2018 Loon cam highlights loon preservation committee

The first egg was laid on June 24 so if all goes well we expect to see the first chick around July 21. The incubation duties are shared between both loons and you may see a nest switch if you happen to be watching at the right time. Nesting loons in New Hampshire face many challenges, including black flies, predators, flooded nests, and intruding loons, with successful hatches at fewer than 60% of all nest attempts.

Both adult loons are marked with color bands on their legs. The female loon of this pair was banded in 2017 and has a white band with a black stripe on top of a blue band on her left leg and a silver band over a yellow band with a black stripe on her right leg. The male loon was banded as an adult for the first time in 2006 on a different territory, but he moved to this territory in 2017.

He has red and white bands on his left leg and silver and red bands on his right leg. Since the earliest known breeding age for loons is 4 years and the average age at first breeding in New Hampshire is 6 years, he is at least 16 years old, but most likely 18 years or older! The bands may be visible as the loons climb on and off the nest or turn their eggs.

The live video image on this page comes from a high-definition Axis P5635-E MK II pan-tilt-zoom camera with night-time infrared illumination. The nest site equipment is running on batteries, recharged from a 100 watt solar panel. Internet service is provided from a residence, ¼ mile away, reached via narrow beam WiFi. A single video stream is fed to YouTube, which can support hundreds of simultaneous viewers. A thirty day archive lets us replay choice moments and publish them on the LPC YouTube Channel. The webcam is funded through donations to the Loon Preservation Committee‘s Loon Recovery Plan. Please click here to contribute to these efforts. Acknowledgements

Funding for the loon cam project is made possible by LPC’s Loon Recovery Plan. Technical expertise and support is provided by Bill Gassman ( www.linkedin.com/in/billgassman). Streaming and archiving services in 2018 are provided by YouTube, CamStreamer and AngelCam. The camera installation would not have been possible without the generous permission of several anonymous property owners.

The camera is mounted to a wooden post that is driven into the bottom of the pond, just a little offshore. An Ethernet cable supplies power and an internet connection to the camera, which runs underwater to an equipment box. The video stream is sent over a ¼ mile WiFi link to a residence, where the router and cable internet connection are located. Sound comes from a microphone, mounted on a post in the pond, away from the camera and close to the nest. It is muffled to avoid picking up people talking and there may be occasions where it is muted to protect the privacy of the neighbors. A single video stream runs 24×7, over a 20 megabit per second internet service to YouTube Live. With this design, hundreds can view the video feed at the same time, and the stream resolution is converted to match the viewer’s internet connection speed. We also employ a 30 day archive service and can make a video clip of interesting events.

The YouTube player is configured so that you can replay up to four hours of the video stream. This is useful if you want to watch a nest switch or egg turning. Edited video clips from the archive are occasionally published on the Loon Preservation Committee’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/LoonCenter. Let us know if you see something interesting that we’ve missed. The archive goes back thirty days.

With the change over to the YouTube service, we had to discontinue viewer control of the camera. The camera can be programmed to periodically rotate through the preset scenes. At times, the LPC staff may take control of the camera and follow interesting events. If you want a specific view, mention it in the YouTube chat room and if the loon cam operator is watching, your request may be granted.

Yes, use the YouTube full-screen icon, which shows when you touch or mouse over the bottom of the picture. Be sure to select the 1080p resolution. You can also open up the stream on the YouTube web site, smart TV, or mobile application. On the YouTube page, there is a chat feature, where you can have a discussion with other Loon Cam Viewers. The LPC staff will chime in when they have a chance and not in the field.

If you are on a slow or congested internet connection, YouTube reduces the resolution and the picture will be less sharp. The picture can also become fuzzy or jerky when there is a lot of movement in the picture. For example, when the wind is blowing, it is raining or we zoom in close to the nest. In 2018, we were able to double our bandwidth, but used the increase to boost the resolution to 1080p high definition. Let us know if you get too much buffering, especially on a calm day.