Operation Chough Nest Cameras 2021
The Operation Chough webcam is back! All the nestboxes have been fully refurbished and pairs of birds in their individual aviaries on 23rd March, back from their winter flocking enclosures.
We are breeding Red-billed Choughs as part of our long-term project to conserve and expand the species, which has been pushed to the fringes of its former distribution.
This year we have nine breeding pairs – four more than usual. Our choughs are in great demand as there are exciting new developments for chough conservation underway. This could lead to releases, along with habitat restoration projects, in the UK in the next few years.
We monitor all the nests and choose one to show, depending the activity going on at any particular time.
Inside the nestbox, each camera has a small set of lights to illuminate activity during the day. At night, they switch to infra-red so the birds can be seen roosting, incubating eggs or brooding chicks 24 hours a day.
As well as images, there is also sound from the nests. We find this helpful to hear newly-hatched chicks, and hear if the adults are doing their ‘feeding call’. This call is needed early on as the chicks don’t open their eyes for a few days, so need an audible signal to open their mouths at the right time.