Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Cleveland "Crib Cam"

This strange-looking structure is the main water intake for the City of Cleveland, and it lies about three miles out in Lake Erie (although it's labeled "Five Mile Crib), offshore from downtown. I made this image while assisting with an aerial waterbird survey back in November 2009. In a big lake largely free of other protuberances, the intake structure sticks out like a sort thumb, and everyone asks about it upon seeing it for the first time.

Well, the City of Cleveland was good enough to mount a camera on the "crib", and stream live video to us, the viewers. Cleveland birders Jen Brumfield and Chuck Slusarcyk brought this to our attention the other day via the Facebook Birding Ohio page, and the Ohio Birds Listserv. They report hundreds of Chimney Swifts mustering around the crib, and were able to identify several other species. I will guarantee you that the local Peregrine Falcons also make trips out there to hunt, and perch.

The congregation of swifts is particularly interesting, and curious minds want to know if they somehow roost on the structure. Hopefully someone will find out. The Cleveland lakefront hosts massive numbers of Chimney Swifts in migration, and maybe some of them have found an out-of-the-norm roosting site. Anyway, if you want to view the cam and life three miles out in Lake Erie, CLICK HERE.

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