FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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Can I buy a wireless webcamera nestbox system from you?

Webcameras are powered by current coming from a pc or laptop via a usb cable and therefore are not available in wireless format.

Wireless systems are available from CCTV suppliers but do not forget that they will need power for the camera unit, usually via a battery pack (short life span) or an outdoor socket.

Can I view the nestbox webcamera
on a TV?
Sorry but no you can't hook it up to the TV. This system is based on a webcamera - which does not have the correct format for TV viewing.
At this time there is no TV set of which we are aware that can read the output from a webcam without footage having first been captures on a pc.
The only way you could monitor a webcamera on a TV screen is when a TV card has been fitted in the computer allowing the TV to double as a pc monitor. You need to be a DIY computer enthusiast to fit the card and we do not know how much it would cost to a card fitted for you.
We therefore recommend that if watching the birdbox on a TV is your preference you buy the standard AV type of birdbox camera, which uses a surveillance camera suitable for TV screens and is available on ebay and amazon although not supplied by ourselves.
How big a hole would I need to make in the wall/windowframe to get the USB cable inside my house? You would need to make a hole approx 1cm x 0.5 cm which is the width and depth of the plug on the usb2 extension cable which fits into a port on your pc or laptop.
However a lot of people (including myself) just pass the lead through the window and leave the window gently closed but not locked on it  - when you need to go out and lock up just disconnect the lead and leave it outside the house (don't forget to wrap exposed cable ends in the polythene tubing supplied to protect from damp!)
How does it work in the dark of a nestbox and can you adjust the light
levels?
The webcamera has 6 LED lights which come on automatically when conditions are dark inside the box although on bright days you will find you hardly need any extra lighting to that which penetrates through the entrance hole and the window in the side of the box.
Please remember that the leds will remain full-on after dusk and disconnect the system from your pc when the birds begin to settle down for the night so as not to disturb their natural sleep cycle!
Does the webcamera have night vision? Webcameras don't feature infra red lighting and so we recommend that the camera cable is disconnected from your pc at night (see above).
Once the birds start to roost for the night there is very little activity to watch and it is kinder to them not to disturb their natural night cycle by leaving lights on in the nest.

Can I extend the usb lead further than the cable and/or extensions supplied with my webcamera?

Usually this will be fine as long as you do it using a USB2 cable with an ACTIVE REPEATER online to boost the signal between pc and camera.
PLEASE don't "daisy chain" several extension leads - just get one of the length required.
For guidance on getting the right sort of extension cables
email us at support@birdboxview.com
Do I need to be connected to the internet to use this webcamera system? You do not need an internet connection to actually run the webcam, but you may need to be online if you don't yet have software on your computer to capture the camera footage and wish to download one of the free (shareware) programmes recommended on this site.
Should I paint my nestbox to protect from weathering? You should not need to paint the nestbox in the first year but after that a coat or two of protective paint or similar is a good idea. Please be sure to use a wildlife friendly formula!

I have woodpeckers in my garden/area - how can I protect the nestbox from these aggressive predators?

Woodpeckers are a serious threat to small nesting birds, they will peck their way into the most sturdy nestbox and pull out eggs or chicks. The only way to protect the box is to completely cover with aviary wire (try local pet store or garden centre for this) and add a metal plate around the entrance hole (available from internet/ebay suppliers). We can do this for you - email for details - but it does considerably add to the cost of the item so you might prefer to organise it yourself!

I have cats prowling around my garden/area - what can I do to protect the birds from their predations?

Site nestboxes as high as you can, preferably on a wall without convenient footholds. Cats are comfort loving animals so try siting feeders and nestboxes in uncomfortable positions (eg above bushes with thorns, on the branch of holly trees etc). If the cat is yours then you have the option to fit it with a warning bell on its collar!
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