Wireless VideoCam: Birds Eye View

Motherchild I blame Joe Brennan.  He emailed me about a $6 wireless mike from Geeks.com –no endorsement implied– but I sprang for the $32 wireless video camera just to check it out. How good (or bad) could a $32 wireless video camera be?  I ordered it, it came.  Birds had built a nest in the eaves by the front door and I gaffer taped the tiny camera there.  It used a 9 volt battery and sent the Transmitter wireless signal about 50 feet away to a television set with input jacks.  Worked amazing well for something nearly the size of a jujube (more). This let the family watch a live feed, so to speak, of bird behavior which itself mostly consists of feeding.  The battery only lasts about 24 hours, so have Receiver a bag of them ready.  Note: The wireless camera does come with an AC plug is your desired placement is near power. One other problem was getting signed releases from the bird parents (at right).  This is Hollywood and you just never know when the animals have agents.Parents Anybody know what kinds of birds those are, by the way? 

All of the work becomes worthwhile when the students in the family are engaged so deeply by real world teachable moments (see picture below). As Betsy Whalen has said, ‘life is a teachable moment.’ Sometimes even in middle school.   A more serious application for this camera is at the neighborhood elementary school.  The school has always been open to the public and has a welcoming front entrance but parents were spooked the other day when a stranger was lurking in front of the school.  There was a debate about putting in security, but a wireless video camera that feeds into the office is a nice alternative to a guard-type planted by the door.  This is still an old fashioned Schoolfront neighborhood in some ways, and the idea of visible guards just didn’t fit with some folks.  So far, so good.Middleschool

And the next time Joe Brennan is in Los Angeles, he can help me clean up the astonishing quantity of bird droppings from the cast of our animal reality show. Bird agents, please no phone calls…

Comments

  1. joe Brennan

    OK, Hall. Turn about is definitely fair play here because I ordered a remote TV cam and told my wife that YOU thought it would be a great granddaughter cam. The birds look like finches to me which is, of course, fink to our Germanic brethren. So you know they will turn into stool pigeons as soon as they find out about their images being broadcast and posted on the net. No wonder that “disinterested” middle schooler is hiding her face from the authorities. And as for the droppings – don’t wait for me. Best get that high quality guano on your frost ravaged garden while it’s still ripe.

  2. Hall Davidson

    Joe, at least you appreciate the quantity of guano from that finch nest. It is a rare quality to recognize the guano in posts in the blogosphere.

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