Pine River Cam
To control the camera, press the “Start Control” button then use the scroll bars to pan, tilt and zoom, or select a preset view from the drop-down list at the bottom of the window. If someone is already controlling the camera you will have to wait in line and a timer will count down to your turn.
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The Pine River webcam provides an excellent view of one of the most changing and exciting ecosystems at Chippewa Nature Center. The Pine River begins 100 miles upstream, flowing from Pine Lake (South of Remus in Mecosta County), through Alma, dropping 370 feet, it drains 390 square miles. Downstream, only 200 yards away, the Pine River joins the Chippewa River. From the confluence it’s only another 3 miles to reach the Tittabawassee at the Tridge in downtown Midland, and 51 miles to the Saginaw Bay in Bay City, which is only 30 feet lower than here.
Bluebird Box Cam
This is a solar powered camera; if there is not enough sun on cold days, connectivity will be intermittent.
Eastern Bluebirds find the open, grassy area between the Visitor Center and Nature Preschool perfect for foraging and nesting, so we have high hopes they will appreciate the new nesting box near the center of the field. Little do the birds realize that it is no ordinary nest box, but one equipped with a webcam to capture their nesting action! Bluebirds typically begin nesting in late March or early April. But because they nest several times during the spring and summer, you can watch the action for many months. The first signs of nesting action you will see are a few pieces of loose grass as the nest construction begins. Or, if the birds choose to use it only as a roosting box, and nest elsewhere, your views of them will be restricted to the evening hours when they end their day, or the few moments in the morning when it is light enough to see them before they head out for breakfast. Construction of the nest takes about a week, and the female takes another week to lay a clutch of 4-7 eggs. Once the whole clutch is laid, she will stay on the nest nearly 24-7, for two weeks! The babies will be in the nest for about two weeks before they fledge. These, of course, are the best weeks for viewing on the webcam, as the siblings will scramble around and the parents will be in-and-out stuffing all the hungry mouths. After the first batch of youngsters leave the nest, expect a gap of a week or two before the pair starts a second nest. They need that week to help the fledglings learn how to forage, and to gain a little strength back before starting over. Of course, just because WE call it a nest box for bluebirds, doesn’t mean someone else won’t use it instead. Wrens, tree swallows, nuthatches, titmice, chickadees and even flying squirrels will also use a bluebird-sized box. But only the bluebirds and swallows typically use a box out in an open field like this one. Once nesting season has ended, will the action end? We never know – some of our nest boxes are busy all winter with families of White-footed Mice who love the old bird nests for a winter home. Or perhaps one of the other cavity-nesting species mentioned about will use it just as a winter shelter.
Thank you to Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network (WIN) for their contribution toward the purchase of this web cam.