OLYMPIA – A popular on-line feature showing video images from inside a Kent eagle nest is back in action after service was temporarily interrupted last week.
EagleCam images, part of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's (WDFW) Internet website, were restored this morning using a single camera. Images from a second video camera near the nest are expected to be restored later this week.
Internet service for the EagleCam has been switched to the state Department of Information Services from the site's former private service provider. To ease demand created by heavy traffic on the site, EagleCam images are refreshed every 30 seconds, rather than the previous five-second interval. Efforts are being made to gradually reduce the image-refresh rate, said Chuck Gibilisco, WDFW watchable wildlife coordinator.
In addition to longer intervals between fresh images, the EagleCam site has been re-programmed to interrupt service after 15 minutes of viewing. Earlier, some viewers reportedly were in the habit of leaving the site open on their computers for lengthy periods, adding to overall demand, Gibilisco said.
Visits to the EagleCam site reached 2.54 million hits on the day before service was suspended, according to Gibilisco.
"That's just a phenomenal demand," he added. "We ask for viewers' patience while we work to fine-tune the service by restoring the second camera and hopefully reduce the refresh rate closer to its former level."
Images from the single camera now in use appear somewhat blurry because one of the adult eagles recently flung a scrap of fish entrails which stuck to the lens, Gibilisco said. To avoid disturbing the birds, camera cleanup must wait until after the eagles have left the nest for the season.
EagleCam fans didn't miss major eagle activity during the period the site was down, although this is a period of rapid growth and the nest's two eaglets appear to have added a bit of weight and more downy feathers, Gibilisco said. The eaglets hatched out in late April.