An eagle perches in the nest overseen by the city of Kenai’s streaming Eagle Cam on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018 in Kenai, Alaska. The camera — located on the property of a Kenai resident who remains anonymous to protect the eagles from harassment — streamed online for the first time last July, drawing about 2 million viewer-minutes. On Wednesday, the Kenai city council voted unanimously to spend $1,600 on an upgraded camera for the site. Though the feed is only public in the summer, it still streams into Kenai City Hall, where Kenai information technology manager Dan Castimore took this recent capture. (Courtesy City of Kenai).

An eagle perches in the nest overseen by the city of Kenai’s streaming Eagle Cam on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018 in Kenai, Alaska. The camera — located on the property of a Kenai resident who remains anonymous to protect the eagles from harassment — streamed online for the first time last July, drawing about 2 million viewer-minutes. On Wednesday, the Kenai city council voted unanimously to spend $1,600 on an upgraded camera for the site. Though the feed is only public in the summer, it still streams into Kenai City Hall, where Kenai information technology manager Dan Castimore took this recent capture. (Courtesy City of Kenai).

Kenai Eagle Cam to upgrade hardware, advertising plan

For their second summer of live-streaming the view from atop a local eagle’s nest, Kenai’s city government and the Kenai Chamber of Commerce plan to give the Kenai Eagle Cam an upgraded camera, an accompanying blog of eagle information, and more opportunity for advertising.

Kenai City Manager Paul Ostrander introduced the Eagle Cam — an online camera observing a pair of eagles nesting on the property of a Kenai resident, who remains anonymous to prevent harassment of the nest — at the Kenai City Council’s May 17, 2017 meeting as a tool for local promotion. By showing a feed from the camera on the websites of the city and the Kenai Chamber of Commerce, as well as in the smartphone app the city released for dipnetters that summer, Ostrander hoped to promote the city by driving web traffic to these sites. The feed, hosted on YouTube, drew about 2 million viewer-minutes, acording to a memo from Ostrander to the city council.

The camera that generated last year’s feed belonged to the property owner, who had originally put it up for personal use before sharing it with the city. On Wednesday the Kenai City Council voted to spend $1,600 on an upgraded camera for next summer’s Eagle Cam feed, which will provide higher definition, better audio, and a better picture in low light. According to the text of the purchasing ordinance, the Kenai Chamber of Commerce, the city government’s partner in the project, expects to pay back the $1,600 with future advertising revenue from the feed.

Last year’s YouTube-hosted Eagle Cam feed had advertising also provided by YouTube, which the city opted in to, according to Kenai information technology manager Dan Castimore. Castimore did not know precisely how much the city had made in YouTube advertising last summer, but said it was less than $100 — the amount at which YouTube sends a check for advertising earnings, which the city hasn’t yet received.

Kenai administrators and their partners in the Kenai Chamber of Commerce haven’t decided where the Eagle Cam will be hosted next summer, nor the details of the advertising arrangements — questions that Ostrander said he and Kenai Chamber of Commerce President Johna Beech would plan in a meeting on Friday. Though local promotion is the Eagle Cam’s goal, Ostrander said the advertising opportunities wouldn’t be limited to local businesses.

“What was envisioned is that the advertising will be offered virtually to anyone,” Ostrander said. “The thing about the Eagle Cam is you’ll get viewership from all around the world, so really your advertising opportunities are limitless. I don’t think we need to limit the advertising opportunities there. Ultimately the objective of the Eagle Cam is to bring internet traffic to the Chamber’s website, and the city’s website — one or the other, or both — and while the visitor’s there, they find out more things about our area, become interested in visiting or locating a business here. It’s about generating interest in Kenai, but the advertising component, really there’s no limit, because it’s going to be so expansive.”

The Eagle Cam may be displayed on a blog that Kenai and the Chamber are planning to build, Beech said, where bird experts could write about the behavior of the nesting eagles and answer questions from viewers. Recruiting qualified writers for the blog is another future task.

“We are going to reach out to the Kenai Peninsula birding club, and we’re going to reach out to the (Kenai National) Wildlife Refuge — people that are knowlegable in regards to birding and eagles,” Beech said.

Reach Ben Boettger at bboettger@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Alaska Department of Fish and Game logo. (Graphic by Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Board of Fisheries approves Kenai River king salmon action plan

The plan adds bait restrictions for in-river fisheries, doubles the sport bag limit for sockeye salmon, and adds a swath of restrictions to the commercial setnet fishery

The Kenai Municipal Airport is seen on Friday, Oct. 6, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
New Grant Aviation planes to double service’s flight capacity

The first of two Cessna 208B EX Grand Caravans will start transporting passengers on Monday

Stickers are available for voters at the Kenai No. 1 precinct for Election Day on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna to hold ‘I Voted’ sticker design contest

City council members approved the program during their Wednesday night meeting

Rep. Justin Ruffridge, R-Soldotna, speaks in support of a bill increasing state funds for public education in the Alaska House of Representatives on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024 in Juneau, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Bill seeking to bump use of Alaska Performance Scholarship clears the House with unanimous support

The money is awarded to high-performing high school graduates to help pay for postsecondary education at participating institutions in Alaska

Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Commissioner Ryan Anderson answers questions from state senators during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024 in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
State officials working to meet Friday deadline for revised transportation plan

The federal government rejected the plan on Feb. 9, citing numerous deficiencies

Travis Every, top left, speaks in support of fishing opportunity for the east side setnet fishery before the State Board of Fisheries at the Egan Convention Center in Anchorage, Alaska, on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Local fishers talk conservation, opportunity before Board of Fisheries in Anchorage

Local fishers from the Kenai Peninsula traveled to Anchorage this weekend to… Continue reading

Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, R-Nikiski, presents information on a bill establishing a voluntary buyback program for Cook Inlet’s east side setnet fishery on Monday, Feb. 19, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Bjorkman bill would pay bonuses to nationally certified teachers

The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development estimates that the bonus program would apply to about 215 of Alaska’s estimated 7,315 teachers — about 3%

Alaska senators meet with members of the media to discuss education legislation after a press conference by Gov. Mike Dunleavy on the topic on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
Dunleavy threatens veto of education bill if more of his priorities aren’t added

It is not certain there would be the 40 votes necessary to override a veto by the governor

A map displays a wide-ranging special weather statement, published Tuesday by the National Weather Service, covering Southcentral Alaska. (Map courtesy of National Weather Service)
Strong winds, low wind chills forecast through Friday

Wind chills over night may reach as low as -20 to -40 degrees in much of Southcentral

Most Read