Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Anybody use a trail cam

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Monday 14th May 2018, 14:50   #1
aaronc
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Leitchfield, KY
Posts: 10
Anybody use a trail cam

Hey,...I've got several feeders up in my yard. Going to be looking into the photography thing in the near future. I have a decent camera and will be looking at lenses and such but was wandering if any of you guys have ever set up a trail cam on a feeder ? Best -Aaron
aaronc is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 14th May 2018, 15:20   #2
snowyowl
Registered User
 
snowyowl's Avatar

 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada and Central Florida, USA
Posts: 3,417
I frequently set up my trail cameras to monitor my feeders. I don't do it to get pictures of the birds, picture is quality is too poor to even bother, but rather to see what comes after dark. Here in Canada I've recorded as many as 5 raccoons at my feeders at one time. In Florida I've had everything from bears to possums at the feeders at night.
__________________
Dan
Snowy Owl
http://snowyowl.smugmug.com/Nature
snowyowl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 14th May 2018, 15:34   #3
Hauksen
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Germany
Posts: 617
Hi Aaron,

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronc View Post
any of you guys have ever set up a trail cam on a feeder ?
I used a trail camera for monitoring my balcony feeder for a while.

It was a bit of a challenge to find an angle where it doesn't have branches etc. in the background that move in the wind and trigger the motion detection, giving you tons of pictures with no birds on them.

Another problem is that the fix-focus wide-angle lens of the trail camera is not built for the very short range I'm using it at, and so the photographs are all a bit out of focus.

There's also the problem of trigger delay. Having a three-short burst mode compensates a bit for that, but birds are quick, and they often manage to trigger the camera without actually appearing on the photograph.

The camera also has a video mode, but I haven't tried that out yet.

Regards,

Henning
__________________
3D Printable Objects for Bird Watching: http://www.thingiverse.com/Bikecycli...bird-watching/
Hauksen is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 14th May 2018, 15:56   #4
jape
Registered User
 
jape's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: warrington
Posts: 739
i agree with Hauksen's comments. i have used several over the years for wildlife monitoring and the trigger delay is the biggest problem. there are very detailed reviews and tests done that show the response types and timing and surprisingly some of the cheaper brands were best. however then you often lose the resolution or battery life.

i would suggest a webcam setup either wired or wifi on a permanent recording similar to security cameras works far better for basic identification.

as brands and technology change so quickly you have to rely on in depth searches of Google to make informed choice. i do know some government research stations around the world have reported on various surveillance and recording options as i read the papers but you have to dig them out.

also, whatever your feelings about the subject, check the reviews in hunting magazines as trail cams are widely utilised for game movement records. a few trailcams have offered trigger sensitivity setting but you also have to be aware of the lense type (fresnel or not) and the detector type (IR usually).

having said all that, taking heed of Hauksen's remarks about moving branches etc. you will find a cheapo Aldi trail cam or a midrange Bushnell will supply many interesting shots or videos of wildlife that may satisfy much of your purpose. it is often surprising what goes on when your back is turned ... in Oz i got shots of bee swarms, copulating kangaroos, sneaky foxes, rabbits ignored by foxes, next door's dogs, a cat getting driven off by echidnas and even a wedgetailed eagle taking a snake.
jape is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 14th May 2018, 17:30   #5
CalvinFold
Registered User
BF Supporter 2018
 
CalvinFold's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: San Leandro, CA, USA
Posts: 1,537
This is probably a n00b question, or perhaps a "geek overkill" solution, but...

Wouldn't a security cam like jape suggested, hooked to a computer with a decent sized hard drive, work better? For example, I've been playing around with this Amcrest security cam to watch the behavior of one of my indoor cats. You can really fine-tune the trigger sensitivity and even make it specific to certain parts of the image.

Or on-the-cheap you can set-up basically a "dashcam" inexpensively like a Mobius ActionCam. One big storage card and a USB battery and you'd be good to go at least overnight. Quite a capable little until for the price.

But maybe I'm missing something where this pertains to the OP's needs?
__________________
Kevin (aka CalvinFold)
My Gallery Equipment used: 2013 | 2014 | 20152018
CalvinFold is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2015 2016 2017 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Monday 14th May 2018, 18:48   #6
iveljay
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wiltshire, England
Posts: 863
There isn't a lot you can't do with security cams, it can get expensive as you tend to get what you pay for.

Some early af slrs had trap focus which sort of worked, but for feeders it wasn't a success (sharp feeder - no bird as a breeze blew them into the focus zone) being film based I was a bit cautious on the winder set-up.. Trail cams are great for bigger mammals, I had the biggest collection of photos of my dogs backsides as they lurked by the same animal trails I thought I had covered by the camera. I found out a lot of what they were up to when they wandered off after dark, but that wasn't the idea.

I have had most success videoing feeders than any other way, but I was always present behind glass with a wired remote to the camera outdoors. The remote gave me zoom control, but not pan and tilt which really needs a live feed to get right.
iveljay is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 14th May 2018, 20:12   #7
aaronc
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Leitchfield, KY
Posts: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jape View Post
i agree with Hauksen's comments. i have used several over the years for wildlife monitoring and the trigger delay is the biggest problem. there are very detailed reviews and tests done that show the response types and timing and surprisingly some of the cheaper brands were best. however then you often lose the resolution or battery life.

i would suggest a webcam setup either wired or wifi on a permanent recording similar to security cameras works far better for basic identification.

as brands and technology change so quickly you have to rely on in depth searches of Google to make informed choice. i do know some government research stations around the world have reported on various surveillance and recording options as i read the papers but you have to dig them out.

also, whatever your feelings about the subject, check the reviews in hunting magazines as trail cams are widely utilised for game movement records. a few trailcams have offered trigger sensitivity setting but you also have to be aware of the lense type (fresnel or not) and the detector type (IR usually).

having said all that, taking heed of Hauksen's remarks about moving branches etc. you will find a cheapo Aldi trail cam or a midrange Bushnell will supply many interesting shots or videos of wildlife that may satisfy much of your purpose. it is often surprising what goes on when your back is turned ... in Oz i got shots of bee swarms, copulating kangaroos, sneaky foxes, rabbits ignored by foxes, next door's dogs, a cat getting driven off by echidnas and even a wedgetailed eagle taking a snake.

Thanks for the responses and yes I actually am an avid hunter and I've owned trail cams years ago when they first came out. However; they don't last long in the backwoods as eventually they do get stolen.
Was just curious as to how it would perform over a bird feeder,..I knew it would have some limitations but was wanting a little feedback before I tried it. Thanks again for all the replies. Best Regards - Aaron
aaronc is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 14th May 2018, 20:35   #8
SanAngelo
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: San Angelo Tx
Posts: 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalvinFold View Post
...... I've been playing around with this Amcrest security cam
I fully intend at some point to have an outdoor CCTV system; two cameras, one at birdbath and one with a wider shot on a different bath with three trees. However, I'm not willing to throw money at untested, inferior products.

Although yours is an indoor system, it gives me a product line to research. Thanks for the info.

I've been waiting for testimonials since February when delia todd added CCTV Systems to Trail Cams-Camera Traps in the Miscellaneous Nature Study Equipment Sub-Forum. That threads still has no action, this quote from iveljay may be the reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iveljay View Post
There isn't a lot you can't do with security cams, it can get expensive as you tend to get what you pay for.
Any and all product reviews would be appreciated.
SanAngelo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 14th May 2018, 22:10   #9
CalvinFold
Registered User
BF Supporter 2018
 
CalvinFold's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: San Leandro, CA, USA
Posts: 1,537
Quote:
Originally Posted by SanAngelo View Post
Although yours is an indoor system, it gives me a product line to research. Thanks for the info.
The trick, as someone else mentioned, that it is often "you get what you pay for" with security cams.

I had a tough time finding one that got decent reviews, didn't cost an arm and a leg, worked fairly well on a Mac, and also was supported by my Synology (which has free security cam management software).

In the case of this specific Amcrest the bad reviews centered mostly around the WiFi security being horrible. And actually, all of the low-to-mid range security cams on the market seem to have serious security issues with their WiFi functions (ironic!). Since I'm big on hard-wired ethernet I just ran a cable to the camera and turned off the WiFi access to the camera.

The zone-sensitivty software is web based and kinda odd, but once you get the hang of it, it's nice being able to designate parts of the image grid to be super sensitive, others to be ignored, and yet others sorta in-between. You can also set how long the video clip is after detection. Also, it has a very limited "pre-trigger" buffer; apparently it's always buffering a bit of video all the time so it can back-up a small amount previous to the trigger and make that part of the video clip saved. It's not alot (a second or two), but enough to catch my cat.

The Mobius ActionCam is another budget option, but requires a bit more DIY. But it can be waterproofed, can use a tripod mount, is tiny, has a number of lens options, and quality isn't bad. I use two as cycling safety cams (yeah, it's really come to this where I live). Apparently this little wonder if popular with the RC drone set and dashcam-for-safety folks, and has a growing following with cyclists. Hidden gem IMHO. (It does have motion-triggered features but I haven't personally tried them; also beware of third-party imitations and fakes.)
__________________
Kevin (aka CalvinFold)
My Gallery Equipment used: 2013 | 2014 | 20152018

Last edited by CalvinFold : Tuesday 15th May 2018 at 14:19.
CalvinFold is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2015 2016 2017 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 15th May 2018, 02:50   #10
SanAngelo
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: San Angelo Tx
Posts: 391
The Mobius ActionCam is a sweet little camera. Not what I'm looking for but after watching a YouTube review it's worth having in your tool box.

Now that you brought my attention to Amcrest, they have an outdoor Bullet Camera that may work, IP3M-943. I'll need more research; read reviews, watch YouTube vids, see what's comparable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalvinFold View Post
The trick, as someone else mentioned, that it is often "you get what you pay for" with security cams.
Thank you sir, this helps, I appreciate it.
SanAngelo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 18th May 2018, 20:52   #11
aeajr
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 42
I am installing this security camera to monitor my bird feeders and later some bird houses. Has a 4X optical and 4X digital zoom. You can't get real close but from about 30 feet away I can see that there are birds on the feeder and tell sparrows from cardinals, from grackles from mockingbirds. But I don't think I could tell a house sparrow from a song sparrow.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This provides a live feed, allows snap shots, record video. Have only played with the live feed on my android phone and desktop. Have not tried to manipulate photos or video.

FYI
__________________
Ed from NY - Started Jan 2016 - Long Island, East of NYC, USA - Having fun spending quality time with my Wife, and the birds. Opticron Oregon 8X32, Garret Optical 10X50, Celestron 7-21X40 zoom. Smartphone Apps: eBird, Merlin, Audubon
aeajr is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New trail cam Chkm8 Trail Cams - Camera Traps - CCTV Systems 10 Wednesday 1st February 2017 14:21
Camel trail mawganman Cornwall 3 Tuesday 27th January 2015 21:36
Along The Trail J. R. Weems Mammals 3 Saturday 16th July 2011 03:46
The Wivenhoe Trail Mahsleb Birds & Birding 10 Monday 19th November 2007 11:47
End of the trail Joe A. Your Birding Day 2 Saturday 16th October 2004 04:26

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.16935992 seconds with 23 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 18:55.