KarlGrabe.com

08 Nov 07 How to fit a camera to a nest box

You can see results from this camera box in the blue tit video clips at CorkNest.com The great tit clips used a different box, same design but with a better camera. Here are the photos in sequence on how to build a camera into a standard nest box.

I used a standard nest box available from a DIY shop (try B&Q, Woodies, Atlantic Homecare etc.).

The one I picked had a slate roof with a wooden roof underneath and this made fiting the camera, lights and cables easier. The Camera I got from eBay but go for a better quality one than the one shown here. It's wireless but in the end I didn't use the wireless part and ran video and audio cables back to the TV. Too much interference from mobile phones etc.

I used separate power supplies for camera and lights. Both are 'universal' power supplies (battery eliminators). Camera needs approx 150ma, lights over 300ma. Consider using 1.2watt 12 panel lights instead of the 4watt ones I used or better still LEDs. LEDs dont get hot and have no glass in case one of the birds decides to take a swipe at the bulbs. The lights are off at night but by using a varialble voltage power supply (3, 4.5, ..., 9, 12volt) the lighing can be run dimly at night for a short while to record the bird/chicks asleep.

This design has gone through a season (2006/2007) and doesn't appear to have caused the birds and chicks any harm.