For backyard birders who enjoy taking
pictures of the birds at their feeders, Wingscapes
has developed a great new product—
the BirdCam. It is basically a weatherproof,
motion-activated digital camera
that will automatically snap still pictures
or short bursts of video whenever the
BirdCam’s infrared sensor detects a bird in
its viewing area.
I can vouch for the fact that it is quick
and easy to set up and start taking pictures.
(I think it took me longer to figure
out how to get it out of the box than it did
to set it up for picture-taking.) The BirdCam
can be easily attached to a post or
tree trunk near your feeder by using the
bungee cords (supplied) or setting it up on
a tripod. I chose the latter, which made it
easy to move the BirdCam around to a variety
of locations in the Lab’s bird-feeding
I simply placed the BirdCam about 18"
from the feeder (the minimum close-focus
distance), adjusted the focus manually,
and let the birds do the rest. They were
completely unafraid of the device—in
fact, goldfinches kept landing on top of it
before going to the feeder.
In addition to the motion-activated
feature, the BirdCam comes with a small,
hand-held remote control, so you can
snap pictures or take videos manually—a
handy feature if you only want pictures of
The BirdCam takes 3.1 megapixel jpeg
digital images (High 2048x1536; Medium
1328x996; and Low 640x480) and
10-second videos (AVI files, 640x480, 10
seconds at 10fps). It has 32 megabytes of
built-in memory but can also use an optional
SD card, holding up to 4 gigabytes.
Image output is through a USB cable, TV
out, or an SD card. It is quick and easy to
download the images to a computer. The
BirdCam is powered by 4 D-cell batteries,
or you can use an optional AC adaptor.
It measures 9" high by 3 5/8" deep by 5
1/2" wide and weighs 2 pounds 7 ounces
including batteries. —Tim Gallagher
For more information, visit the Wingscapes
web site at: www.wingscapes.com