BY: CAROLINE ROLF
Almost 100,000 sea birds flock to the island of Hornoya in Finnmark county every summer to mate, nest and hatch their eggs in hopes that a new generation of birds will take flight come the fall. The cliffs of Hornoya have become a popular destination for bird watchers and enthusiasts over the past 30 years. Not to fear if you can’t make it to Norway because this summer you can follow the lives of these birds around the clock from your computer.
Fifteen remote-controlled cameras have been installed on the cliffs, accompanied by a camera drone and two larger cameras equipped with a powerful zoom. The production team behind the feed, NRK Nature, is aiming to show the vulnerability of nature and teach about the lifecycle and ecosystem of the endangered seabirds while discovering more themselves.
Photo: NRK Nature
The seabirds that call the cliffs of Hornoya their temporary home include puffins, razorbills, white tailed eagles, black-backed gulls, ravens, herring gulls, guillemots, polar guillemots and shags. Each species has its own unique characteristics. The egg of the guillemot, for example, is shaped so that it rolls in circles and won’t fall off the cliff while the puffin only lay one egg for the season.
The soon-to-be bird parents can be seen balancing their eggs on narrow cliff shelves, seeking food for their young and fending off pesky neighbours. Birds of prey like the white tailed eagles and ravens are searching for dinner for their newborns as well as for themselves.
“The bird cliff might seem chaotic, but it is like a village where everyone has his own place,” the project presentation states. “Throughout the nesting season our camera will be following the bird parents from when they lay their eggs, until the baby birds are hatched.”
On June 10, NRK Nature began streaming from the bird cliffs and will continue for five weeks. Viewers will have a choice between eight live video streams, seven cliff nesting sites and one of all the different cameras alternating. You can also chat with viewers and raise questions and concerns about the birds. Once a week, highlights from the feed will be aired on NRK1 primetime television and on the project’s website.