Oops! You can’t say that to the animals nibbling on your bonsai or other garden plants.
Read on and learn what we’re talking about!
Cameras for What?
Using wildlife or trail cameras is an incredible strategy to witness nature at its best without troubling it.
You can get pictures of amazing nocturnal species that you wouldn’t normally encounter and get a glimpse of wary creatures like badgers, foxes, and hedgehogs.
Children can learn a lot from them about the importance of wildlife and gain an understanding of the value of your garden to the organisms that live there with you.
Trail Cameras: How Do They Work?
Putting up a remote camera outside to take images and videos is called setting up a trail camera, sometimes referred to as a wildlife camera. The idea is that you can get pictures that would otherwise be hard to get since the animals would avoid you.
The camera does not run or continuously capture photographs. Motion sets it off. Then, the pictures and videos are stored on the devices so you can watch them later.
Originally utilized for wildlife research, trail cameras are now more widely available due to considerable cost reductions.
Wildlife Camera Selection
Wildlife cameras vary greatly from one another. Your options differ based on features and price. Affordability should be considered together with the features you want. The features that are available are as follows:
Shutter Speed and Trigger Time
The duration between the sensors detecting an animal and the camera beginning to capture pictures is known as the trigger time and shutter speed. This typically lasts between 0.1 and 1 second on trail cameras. The general rule of thumb is that the better the camera, the faster the trigger time must be in order to capture an animal moving very fast across the camera. While video often has a slower trigger time, the camera has the advantage of being able to capture more.
The amount of time it takes for the camera to start working again is known as the recovery time. This is necessary if the camera can take both photos and video at the same time. If the recovery period is too long, the camera will activate to capture the image, then take a few seconds to recover to take a video, by which time the animal will have walked away. Therefore, just as with trigger time, the faster the recovery period, the better.
Field of View
This describes the camera’s focus, either broadly or narrowly. It depends on what you’re trying to capture, and there are no strict guidelines for this. Animals appear smaller when the field of vision is larger, but it captures a wider range. Less is captured in better definition with a smaller field of vision. Select a lens with a longer focal length for a broad view of a lawn and a smaller lens with a closer focus to concentrate on a specific area (such as a badger set).
The more megapixels (MP), just like on a TV, phone, or laptop, the clearer the image. However, the more MP your camera has, the more room your images and videos will occupy on the SD card, which brings us to our next feature.
These cameras record to removable digital photo storage devices called “SD” (Secure Digital) memory cards. The memory capacity of SD cards is represented in gigabytes (GB). The golden rule in this context is that the larger the GB, the more memory, but the more expensive the SD card will be. A camera’s maximum GB capacity should always be checked. You don’t want to spend a lot of money on a 128GB SD card only to discover that your camera won’t work with it.
There are different camera modes available based on what you would like to see. Typically, wildlife cameras capture motion-detection video or still images. The top cameras also provide time-lapse functionality. Investing in a camera with a microphone will allow you to hear animals as well.
The majority of wildlife cameras use AA batteries, but they can also be powered by solar energy or rechargeable batteries. The least expensive and most trustworthy batteries are AAs. However, they require replacement and are not eco-friendly. Long-term cost savings from rechargeable batteries outweigh their reduced charge retention compared to AA batteries, which necessitate periodic removal and charging. The most environmentally friendly batteries are solar ones, which also self-charge, though they might not function as well if you live somewhere where there is little sunlight.
Some cameras allow you to see photographs through 3G, 4G, or WiFi, allowing you to keep an eye on events from your phone, tablet, or laptop. However, it depletes battery power.
Although you can use trail cameras to see animals on a public footpath or in parks, there is obviously a chance that your camera will be stolen. Trail cameras are typically utilized in secure back gardens. If you intend to do this, make sure the camera is cage-compatible, has a password-protected lockable strap, or has a hole for a thin chain lock.
Getting a camera with a screen is a fantastic idea because it makes setup faster and easier and enables you to preview your photos.
The Installation of a Wildlife Camera in the Backyard
To get started, adjust settings, and begin recording, you must first read the instructions that come with your camera. Once you are comfortable using it, that would be the perfect time to choose the perfect spot.
The setting is determined by your objectives. If you want to see what animal comes to your bird feeder at night, for example, it should face that direction. Try a stream or pond, a game trail, or an area close to a den or nest if you’re merely looking to see the wildlife in your backyard. These are all places where wildlife is more likely to be seen.
Position your camera facing north or south for daytime photos. Glare will be created via an east-west alignment. Place the camera at a suitable height for the animal you want to film; higher for larger animals such as deer, and lower for smaller ground species.
Check the placement before leaving the camera out. Test to see if there are any obstacles in the photos and that they are of the area you intend to see. It could take some trial and error to identify animals on your wildlife camera, so be patient, try out new spots, and enjoy yourself.