CraneCam1 braves the elements at the monte vista wildlife refuge
It may not have to endure the same conditions as the Mars Rover's ChemCam, but CraneCam1 still takes its fair share of abuse to provide crane enthusiasts with the latest footage of bird activity on the Monte Vista Wildlife Refuge. In spring and fall, CraneCam captures the sights and sounds of thousands of migrating sandhill cranes, and during the summer months, it provides footage of summer bird residents enjoying the lush green landscape of the Refuge.
Curious elk can be particularly hard on the camera. In 2021, animals from the resident herd seemed to enjoy the taste of the power cord, and kept chewing on the USB cable connecting the camera to the solar panel. But thanks to some clever duct tape and sheet metal engineering, CraneCam1 managed to survive the inquisitive ungulates...only to be nearly taken out by a wind-driven center pivot irrigation system!
CraneCam1 currently resides at Bowen Pond on the Monte Vista Refuge and monitored throughout the day by volunteers, who also post images and video on Facebook.
If you would like to see the latest footage from CraneCam1, please follow the Friends of the San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuges and the Monte Vista Crane Festival on Facebook, and stay tuned for updates.
Information for this article was provided by long-time Friends and Crane Festival volunteer, Brian Underwood.