(C) Copyright The Sand Martin Trust 2007