Pix Controller are now streaming a nest box camera. This spring they engaged in a nest box project where they built and set up 6 different nest boxes in different sizes and in different, all wild, habitats. This way it is hoped the boxes will attract a verity of birds throughout the nesting season. The camera system will be moved around to different nest boxes as they become active.

Within the first week of setting the nest boxes out they had a bird start a nest in one of the smaller boxes. It turned out to be a tufted titmouse. They quickly installed a camera to and started streaming the nest building process. The titmouse nest, however, was under constant raids by a house wren. The house wren is a smaller bird and will often try and remove competitive birds from their territory. After several weeks the titmouse nest was complete and the female laid a clutch of 6 eggs. After a few days of incubation the house wren returned, destroyed the eggs, are removed most of the titmouse nest. At this point the titmouse pair was unable to defend the nesting site and didn’t return.

The house wren didn’t waste any time and started constructing a nest. The male house wren will construct several nests filling up as many potential nesting sites as possible to eliminate competition. The male will then take the female to each nest and she will choose the nest to lay her eggs. The male will build the base of the nest with sticks and the female will construct a cut made of soft material such as fur to hold the eggs/chicks. We are now seeing and hearing both pairs at the nest box and we assume this is the nest the female has chosen to lay the eggs.

The camera system installed at this nest box is rather unique. They designed and built a dual camera system. The inside camera is active until a bird is present at the entrance hole. At this time a motion sensor will detect the bird and automatically switch the view to an outside camera for as long as the bird is present at the outside. There is a sound MIC installed too along with an IR camera to view the birds at night inside the nest box. We hope this 2nd camera will help with the education of the nesting process.

Here’s a video example of the cameras in action: