FEED Issue 12

13 STREAMPUNK Wild, wild life

preparation,” says Peter. “We must first monitor various parts of a reserve until we find a nest that is favoured by the male. Some raptors – like the resident peregrine falcons at Chichester Cathedral – return to the same nest each year, but this is not the case for many other breeds.” To find a nest, Peter’s team arrive at a reserve before dawn, where they sit quietly by the base of a tree, waiting to see which birds are around and where they fly to. They repeat this on subsequent days, adjusting their location and positioning, until they finally find a nest. “However, there may be several hills and many trees between the nest and civilisation, making it a difficult spot for transmitting live video,” says Peter. OVER THE HILL AND FAR AWAY Combating the tricky terrain, Carnyx Wild use Ubiquiti Networks to transfer footage in HD from nest to screen. “Their long-distance Wi-Fi transmitters are extremely compact, reliable and very cost-effective,” Peter says. “We initially used HD-SDI, but long-range wireless

atching live video streams of wildlife can provide netizens with yet another form of escapism, akin to the cat or

dog memes saturating the web. But these animal-centric live streams didn’t all start out as a public preoccupation. A lot of them are the outgrowth of remote observation techniques used by scientists and conservationists for centuries, with new technological advancements that allow them to be broadcast worldwide. The RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) is a conservation charity that has been observing nature, specifically birds, for 130 years. From its humble beginnings in Victorian England to the far-reaching organisation it is today, the RSPB has developed an eagle-eye for watching nature without disturbing it. Using IP cameras, deployed by the video production service Carnyx Wild, the RSPB can tune in to designated RSPB reserves (areas of protected and managed land) to study the behavioural and migratory patterns of the birds that reside there. The cameras also provide insight into which of their conservationist efforts have been successful, and build a knowledge base for future management techniques. UNRELIABLE RAPTORS Carnyx Wild is co-owned by Peter Dobson and Dr. Manuel Hinge, who have been producing natural history programmes and installing wildlife camera systems since the 1990s. “Setting up live cameras in bird nests can take a great deal of patience and

WILD, LIVE Creating a great nature experience accessible to all takes a mix of tech know-how – and good, old fashioned patience

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