Recently I posted the question - 'Who's been taking nesting material'... so we setup a trail camera and did a spot of long-lens lurking to document which birds were taking sheep wool added to the eaves above our 'Welly boot' bird nesting site.
Blue tit on wool
While not a great surprise, turns out it was Blue tits and Great tits. We caught these two on our Trail Camera at the Welly boot nest:
Everyone likes to be tucked up snug at night - even garden birds... After discovering that our local birds were taking a of sheep's wool nesting material stuffed into the eaves above our 'Welly boot nest site', we wondered whether we could put it out next to our bird feeders.
The next question was 'Would it matter if it got wet'.. so we decided to setup an experiment. One has the sheep wool under a plant pot, the other is open to the air.
These two have been named 'Hairy Harry' and 'Woolly Willy'. All very scientific-like.
One of our nest boxes is seeing daily activity with blue tits doing some preliminary nest-building, using a mixture of moss and ?bark slivers. None of the wool is going here, so someone else is obviously taking it...
My 2017 Bird Nest Box should hopefully be up and running later this week, hopefully not too late for this season. This version has two camera: A 'from the side' camera which is a webcam (as described in previous posts), and a 'view from above' camera that uses as raspberry pi InfraRed (IR) camera with Infrared-cut to allow night and daytime viewing, I've added dimmable IR and non-IR led illumination. The RPi camera does video capture via the marvelous program PikrellCam.
Test screen shots below (Microsoft LifeCam above, Raspberry Pi v2 IR cam below)
Night time previews
I've also included an entrance hole counter and facility to measure ambient temperature and outside light levels.
For a kid's school project they were challenged to up-cycle a pair of wellington boots, and we came up with this:
Welly boot nest box
No cameras this time around, a low tech project, but quick to do!
We also added some old wool to the eaves for optional nesting material - this was taken within a week, not for a nest in the boot, but for some other nesting site, and was re-filled today. The boot is tucked into a shed roof overhang. This nesting site would probably suit a robin who are partial to open-fronted nesting sites, and hopefully don't object to the previous owner's feet.