Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge Calls New Nest Cam a “Success”

A least tern. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

A least tern. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

CHATHAM – The Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge has finished a pilot program where they installed a webcam that gave close-up views of nesting terns.

The video of the colony, which was located in the northern tip of South Monomoy Island, was streamed to the refuge’s headquarters where visitors could see the terns and areas where humans are not allowed.

Refuge Manager Matthew Hillman said the nest cam was a big success.

“With this tern colony camera we were able to bring this very boisterous colony inside so visitors were actually able, for the first time ever, to see a live, streaming, imagery of this really productive and really exciting tern colony,” said Hillman.

The refuge installed the camera in the busiest section of the tern colony where over 10,500 terns were counted.

The camera was in operation for five to six weeks in the summer.

Since then, it has been disassembled and removed from the area but staff plan to have it in place again in early spring.

“In addition to that visitor services component, we’re hoping to use that footage in the future to review it and to guide our management as opposed to just using it as a visitor experience,” said Hillman.

The Friends of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge received a $9000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for the nest cam.


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