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TV nest cameras and nest failure

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Old Monday 19th June 2017, 19:28   #1
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TV nest cameras and nest failure

Watching the BBC Springwatch series again recently I was beginning to notice how many nests that have been rigged for TV cameras fail. We saw the Peregrines on Salisbury cathedral who didn't incubate the clutch properly (only one egg hatched, but also the RSPB 'orphan' chick from Shropshire was successfully raised in the nest - so ultimately a success).

We saw several poorly built nests that had cameras installed - both nests almost falling from their branches during incubation.

We saw several predated nests where the chicks were discovered by predators and removed in front of the camera.

We hear today that Peregrines in Manchester have successfully raised 3 young after moving from their usual site in the city after many successful years when, last year they were unsuccessful following the installation of a CCTV camera, and moved to a new site this year.

These are just a few examples where, potentially, the installation of cameras to allow us to view the life of birds in fascinating close-up is actually the cause of their failure.

Are we just seeing what happens anyway in nature (frequent nest failure) but normally out of sight, or is our ever greater need to see videos of everything having a negative impact?.

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Old Monday 19th June 2017, 19:45   #2
Loud Green Man
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This is a very astute question and the only thing I can say for sure is if you ask the BBC they are certain to assert the former.

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Old Sunday 25th June 2017, 07:35   #3
Farnboro John
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It is a good question but you have already skewed the data by just listing the incidents that support your proposition. What is needed is not only complete data on frequency of nest failure (sub-divided by reasons where these can be determined) but also complete data treated the same way for nests with cameras.

My gut feeling is that the incidence is not high overall (compared to natural predation/desertion.

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