The Daily Telegraph - Saturday

How to SET UP YOUR own BIRD CAM

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While installing a live webcam requires a bit more effort, many fit cameras in their gardens in order to better observe birds. These can take stills and videos, including at night. Matthew Merritt, editor of Bird Watching magazine, recommends the Hawke Nature Camera (£149; birders-store.co.uk).

“I’ve had one for a couple of years, and it’s easy to use, robust, and takes good quality pics,” says Merritt.

“Feeders or nest box entrances are the best things to train them on, especially the former,” Merritt explains. “You should always try to place either of those away from windows, especially windows at which you’ll be visible a lot. Keep them far enough from cover that cats and squirrels can’t jump on to them, but near enough that the birds feel they have somewhere to flee to (so avoid the centre of a large lawn). And clean them every week.” Merritt recommends buying bungee ties from hardware stores so the cameras can be easily strapped on to new locations.

Why go through all the rigmarole of setting up a camera when live streams abound? “It’s a great way of discoverin­g the wildlife that visits your garden without having to sit there with binoculars in hand,” says Merritt. “You can easily set them up to target a particular species – for example, if you have a blackbird that sings from a certain perch all the time. I’ve got the most pleasure from being surprised by things that I never suspected turning up, especially shyer birds like bullfinche­s and coal tits.”

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