Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary Heron Cam is LIVE!

Stone Harbor Heron Cam 2014
On April 10th 2014, the Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary turned on its high definition, real time camera on area populated by the relatively rare Black-crowned Night Heron. Last night, the star of the show did not disappoint. In fact, he brought a surprise guest, the ever proud osprey!

Heron cam is the cornerstone of a multifaceted educational initiative designed to bring the unique birds of the Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary to the public and birders alike throughout the world. The initiative began last year with the creation of virtual tour videos that showcased the diverse attributes of the Sanctuary including ancient maritime forest, a 300 year old holly tree, artistic stands of sassafras and a dynamic yet unique blend of saltwater marsh and a spring-fed freshwater pond.

With the help of students from Stockton University, the Sanctuary added an android mobile app at the end of last year. The app is free and shows the user what birds are available in the Sanctuary, where they might be found and the sounds they make. The app also provides highlights of the Sanctuary as you walk on its paths. Apple aficionados will be pleased to know that an IOS app is expected before the end of the summer this year.

The star of the initiative is Heron Cam, a high definition, pan and zoom camera complete with audio and night vision that can bring the sights and sounds of the Sanctuary to everyone, 24 hours a day. The acquisition and installation of the camera is the product of a three year effort that began with generous financial support from friends of the Sanctuary, John and Kayann Laughlin, Kathryn and John Nardone, Julian and Betsy Miraglia and Jack and Dorothy Berrigan. Once the funds were in place, Councilwoman Josee Rich generated Stone Harbor Borough Council approval to give the project “wings”. But as Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary Chairman, Jack Berrigan stated, “we needed the experienced, technical expertise of James Sessions, JES Hardware Solutions and Ben Wurst of the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey to get us off the ground and the ingenuity and creativity of the Stone Harbor Public Works staff led by Grant Russ and Rocky Tirado to install the equipment”.

According to Jack, the Heron Cam is the first of its kind in the world to focus on the beautiful, elegant Black-crowned Night Heron. Jack encourages you to go to the Sanctuary website at www.stoneharborbirdsanctuary.org and watch the Heron Cam. He expects the number of Black-crowned Night Heron to increase dramatically between now and the end of September, when they begin their migration south. By the way, Jack would not be surprised if the Heron Cam had guest appearances by Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Green Heron, Glossy Ibis, Great Blue Heron and Egret. Be sure to check throughout the spring and summer.

The audio and night vision capabilities of the heron cam will be added over the next few weeks.

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