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Gwyllt Hollow - 'Nest Box Live' kit

This piece of kit was sent to me to trial after I had seen it online and was intrigued as to how well it worked. I often have queries as to which nest box kits to buy. I have quite a sophisticated set-up here with IP cameras, network switches and iCatcher console. For many, they want a simple set-up to enable them to watch their nest box and see what is happening inside. I do not want to recommend a kit until I have trialled it and put it through its paces. This is what I have done with the 'Nest Box Live' box and I am delighted to be able to recommend this fabulous little set-up.

What is 'Nest Box Live'?

This is a complete kit, including nest box, camera, lighting and app allowing you to watch and monitor the activity in your nest box. The commercial kit, you can buy is the complete nest box kit. Other bespoke kits are currently being developed, such as the kestrel box set-up , and others, that you may see on their live FB page.

What do I need for this nest box kit to work?

The kit need to connect to the Internet in order to work. It uses an ethernet cable and an adaptor to allow the camera to connect to your Internet and to receive power for the camera and the lighting. You would need to run the cable to your router or network switch. It was easy to install and connected striaght away to my Internet, allowing me to see the inside of my box.

What does the app allow you to do and see?

I am very impressed with the functionality of the app with this kit, as shown below. 

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Every time a bird enters the nest box, a notification appears on your phone. It is easy to take a  look at the video that has been recorded.

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The 'Insights' section is fab, giving me an insight into the activity in my box. Sadly, the data is not downloadable, but I know that this might be a future feature.

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The app recognises the species visiting your box. This element is not that important to me, but I can see why it might be useful to new birders and to also understand if many species are prospecting your box. On the whole, it is pretty accurate. Night time images can confuse the AI sometimes.

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The footage and live camera is available on your app. You can also view other 'Nest Box Live' nest boxes around the world through the app also. If there is constant activity in the box, as when nesting starts, it is possible to live stream your nest box onto your Facebook page. It is not possible to download individual clips and share these on social media.

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How good is the footage?

I am used to using professional CCTV cameras, which give really clear high definition images. Many nest boxes fall short at this point. Not this kit though! The image from this kit is clear, crisp and of excellent quality. The camera is 8MP 1080p definition. I am very impressed with the quality of the image and the videos from this nest box kit.

My set-up at Gwyllt Hollow

I decided to line my nest box with bark to give a more natural look to the footage and to make it stand out from the other kits that were live streaming. I later learnt, on speaking to the developer, that this could have caused issues as the kit is designed to recognise the internal look of the nest box, but actually the kit has coped really well with my changes! I have had lots of prospecting blue tits and a couple of great tits. One blue tit has been roosting in the box at night. I mounted it up on a tree ear one of my network switches, so it was easy to cable it into my Internet. As soon as it has nesters, I will try live streaming it onto a dedicated Faecbook page.


Would I recommend the Nest Box Live Kit?

Absolutely, yes!

Excellent nest box quality, neat camera and lighting module delivering outstanding images and videos, easy to set-up and app functionality really good. There is not much to not like about this kit! The only downside to me is that I cannot lift clips and share them in a way I am used to, but if you want a kit to monitor nesting birds in your garden and can have a location where you can wire it to your router or a network point, then it could be the kit for you.

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