University of Montreal’s Falcon Monitoring Endeavor Takes Flight with ViewCast

The University of Montreal has deployed a donated ViewCast Osprey 440 video capture card and SimulStream software to aid in the 24/7, live monitoring of a family of peregrine falcons that reside on campus. With this technology gift from ViewCast, the University is able to stream real-time video of the falcons to researchers, project supporters, and wildlife conservationists around the world.

“The University of Montreal’s peregrine falcon monitoring project exemplifies the literally thousands of potential innovative streaming media applications enabled by ViewCast’s streaming media solutions,” says Dave Stoner, president and CEO of ViewCast. “Our media solutions are designed to be cost effective and easy to use, as this monitoring project demonstrates.”

Once an endangered species in North America, peregrine falcon populations have soared in recent years due in part to the efforts of people like Eve Belisle, the University of Montreal’s peregrine falcon project leader, who discovered the high-flying falcons in the area in 2007. Belisle aided in the construction of a nesting box atop a 26-story tower on campus, where the falcon family has nested since 2009.

Utilizing two video cameras, an IBM server and ViewCast’s four-channel Osprey 440 video capture card, Belisle has streamed live video of the falcons to as many as 2,000 viewers per day, chronicling the family’s nesting behavior and the arrival of five falcon chicks over the span of two nesting seasons. The two video feeds are supported by ViewCast’s advanced SimulStream software, which leverages the Osprey 440’s multi-channel capabilities to capture and output multiple video streams simultaneously.

“ViewCast’s contribution to the University of Montreal’s peregrine falcon monitoring initiative has enabled us to share live video of these wonderful creatures with a worldwide audience, and in so doing, promote the continued research and conservation of peregrine falcons,” Belisle says. “ViewCast’s technology makes it easy for non-broadcasting professionals like me to apply streaming media in creative new ways, and I’m grateful to have their support.”