Town centres being overrun by faux-German markets? Slade being blasted 24/7 in every shop? It can only mean one thing – Christmas time is here!
Our wildlife observation cameras make fantastic gifts for nature lovers, but we know that the range of cameras, kits and boxes available can be a bit daunting at first glance. Because of this, we’ve put together this exhaustive guide, breaking down the best choices for (almost) any one of your bird loving friends & relatives, at a range of price points.
The best gift for watching nesting birds on your TV
There’s a good reason our wireless bird box camera kit has been far-and-away our best seller for the last 5 years – it’s a cinch to get up and running and is really great value for money. The tiny camera transmits video from inside the box back to the receiver in your home, which can then be plugged directly into your TV. All you need to do is connect it to power using the included plug, and you’re away. The wireless camera is available either as a basic kit that can be set up in an existing bird box, or a new De Luxe kit that includes an FSC certified wooden bird box, as well as a 20m power extension and HDMI adapter.
The best gift for the tech-averse
Whilst our wireless kit is incredibly simple to get up and running, as with all wireless cameras it can be affected by interference from other devices in the area. This can usually be remedied by switching the wireless channel on the camera, but if you’re buying the camera as a gift for someone gadget-phobic then it’s often a good choice to go for something simpler. In this case, our wired camera kit is always a great option. It uses a standard AV cable that runs directly from the TV, out into the garden and to the camera in the bird box. It needs a bit of planning to work out how to run the cable, but once this is done the camera can just be left running indefinitely, without the need to adjust any settings.
Both the wireless and wired cameras connect to the TV using composite RCA connectors. These push fit plugs are standard for many sets, but may not be included on newer flatscreens. In these cases, you may need to also go for one of our HDMI adapters. Don’t forget – these are included as standard in the de luxe bird box kits!
The best gift for watching nesting birds on your phone, from anywhere
After years of hard work consulting with our manufacturing partners, last season we were proud to unveil our latest model – our HD WiFi bird box camera. “Wireless” and “Wi-Fi” can get a bit confusing, but rather than transmitting a signal to a receiver, this camera actually connects to your home’s Wi-Fi internet network. This way, you can log in and view the nesting chicks from anywhere using an iOS or Android phone or tablet or using a Windows PC. Whilst it’s a bit more technical than just plugging it into the back of a TV, you don’t need any specialist or in-depth IT knowledge to get it up and running. Crucially, it provides a simple way to keep in touch with your resident wildlife no matter where you are. In fact, if you were to visit Green Feathers HQ then you would likely see us using one of these to check in on a feeder or nestbox when we’re supposed to be working…
The best gift for watching animals in the deep, dark woods
You might be forgiven for thinking that we only make cameras to go in small bird boxes, but that is certainly not the case! We provide a range of wildlife cameras for any environment, and can even help set up bespoke solutions for specialist applications. One thing we’re often asked is to recommend cameras for locations that have no access whatsoever to power, such as woodland. The best option for these situations is our HD trail camera. This uses standard AA batteries, and a features an infrared trigger, allowing it to record 12MP photos or 1080p video whenever a subject moves in front of the camera. They’re completely weatherproof and can be left out on standby for months at a time, perfect for remote locations. In the past, we’ve had customers use them to get great images of everything from badgers to foxes and deer.
The best gift for people with thick walls and long gardens
Whilst it’s many nature lovers’ dream to live in a rustic farmhouse out in the country, all of those thick stone walls and huge gardens can be a nightmare for Wifi signal. A simple solution is to use one of our WiFi repeaters, which provide a signal boost for your home’s existing network. Now you can install your Wifi bird box camera out in the garden without having to worry about the bars disappearing!
The best gift for Harry Potter fans
For fans of Hedwig and Pigwidgeon, what could be better than providing a cozy home for wild owls? Our partners at Riverside Woodcraft, who design all of our specialist wildlife habitats, have built a beautiful owl box, large enough for use by every native species. For Barn Owls the box is best installed near the top of a large indoor space, ideally with an access point above 3m. You can also install it in a tree to attract species such as Tawny Owls.
The best gift for people who already have one of our cameras
We know from personal experience that setting up bird box cameras is pretty addictive. Once you have one camera up and running, you then want another one with a different species of feathered residents. Luckily, our most popular wireless kit is designed to easily be expanded. The receiver can pick up a signal from any one of four wireless channels, so all you need is one of our additional wireless cameras to put in the second bird box.