Birdhouse webcam

Hey guys,

So I was woken up this morning to the sound of a woodpecker hammering on my gutter, Which got me thinking.

It would be pretty cool to make a birdhouse webcam that me and my kids could eavesdrop on a bird As it builds a nest and lays eggs.

So The next logical step is to see what you guys think.

So, is it possible (feasable) to:

install a webcam in a birdhouse that will be activated by motion and send video wirelessly from a tree in my yard to my pc or even better to the internet.

Or Instead of being activated by motion send a continuous stream to the internet.

How do you guys suggest I proceed with this project?

Thanks for any help.

I'm sure I've seen such commercially - yes its feasible but probably just requires a fairly standard webcam for security monitoring - they will already have IR lighting, WiFi, motion detection etc.

Not sure why an Arduino would be useful - but I'm sure someone will think of a use.

See what your saying.
But I guess I am really wondering how to do it wirelessly so I dont have run a wire across my yard

I recently bought a dericam webcam for this purpose - http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,90432.0.html - It has 1 input and 1 output line so it can be connected to Arduino to do some "magic"

Not a bad idea, but I do want to caution you on a few things. 1- Wireless is great, but you still got to supply it with power. You could try and go with a solar charger and a big battery. Or just deal with changing the battery every 8 hrs. 2- IR is not good for animals at short range. I had a wired camera with IR that sat about 4 ft from my parakeet, after two days, my bird stopped singing and beak area was turning white. In short. the IR is not good on a bird at short range.

Other notes You could always try and go for a small Pin hole camera camera. They are tiny and will fit nicely in a corner. Then modify one of those lawn solar lights to mount inside the bird house to have light inside with out harming the birds to much.

1- Wireless is great, but you still got to supply it with power. You could try and go with a solar charger and a big battery. Or just deal with changing the battery every 8 hrs. 2- IR is not good for animals at short range. I had a wired camera with IR that sat about 4 ft from my parakeet, after two days, my bird stopped singing and beak area was turning white. In short. the IR is not good on a bird at short range.

Great points. Thank you.

Lighting the inside of a birdhouse might not go down too well with the birds. Ditto with using sound sensors that they might be able to hear, being on all the time. Perhaps a zoologist can tell you what’s safe and won’t bother them. How long since the kids have been to the Zoo?

2 - IR is not good for animals at short range. I had a wired camera with IR that sat about 4 ft from my parakeet, after two days, my bird stopped singing and beak area was turning white.

Lesson learned today!

In the past I've read about people doing motion detection in Linux using the ffmpeg library. I suspect the processing for doing this is beyond the Arduino. Just monitoring a nest or birdhouse from the outside should be easy using a wireless security camera. But you'd need a Linux box on the receiving end, to process the video feed. What it does is save the video frames only when motion is detected. Not sure if the power requirements are low enough -- some of the "spy" cams are very small, and intended for unobtrusive placement, so I maybe a LiIon with a solar charger could handle it.

If this is of interest, do a web search for ffmpeg motion detector. IIRC, where I originally saw this was on Instructables, or Makezine.

justjed:
motion detection in Linux

One word: motion.

http://www.lavrsen.dk/foswiki/bin/view/Motion/WebHome

Can be found from the Ubuntu repositories and is pretty easy to configure. I used motion to build a wireless security camera system for our home.

Motion + Foscam wireless webcam with IR lights and you are set. You can find the camera from DealExtreme.

With a low-res video device it's not speed that the Arduino lacks so much as memory to hold an image and another to compare, minimum. With only two images even changes in shadows could fool such a setup.