Tuesday, 21 March 2017

2017 Double camera Bird Box - sneaky peek

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)

Daytime previews
Night time previews
I've also included an entrance hole counter and facility to measure ambient temperature and outside light levels.

More details to follow....


  1. Wow! that looks like a great system. I'd be interested to see more {mechanical} details on the second camera. One of the things I struggle with is positioning the camera far enough away to get a reasonable view within the box.

    I'll also be watching closely to see how you get on with Pikrellcam.

    I doubt that you will be too late deploying it. I put my second Pi box up last weekend, but I'm keeping the hole blocked for a while. I would like the blue tits to start building in one of the other boxes first, so we stand a better chance of getting great tits in the larger box. But if they are still messing around by the end of the first week in April, I'll have to up-block the box anyway.

  2. I've may have hamstrung myself a bit as the entrance hole is 25mm, so I think Great tits are too big to get in. Box 1 has a ?28mm (at least) hole which some blue tits are currently using. It would be nice if we had some other birds in it, eg roosting long tailed tits overnight, hence the IR... I'm hoping I haven't cut down the species options too prematurely. A couple of years ago I had Gt tits nesting in a box meant for Tawny owls, with and entrance hole approx 20cm...

    1. Yes, the trouble with garden birds is that they don't watch Springwatch or read our blogs!
      2 weeks ago I re-purposed an old 28mm hole box by blocking the old hole and drilling a new 25mm hole. I was hoping to attract coal tits to the quiet "compost corner" of our garden where they have nested before. But the blue tits are showing a lot of interest, and appear to have opened the hole up slightly.
      Also, this years male blue tit seems every bit as aggressive as last years (maybe its the same bird) and I was watching yesterday as he chased larger great tit males away from our feeders. The great tits around here need to man-up, otherwise one of my 2 Pi boxes is going to remain empty again this spring.