Filming my Garden Feeders

I am just a tad obsessed with birds, bird feeders and cameras to film them. You will know that if you follow me on social media! I have lots of feeding stations in the garden, some of which live stream on my website and with CJ Wildlife, who sponsor some of my cameras.

I am currently trialling a range of different Hikvision cameras, to see which work well within a wildlife setting. These cameras are designed for CCTV, so the way in which I want to use such cameras is somewhat different to what they were designed for. The main difference is that I want my cameras to focus close to my subjects. Most CCTV cameras are designed to monitor a large area, at a distance. Some of the CCTV-type cameras I have tried before have not been able to focus close enough or I have had to open them up and attempt to break the lock on the focus, so I could change it.  A lot of the newer IP cameras that are now available can now be controlled via the computer. The IP cameras have their own web address. You can log into this and access the camera and all its settings. With some cameras, you can zoom and focus via the PC and it is these cameras that I am most interested in. By being able to control the zoom and focus from my PC, I do not have to attempt to get everything right in the nest box or in a difficult location… I can simply pop the camera in place and do the set up from the comfort of my office.

Hikvision have sent me a selection of cameras that they felt might work well for me and I have been pretty astounded by the quality and the close focus functionality. One of the most impressive is a Hikvision EXIR VF Bullet cam. It is quite a big camera unit, but I have it set up only about 50cm from the feeders. I can zoom right in, until the small birds are almost full frame. I can control all aspects of the camera and how it performs, via my PC by logging onto the IP address. The colour and vibrancy of the image is amazing and I love it. This camera is live streaming on the front page of my website.

Here are a selection of videos I have lifted over the last few months…

I have another, very similar camera facing a hole in the corner of my garden. This one is part of the ‘Dark Fighter’ selction of cameras. It manages to stay in colour much longer than my other cameras, which turn onto IR much earlier.

Last week, I filmed the polecat with this camera…

The IR coverage is really good and nice and even, as it is on all of these cameras I have been using.

As well as the bullet style cameras, I have also had some dome cameras. I tried one on a small bird table, where I placed a selection of fat products… #gallery-20884-15 { margin: auto; } #gallery-20884-15 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 50%; } #gallery-20884-15 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-20884-15 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */

I have now moved this camera to monitor my waterhole set -up. Hopefully I will be able to capture some good footage of birds drinking and bathing.

#gallery-20884-16 { margin: auto; } #gallery-20884-16 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 50%; } #gallery-20884-16 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-20884-16 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */

I will upload the videos as I capture them. I usually get quite a lot of activity at this waterhole, especially as we move into winter.

I have used the Hikvision minidome cameras in my nest boxes and have a few more models to trial over the coming months. If you want to check out the quality, take a look at my live stream camera on the front page of my website at

15 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Enjoying my live cams?

Any donations, however small, towards my costs, are most welcome.