Location: Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens, Johannesburg South Africa
Content: Black Eagle
Camera: Live streaming
Night vision: Yes
Pan / Tilt / Zoom: Static
Season: March to September
The Black Eagle Cam is situated in the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens, in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Black Eagle camera is a joint project supported by a number of sponsors including Africam. The projects aims are to create awareness and support for the Black Eagle Project. In 1998 the Black Eagle Project was set up as an affiliated to the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden and was registered as an independent, Section 21, non-profit organization. The project consists of a 7 member committee and approximately 30 dedicated volunteer members. What is so significant about this project is that these eagles are the last of a once much larger population that inhabited the mountain ridges of Johannesburg. Due to the expansion of the city of Johannesburg their habitat and food source has come under threat. This specific nesting site has been documented as far back as the early 1940’s and it is estimated that the current mating pair are the third or fourth descendants from the first documented nesting pair.
The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens, are nestled in the Crocodile River Valley that cuts through the Roodekrans mountain ridge. As a back drop to the gardens and a main geological feature along the ridge is a conspicuous red cliff face that forms the Witpoortjie waterfall. These cliffs are an ideal habitat for the Black Eagles and other animals in particular the rock Dassie or hyrax that can account for as much as 90% of their diet in some areas. It is estimated that a breeding pair can consume around 400 Dassies / year, so it is not hard to see how with the increase in urbanization, and habitat destruction how the whole food chain is put under threat.
Black Eagles form life long mating bonds. The current female estimated to be between 35 to 40 years old, known as Emoyeni, (upon the wind) was first sighted in the early 1970’s, and has successfully reared a number of offspring. Her current mate Thulane (The shy one) is much younger and replaced her last mate that vanished back in 1998. The pair have over the years built a number of nesting sites on the cliff face.
When to view:
The eagles live permanently in the area throughout the year, but the best time to catch them on the camera is between mid March through to the end of September. Egg laying normally occurs in Mid May followed by a lengthy incubation period of 44 to 45 days.
For more information regarding these eagles please check out the following website; www.blackeagles.co.za