- Associated Press - Saturday, December 5, 2015

HANOVER, Pa. (AP) - When the state budget impasse threatened the installation of a camera to livestream a local bald eagle nest, the Hanover, PA Eagle Cam Facebook group swooped in to help.

Individuals from the 13,000-member group heard the lack of state budget might keep the camera dark this year and quickly donated to the Friends of Codorus State Park nonprofit, which contributed a total of $2,400, said Codorus State Park manager Warren Werntz on Monday.

With funding secured, the eagles are ready to return for their second season of livestreaming on the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s website. Workers installed cameras above the nest Monday, and the stream could go live as soon as next week.

Last year, the game commission installed a camera overlooking the nest of two bald eagles, who live in a Heidelberg Township nest overlooking Codorus State Park. The stream quickly went viral, with about 1.5 million people tuning in worldwide to watch the birds hatch and raise two eaglets.

Facebook groups, like Hanover, PA Eagle Cam, quickly popped up online, with thousands of people talking about the livestream and asking whether it would return in 2016.

Hanover, PA Eagle Cam members made contributions ranging from $10 to $400 to help offset the costs of renting a forklift and bringing in a technician from California to help install a second camera, said member and eagle enthusiast Karen Lippy, who also penned a book on last year’s viral livestream.

The donations came in swiftly, Lippy said, adding that some individuals even sent checks twice to ensure the video’s return.

“In 15 minutes they had as much as they asked for to get the lift and the technicians,” she said.

HDOnTap and Comcast Business served as corporate sponsors of the project. HDOnTap representative Joe Pifer cleaned the old camera and repaired its audio. He also installed a second camera with audio and infrared night vision that won’t cast a beam on the nest, he said.?

So what is it about the eagles that keeps people wanting more?

Lori Neely Mitchell, a media services representative for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, was certain that an image of the mother eagle sitting on her eggs while covered in snow last March was what really drove the livestream to popularity.

“I don’t think we could have predicted the snow-covered eagle phenomenon,” Neely Mitchell said Monday while looking up at the forklift extending two workers into the tree for the installation.

Werntz believed that the eagle cam is a hit because it offers people a window to nature that they may not otherwise have, he said.

“When Karen called, she said many of the people donating are physically challenged and can’t get outside,” Werntz said. “But they can go to their computer and turn the livestream on to see nature up close.”

___

Online:

https://bit.ly/1QSuQGG

___

Information from: The Evening Sun, https://www.eveningsun.com

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide