Volunteers

Have you been watching our Ospreys on www.LandingsBirdCam.com? Have you ever wondered who is behind the cam, making the comments and posting the various pictures day and night? Well, you are about to learn a little about one of the volunteers who started with the Owls and who is now devoted to watching the Osprey nest and keeping us updated on all the nest “happenings”.

Becky Racaniello, who has lived in Belleair, FL for 40+ years, got involved by first watching a couple of different cams and participating in the chat and twitter activities of the sites.  After one of the Red Tail Hawk seasons, she emailed Cornell to thank them for the cams.  They then invited her to be a volunteer and she JUMPED at the chance to be involved.

 “Getting involved in The Landings Owl cam was exhilarating to go from the laying of eggs through to fledging, THEN to discover so many varieties of birds that visited ‘The Branch’ after the fledge.  Now I get to do it all again, but this time with the Osprey couple”, said Becky.

In addition to the operating the cams, she also takes videos of interesting actions through a video software program and tweets those to the fans as well.  “We have twitter fans and followers across the world.  I’ve seen tweets in Spanish, Russian, French and Asian!!” “The PTZ cam is fun as it gives you lots of mobility and advantage for extreme close up views. The goal is the same as the stationary cam, but this cam provides a lot of variety.”

Becky generally tries to limit her cam management time to 4 hours a day, but she says she will often watch more than that – – because it is addictive, entertaining and educational. A number of Cam operators take turns “manning” the cam and commenting so that we get day and evening viewings.

Becky was so enthusiastic about our Landings cam that she travelled to The Landings from Florida because she wanted to see the site in person. When asked what she would tell viewers, Becky had this to say: “Watch; engage in the experience.  Even if you think you aren’t necessarily interested in birds, you will be amazed at what viewing them ‘up close and personal’ through a camera and twitter interaction will be like.  It will become personal and rewarding, I assure you!”

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