The Icelandic Gyrfalcon Center is raising funds to purchase a security camera to place near gyrfalcon nests in order to help ward off would-be egg thieves, Vísir reports. One camera has already been funded by a private donor, and funds are being collected for additional cameras as well.
Ornithologist Ólafur K. Nielsen reported the strong possibility of falcon egg theft earlier last week. Specifically, he said that Icelanders familiar with the gyrfalcons’ nesting area have been known to steal falcon eggs and replace them in the birds’ nests with hen eggs.
The situation has become serious enough that the Falcon Center wants to be as proactive as possible in its preventative measures. “Of course we can’t monitor every nest, but we’re hoping that this will scare [thieves] off if some are monitored,” explained Aðalsteinn Örn Snæþórsson, the center’s director. “We’re not thinking about regular security cameras, but rather are talking about cameras with motion sensors that take a picture if crosses its beam.” The camera would then send a photograph to a phone so that it would be possible to watch the egg bandit’s movements.
Ólafur Nielsen says that he knows of a farmer who purchased motion sensor cameras to monitor falcon nests on his land, having become frustrated with thieves coming onto his property to steal them every year. The results were immediate: “He and his neighbor...did it and after that, eyasses [falcon chicks] were observed there for the first time in fifteen years. This was 2015 and then eyasses were observed on the same property again in 2016,” said Ólafur.
The cameras that the Gyrfalcon Center wants to purchase cost around ISK 70,000 [$709] each. Following the initial Vísir article reporting the center's need for security cameras, one individual contacted them and offered to buy them a camera. Per a post on the center's Facebook page, donations for additional cameras can be made via the Icelandic Gyrfalcon Center's bank account - 1110-26-6409 - kennitala - 640910-0460.