Sunday, June 22, 2014

Streaming Eagles

By JON MOOALLEM, NYT
June 20, 2014 6:43 pm

THERE was a situation with some bald eagles on the Internet the other day. The drama played out in a large, disheveled nest somewhere in Minnesota, in front of a camera that had been streaming the lives of those birds onto the Internet for the last two years.

Maybe you were watching. Or maybe you’d clicked over to one of the hundreds of other cameras set up around the world to funnel the real-time activities of various wild animals online: polar bears, hummingbirds, sea lions, wolves, jellyfish, whooping cranes, wood ducks. These wildlife cams aren’t delivering the kind of cheeky, viral animal video that the Internet is famous for — the tiny hamsters eating tiny burritos; Buttermilk the goat jumping over other goats — but a weird genre of non-narrated, unedited nature documentary that demands a lot more of its audience. All they offer is a sustained stream of animals doing whatever they happen to be doing, which, let’s be honest, often doesn’t look like that much. Bison stand around in Saskatchewan. A beaver sleeps in its dam. Every blip of action — every swipe a grizzly takes at a salmon in Alaska — tends to be offset by hours of moping and loafing. Often, you click on one of these cameras and there aren’t even any animals standing in the shot.

(More here, including hotlinks)

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