Sea-EagleCAM Intervention Policy

    EagleCAM is operated under a BirdLife Australia Research Agreement, working
    in partnership with the NSW Office of Environment and Sydney Olympic Park
    Authority (SOPA). Our objective is to observe and learn about White-bellied Sea-
    Eagle (WBSE) biology without interfering in their behaviour or the processes
    that they undergo in the natural environment. These are wild birds and it is our
    privilege to observe their breeding behaviour.

    The nest is in the Newington Nature Reserve Woodland that contains the threatened
    Sydney Turpentine-Ironbark community. The area has restricted access; there is no
    vehicle access. The only possible predators at the nest would be other large raptors
    Though there are foxes in the area, the nest is high in the tree and inaccessible to
    foxes, cats or dogs.

    Notes on intervention at the Sydney Olympic Park WBSE nest and EagleCAM

  • The primary function of the project is scientific research, to provide information for
    the understanding and conservation of the WBSE.
  • They are wild, free-flying birds and it is our privilege to observe their breeding
    behaviour as we do.
  • Our approved research protocol states that the cameras will be placed before egg-
    laying. Then the nest area and a buffer zone of 60 metres will be determined to
    protect the birds from any disturbance until several weeks after hatching. In other
    words, no visits at all during incubation and in the early time after hatching. From
    then on, there will still be minimal disturbance.
  • The approved research protocol does not allow any access to the nest itself or any
    handling of the birds.
  • Advice is sought where necessary from experienced wildlife managers at the
    Office of Environment and Heritage (National Parks and Wildlife Service), BirdLife
    Australia and/or SOPA Ecology staff.
  • The main threats to the chicks are natural – such as extreme weather, lack of food
    or sibling rivalry. Nature will take its course, with no human intervention. Mostly this
    will bring joy and wonder and at times, sadness.
  • In the event of a chick falling from the nest, the Office of Environment and Heritage
    (National Parks and Wildlife Service) has agreed that the chick could be retrieved
    from below the nest. It would be cared for by the approved NSW Wildlife Information
    Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) raptor carer. The approved release
    strategy would be to release the bird, after recovery, close to the Newington site for
    natural dispersal.