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February 20, 2015 AT 11:00 am

Make An Infrared Bird Box With @Raspberry_Pi #piday #raspberrypi

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Make an infrared bird box with Raspberry pi to view birds in their nests without using light. via raspberrypi.org

In this resource you will make an infra-red bird box. This project will not only teach you about electronics and programming, but can help support the bird population in your area. Having a camera inside a nesting box can be tremendously rewarding; however, with the Raspberry Pi you can also share the nesting box with the world by streaming the video content to the Internet. Watch as your birds gain their own Internet following!

By creating an infra-red bird box you will learn:

How to setup up a Raspberry Pi with an infra-red camera module
How to connect an infra-red LED to a Raspberry Pi
How to adjust the camera focus on an Pi camera module
How to control the camera and LED to see what is happening inside the bird box

Getting Started

Garden birds are very choosy about where they build their nest so in order to get good results from this activity, the bird box will need to be located out of any predator’s reach, away from any prevailing winds and nowhere near a bird table or feeder.

Once a bird has moved in, the box must not be disturbed until they have finished breeding; this is usually between October and January in the UK. If something goes wrong you can’t just open the box and fiddle with your wires or adjust the camera, as this will traumatise the birds and could cause eggs or hatchlings to be abandoned.

A requirement of the system is to see the birds in total darkness. A light inside the bird box could attract insects and predators, and therefore no birds would select it as a nesting site. It is possible, however, to illuminate the inside of the bird box with a kind of light that is invisible to animals and humans, but is visible to a camera. This is commonly known as night vision. Night vision works by using a spectrum of light called Infrared which has a longer wavelength than visible light. Notice that IR is to the right hand side of the visible spectrum of light below:

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Full tutorial

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