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Great Tit - Nesting/Wildlife Camera Guide - WildlifeGadgetman.com

Great Tit – Nesting/Wildlife Camera Guide

Great-Tit-Guide-600

Species: Great Tit (Parus major)

Description:

The Great Tit has all the characters of the other tits and is unmistakable, given its large, robust size, relatively heavy bill and domed head. The head pattern shows a black cap (glossy in males), neck collar and bib set against white cheeks. The back is green turning blue-grey towards the rump and tail and on to the wings. The underside is a bright lemon yellow with a central black stripe running down from the throat. This black stripe is wider and more strongly developed in males than it is in females. Sometimes in the field you can see that in the male the black stripe extends across the belly to the base of both legs, while in the female it is not so broad and does not reach the legs.

Although adults will feed themselves on sunflower hearts and other seeds, they need to find plenty of caterpillars for their growing youngsters. Parents are likely to collect these from near-by trees and garden shrubs.

Will This Species Use A Nest Box? Yes

Nesting – The Key Facts You Need To Know…

 

Fact: Details:
Nest Site: Great Tits are cavity nesters and will readily nest in nest boxes. Their nests are often found in unusual locations including lamp posts, bus shelters and even wall mounted ash-trays!
Nest Box Type: Small Nest Box – Typically with a 32mm diameter hole. Nest boxes should be placed 1.5 – 5m above ground level with a clear flight patch to the box.
Egg Description: Eggs are white, with a variable amount of speckling. Incubation usually starts once the last or penultimate egg is laid. The parents will cover the eggs with soft nest material each time they leave the nest.
Clutch Size: 6 – 9 (Can be as many as 15)
Incubation: 12 – 16 Days
Fledge: 15 – 22 Days
No. Of Broods: One (occasionally two)
Conservation Status: GreenCheck the RSPB Conservation description web page for more information.

 

My Recommended Wildlife Camera Setup.

As Great Tits are so common and readily use suitable nest boxes they are the perfect species to start with if you are new to wildlife cameras. There are numerous options for setting up a camera to watch over a Great Tit nest and over the years I’ve pretty much tried all of them!

Here are my recommendations and things to consider…

 

Details:
Camera (Option 1)
Analog CCTV Camera – 700TVL with built in microphone and Infrared Lighting (850nm or 940nm). Look for cameras that use a built in photocell to switch the IR LEDs on/off.Recommended Kit : Hi Resolution Nest Box Camera Kit – Wired Recommended Complete Systems: Nest Box Camera Systems
Camera (Option 2) HD Webcam – There are several reasonably priced HD quality webcams now available suitable for use inside a nest box. The best one I’ve found to date is the Logitech c920. These can give stunning images but may require a specially designed nest box to offer the optimum viewing angle. Please note that as webcams use a USB connection the maximum cable length will be limited to around 30m. See cable info below.
Camera (Option 3) IP Camera – IP cameras are still quite expensive but can offer some excellent results particularly if they are linked to Icatcher Motion Detection Software. I recommend the Vivotek IP8152. This compact IP camera offers excellent HD resolution with a variable zoom/focus lens. It is also IR sensitive. However it does not have any IR lighting built in.Please contact me if you would like me to provide a quotation for this camera.
Wired or Wireless?
Wherever possible I always recommend using a ‘wired’ system. These tend to be much cheaper and offer excellent results. Don’t economise on your cable purchase. It’s always best to spend a little extra on the best quality cable you can afford, you won’t regret it. Using good quality cable will ensure the signal received at your TV/computer is tip top.Recommended Cables: High Quality AV/Power CablesSometimes it is impractical to run a wire between your preferred camera location and your TV/computer. On these occasions you will need to investigate the ‘Wireless’ option. When looking at ‘wireless’ systems you’ll find it is very much a case of ‘you get what you pay for’. I’ve lost count of how many ‘cheap’ wireless systems I’ve tried over the years and to be perfectly honest they’ve all been pretty naff. The latest generation ‘Digital Wireless’ kits and systems are a massive improvement over older analog systems and I’ve been hugely impressed with their range and quality of image.Recommend ‘Digital Wireless Kit’ (for converting analog cameras): Digital Wireless Kit Recommended Complete ‘Digital Wireless’ Systems: Digital Wireless Nest Box Systems Typical range of the ‘Digital Wireless’ kits is up to 120m. I can offer longer range systems too. Contact me to discuss your exact requirements. If you are planning to use a USB webcam then you will typically be restricted to a cable length of no more than 5m. However, this can be extended up to 30m with the use of ‘Active Repeater Cables’. Ensure active repeater cables over 20m are supplied with their own additional power adapter.
Watching/Recording Footage There are several ways you can watch and record footage from the nest…On Your TV – You will be able to plug most analog cameras into the AV connectors on your TV.DVR (Digital Video Recorder) – Digital Video Recorders have a hard disk inside (just like in your computer) and can record footage from your nest box camera. They also have a simple form of ‘motion detection’ so can be set up to only record when movement is detected. Many DVRs can be connected to a computer network so you can view the cameras and recordings remotely. DVRs are typically available with 4 or 8 channels. This means you can connect up to 4/8 cameras to the DVR at the same time. You will be able to view a single camera full screen or all cameras split screen.Please contact me if you would like me to provide a quotation for the latest DVRs. Motion Detection Software – My preferred way to monitor wildlife cameras is to connect them to my computer anduse motion detection software. The software can be set up to constantly monitor the cameras and only record footage when it detects movement. This is great because you don’t have to be constantly monitoring the cameras yourself with your finger hovering over the record button! Recommended Motion Detection Software: I-Catcher Wildlife/Console
Connecting To A Computer There are numerous ways to connect your camera to a computer…Video To USB Adapter – This is the lowest cost option and is also the ideal solution for connecting your nest box camera to a laptop. Typically costing less than £40 these adapters offer recording resolutions of up to 720x 576 pixels for a single camera. Adapters are available for Windows based computers and Apple Macs.Recommended Video To USB Adapter (Windows): Video To USB Adapter (Windows)Recommended Video TO USB Adapter (Mac): Video To USB Adapter (Mac) Video Grabber / Capture Cards – There are a wide variety of capture cards available. Which one you go for will depend on your budget and type of computer. Capture cards are available with multiple channels so you can connect a number of cameras to you computer all at the same time (usually in multiples of four).Video Encoders – This is my preferred choice. Not the cheapest but definitely the best option in my opinion. Many encoders are ‘duel stream’ which is ideal if you wish to monitor your cameras via I-Catcher AND live stream images over the internet via your website.Please feel free to contact me for further advice or prices for any of the above.
By | 2017-08-09T15:24:53+00:00 February 25th, 2014|How To Guides, Nature, Technology|2 Comments

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2 Comments

  1. Chris May 28, 2017 at 8:41 am - Reply

    Hi Jason,
    I’ve just done a comparison of analogue vs IP cameras for nextbox use, which complements the info you’ve presented, adding in a home-brew aspect which considerably increases the options of using webcams 100’s of meters from house.
    http://nestboxtech.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/how-to-get-bird-box-camera-online.html

    • Wildlife Gadgetman July 28, 2017 at 2:53 pm - Reply

      Love this Chris. Can you email or message me your contact details. I’d love to have a chat sometime.

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