Video cameras

The marvels of modern technology which released the secrets of our garden bird visitors

Camera 1

Our first camera was integral to the Aldi BC - 100 nesting box, a gift from a relative. The camera, right, has the following specification taken from the instruction leaflet.

Of course like a lot of Aldi items this product only appears when it’s likely to be in demand, i.e. before the nesting season! However as you’ll see form the nesting box video the camera gives excellent results.

Camera 2

This infra-red camera, left, was purchased from an excellent on-line company - and although designed for the home surveillance market is a great starter camera for outdoor use with bird feeders.

It’s made to locate in a fixed position on exterior walls but with a bit of ingenuity, a piece of laminate flooring, a copper pipe holder and some insulation tape, we were able to convert it to fix easily onto the pole feeder station! (See below)

Camera 3

This is our favourite little critter! It’s designed for nesting boxes but we have used it outdoors in good weather conditions too and collected some stunning videos.

This was also purchased from and has the following features:

     Wireless over 50-100m

     ●  Weight: 141g

     ●  Colour with infra-red night vision

     ●  Size: 96mm x 79mm x 30mm

     ●  Temperature limits: 0 - 40℃

     ●  Signal output: Two channel, audio and video signal

     ●  Power consumption: < 2W

There is an adapter to supply power via a PP9 rechargeable battery, not supplied, but this gives at best 30 minutes of recording time.


Of course you can simply connect your camera to a TV and watch your garden birds just like any TV soap opera but you may want to record their antics for posterity. If so you’ll need to connect your camera to a recording unit such as a DVR or a DVD recorder.

Here is our set up using a old Philips DVDR 3380 recorder and an equally old Yamada DVR-9300HX DVR and DVD recorder combination!

The inevitable consequence is obvious “plate of spaghetti” but it works enabling us to record direct to DVDs, DVD-Rs and DVD-RWs, and to the Yamada’s 360G hard drive.

The signals are transmitted wirelessly to a receiver, see below, and the receiver is connected to our recording equipment via AV lines, yellow and white. All these parts are supplied with the camera apart from the recorders of course! The camera could be directly wired for the video and audio signals as there are output jacks which extend from the back of the unit.

This is direct wired camera and we have run the wiring through an air brick into a spare room where we have video recorders set up to capture the pictures and sound via a scart connector.

This robust camera has infra red night vision and has survived all weathers, giving good quality pictures.

Power to the camera!

You’ll need to get power to your camera(s) and this may not be that easy. See below for our solutions.

Power supply weather protection

Depending on the size of your garden, the facilities you already have and where you put the feeders you may need to run a power supply from a remote source using an extension.

We have done this using two Masterplug waterproof products purchased from B&Q , the splashproof plug and socket cover and the double socket weatherproof cable reel. The socket cover enables us to run an extension from an outdoor waterproof socket right up to the main feeder, plug the camera power adapter into the extension socket and then encase them in the pill shaped orange pod which protects the combination from the elements.

The reel as two sockets with waterproof covers which clip over conventional plugs. However both camera power adapters are larger than a normal plug and so we have had to add additional waterproofing in the form of several plastic bags!

Camera 4

This is the third wireless camera we purchased to up the resolution of some of our videos. It is not designed for outside use but is a personal camera for recording clandestinely and so we have to be selective when we put it out. The resolution is superb and and the Woodpecker videos on this site were taken with this addition to our videoing armoury.

The equipment is another exceptional piece of kit from and is a Sony CCD wireless pinhole camera. Excellent videos but you’ll need to design your own fixing method(s) to the bird feeder!

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