Monday, January 28, 2008

My new toy -- NovaBird bird cam

I got a new toy for Christmas. I actually got one for my dad, then decided he couldn't have all the fun, so ordered one for myself as well.

It's a 3MP camera mounted inside a waterproof housing with a motion-sensitive trigger. It also has nice features like a counter, the ability to date/time stamp your photos (or not, as you wish), a weatherproof battery pack, and a tripod mount. It does not come with an SD card, so you have to add your own. I'm sure that help keeps their cost down. I priced and compared motion-detection wildlife cameras (used mainly by hunters) with this and this was a good value for the money.

So...once you get it, you charge the battery pack for 24 hours. This is probably one of its detracting features...each time you recharge it's recommended you do so for 24 hours. Of course their solution is to buy a second battery pack. You set the time and date (instructions are pretty straightforward) and insert the SD card and turn it on. You also have some control over how often it takes pictures...10 seconds is the default but there are toggle switches for about 8 different settings.

For ease of moving the camera around, I mounted it on an extra tripod I had. I set it up the first time near one of my hummer feeders. Because the hum feeder was on a hook that swayed in the breeze, I got quite a few pics of an empty feeder. I deleted those, so I'll spare you :-) I then moved a feeder to the top of a pole and pointed the camera at that. Still got some "empty" pictures, but got a few good ones too. This is a series, so the bird stayed quite a few seconds to be photographed multiple times. Click on each picture to see the real detail!

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