If you've been keeping an eye on the new nest-platform, you may have noticed it just got a little bigger. The perch-arm that was attached to the platform has grown about five feet.
Just last week, Brent Spink (Brent built the platform with John Brenneman of the Kalamazoo Nature Center) and I attached a new perch to accommodate a cellular nest-cam so we can monitor the nest. The previous perch just wasn't high enough to give us the right perspective on the nest box.
We had to build a little roof for the camera so the birds won't try and perch on it. My conversations with others who've installed nest-cams say the biggest problem is keeping the lens clear of white-wash. I think our camera is high enough up and out of the way of an arching blast of the stuff. We can only hope.
The camera is a cellular trail camera (mainly for hunters) that uses a phone account to send pics via text message to my iPhone and my email account. I turned off the motion detector and set the camera to take a picture every half hour during daylight. That was to conserve on battery usage since we won't be able to access the camera or system at all once the birds take to the platform. The entire system needs to be self contained for potentially five months.
We also added more sticks to the nest to make it look more like....a nest!
A bird's eye view.
The nest platform is incredibly visible for anyone stopped at the light at the intersection of Kings Highway and I94 Business Loop.
Me installing the solar panel to keep the 6V battery fully charged.
The final work of art with new cairn-like feet to add extra stability and aesthetically mask the original, blocky anchors.
This is one of the pictures the camera sent to my iPhone!
Since we installed the camera, I've received 150 pictures, each one virtually identical, except for variations on the light.
Hopefully, I'll soon receive a picture where the sticks suddenly look a little different, as though they've been rearranged or more have been added to the mix. Better yet, I may even receive a picture of an Osprey cleaning house.