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Advice Technology, wildlife, news etc All articles World first for - Puffin cam for National Trust

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World first for - Puffin cam for National Trust PDF Print E-mail
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A world puffin first....?
Every five years the National Trust undertakes a rigorous puffin survey on the Farne Islands.  The surveys started in the 1930’s and act as a perfect barometer for puffin numbers and wider eco-system. This year they used cameras and were able to possibly witness the world’s first. A puffin laying an egg in a burrow.
The islands
The Farne islands is situated northeast of Northumberland and consist of 28 small islands. They are known as spectacular place to see seabirds including 37,000 puffins. Every spring, the puffins return to their exact burrows to lay eggs and raise their young.  Over the past few years the National Trust found that numbers have reduced to dangerous levels.

" so exciting" ...from nest to flight
David Steel - National Trust

Cameras galore
This year, the accomplished director Kevin Babey from Providpro was commissioned to film the whole process. They went one stage further and installed burrow cams to film the puffins up close. This allowed them to monitor the puffins at a completely different level.

The technology
We get invited to supply cameras for many projects around the world. However, we were excited by the opportunity to help understand and save puffin numbers.  The biggest challenge was to produce a high quality burrow camera. After several prototypes, we supplied several high quality bespoke 700TVL colour cameras with IR and sound. The cameras were designed and installed in 4 puffin burrows allowing the team to monitor the puffins as they return after a hard winter.   The technology had to give a high quality LIVE feed via high quality optical cable 70m away in a hide.  With help from the local warden, Kevin and the team were able to site the cameras deep into burrows with minimal fuss and impact.  The cameras had to film in high quality video with sound, several feet in the ground, in variety of temperatures and conditions. It was no easy project and rarely been done before.

The results
The cameras were deployed with ease. Within hours, to the amazement of everyone, a puffin layed an egg LIVE on camera. This exceedingly rare footage was then relayed around the world on BBC news, SKY news as well all the other major media outlets.

The National Trust will be filming the puffins over several months. Hopefully, it will give a valuable insight in the birds and the wider ecology on the island.

Many thanks to the National Trust and Kevin Babey Providpro team.

Media coverage
BBC news (Video)
Sky news (Video)
Guardian newspaper (Video)
Daily Telegraph
Daily Mail
MSN news
National trust
Yahoo news
ITV news
Birmingham Mail
Northumberland gazette
Berwick advertiser

National trust puffin project
Kevin Babey and the team at Providpro
Information on the Farne Islands

More info
700TVL colour puffin camera
700TVL colour puffin camera kit