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A list of our frequently asked questions is as follows:
Garden birds generally start breeding around mid February, ideally you should have put a nestbox in place by the end of Feb beginning of March. This said, we have known bird boxes to be put up in April that have had successful results.
If you are concerned about not getting a nesting bird, why not try purchasing one of our Birdbox and BirdFeeder Combi Systems, this way you will get use of your camera all year round!
Yes. All of our kits use 12v DC unless otherwise specified. We would recommend using a deep cycle leisure battery (as used in caravaning) and NOT a car battery as leisure batteries are designed for deep discharge and recharge and should last longer.
This depends on what size battery you use and which kit you are trying to power. For information purposes (the info you are likely to be asked for by your battery provider) our nest box and feeder kits typically draw between 80mA and 300mA. Our general wildlife observation cameras typically draw up to 600mA.
Have you left the lens cap on? Check to make sure it has been removed. If it has, try unplugging the video (yellow) connections and then plugging them back together. If you have used our TV Scart adaptor, make sure it is firmly connected to your TV input. If you are using a USB stick in a PC ensure the video is set to 'Composite video'
Our cameras use the PAL television standard. Our cameras will operate on TVs used in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Iceland, Poland, Portugal and Spain.
Also in Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Ascension Island, Australia, Azores, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei, Cameroon, Canary Islands, Cape Verde, China (mainland), Christmas Island, Cook Island, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dubai, Easter Island, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Finland, Gambia, Gaza & West Bank, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao, Macedonia, Madeira, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norfolk Island, North Korea, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Tristan da Cunha, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe. Please note that this list may be out of date or incorrect, please check that your television uses the PAL standard. For more information about the PAL standard see Click here.
Yes you can if you have the appropriate input on your pc. Look for a round yellow connector that looks the same as you would find on the spare AV socket on your TV. Your pc may already be fitted with a TV, capture or graphics card with this type of connector on it. If you don't have one of these connectors we recommend using one of our Video to USB Adaptors. All you need is a spare USB input so it's perfect for use with laptops too. (PC and Apple Mac options available).
Yes they are! A great deal of effort has gone into making our systems very easy to set up. We provide clear, easy to follow instructions with each kit and we are always available, during office hours, at the end of the telephone should you require any further advice.
This really depends on a number of factors including entrance hole size, internal nest box size, height above ground level etc. Our nest boxes are designed following RSPB and BTO recommendations. We use a minimum of 18mm thick timber sourced from well managed forests.
Gardenature has full FSC Chain of Custody certification which means that we are independently inspected to ensure our manufacturing procedures offer traceability for all timber used. We work very closely with the RSPB. In fact, our nest box camera systems are the only ones recommended and currently sold by the RSPB!
Our nest boxes are fitted with a 32mm entrance hole as standard or can be left open fronted. This will attract the widest range of garden birds including Blue Tits, Marsh Tits, Coal Tits, Great Tits, House Sparrows, Nuthatches, Robins, Wrens and more! Some guidelines suggest a 25mm hole is required for Blue Tits. In reality we've found that this is very tight and as we want to maximise the chances of birds using the nest box we always use a 32mm hole. This will not deter the Blue Tits from nesting in the slightest.
Yes. It's very easy to adjust the focus of the lens in all our nest box and feeder camera systems. The focus can be adjusted from a few millimetres to infinity with a very small twist of the lens.
Please note that all of our kits are set up and tested prior to dispatch. Cameras mounted in nest boxes are set to be focused approx. 60mm from the base of the nest box to allow for nesting material etc.
There are kits available that use artificial lighting to illuminate the inside of the nest box (torch bulbs or LEDs). Although many people have great success with this set up there are concerns as to whether this will disturb nesting birds.
To eliminate this concern and maximise your chances of birds nesting we use natural daylight to illuminate the inside of our nest boxes. Colour camera ready nest boxes have a small slot cut into each side wall. These slots are covered with a slightly opaque Perspex cover. This allows just enough natural daylight to enter the box to give you fantastic colour images. This in no way disturbs the birds as light levels rise and fall exactly as they would see through the entrance hole.
Gardenature were the first company to use small windows in nest boxes which has now been adopted by most of the industry.
There are a number of guidlines you can follow to help maximise your chances of birds using your nest box.
It doesn't really matter in which direction you position the entrance to your nest box. What is important is that you do not face the hole towards the prevailing wind as this will almost certainly mean that rain will get into the box in wet and windy weather. Traditionally, boxes are positioned facing between north and south east. Try to avoid direct or prolonged exposure to sunlight as overheating inside the box can sometimes result in heat stress to the chicks.
Placing a nest box in close proximity to a feeding device or feeding station may well put off birds from nesting in the box. Remember, most nesting birds are highly territorial and do not like intruders in their territory. Either remove feeders just before and during the breeding season or place the nest box well away from the feeding station.
To attract Blue Tits, Great Tits etc, ideally your nest box should be fixed two to five metres up a tree or wall to prevent predators such as cats reaching them.
There are several methods for attaching your nest box to a tree. If using a nail try to make sure it is an aluminium one as this will pose less of a hazard at a later date if the tree is cut down or trimmed using a chainsaw. Alternatively boxes can be attached with garden wire around the trunk or branch. Holes have been pre-drilled on either side of the roof to help do this. USe a piece of garden hose or similar around the wire to prevent damage to the tree.
Yes. we ship all over the world. Please note that our cameras are all PAL based. Please check that PAL is compatible with your TV before placing an order. All of our cameras can be used on a PC (assuming you have the appropriate connections). We can also supply kits with euro style mains plugs.
See below for a list of countries that use the PAL standard.
Yes you can. All of our nest box systems have quick release brackets incorporated into them so you could easily have two or more nest boxes and a feeder cam set up in your garden and move your camera kit between them!
The wireless transmitters and receivers used in our 'wireless' systems have been chosen after many hundreds of man hours of research and testing, and in our opinion, offer the best 'wireless' option available on the market today.
Many kits available today use cameras with mini transmitters built into the housing of the camera and claim transmission distances of up to 100m. We have yet to find a cost effective mini wireless system that will reliably transmit further than 30m so it's always worthwhile contacting the supplier to clarify the actual distance that may be achieved by their kit.Another disadvantage of having the transmitter built into the housing of the camera is that you will only ever be able to achieve a maximum fixed distance between the camera and the receiver back at the TV.
We use a seperate transmitter and camera in our wireless kits. Both camera and transmitter neatly fit into the nest boxes enabling you to achieve reliable transmission ranges of up to 30m in typical conditions. However, where our kits differ from the competition is that you can easily fit an extension lead between the wireless transmitter and camera to achieve greater distances between your nest box and the receiver back at the TV!
Any wireless kit requires a power source to power the camera and transmitter. As it is illegal to disturb nesting birds it is not practical to fit batteries into the actual nest box so there will always be a requirement for a cable to come from the nest box/camera to a convenient power source. Our wireless kits use 12vDC and are supplied with a 12v mains power adaptor (which looks very similar to a mobile phone charger) and 10m DC power cable. The adaptor needs to be plugged into a mains power socket typically situated in a shed or garage. However, the kit can also be powered by a 12v leisure battery (as used in caravaning and camping) if you require (not supplied). Solar panel chargers are also available.
What makes the system 'wireless' is that there is no physical connection between the camera and the receiver back at the TV.
The most common problem for a legal wireless frequency is that we have to use FM 2.45GHz which is close to (wireless) Broadband. This can sometimes cause interference such as a rolling bar on the TV screen and/or continuous puting noise.
Gardenature wireless kits have x4 channels, your kit is usually set to channel 1 from the outset. If there is an interference you can simply change the channel, to do this just follow these easy steps.
1. Next to the camera you will find a transmitter box, there is a small grommet that you can see the red light through. Lift this off with your fingernail to reveal four tiny switches, No 1 is up, 2,3,4 are down.
2. With a pen nib, very gently flick No1 down so it is the same as 2,3,4. Now flick up No3 and replace the grommet.
3. At the receiver box (indoors) there is a channel changer toggle switch on the side, set this to channel 3.
You have now changed the frequency channel and this should have resolved the issue. If there is still a problem do the same exercise again but try channels 2 or 4. Note: maximum transmission distance is 30 metres
When you connect the camera to your TV either through the Scart or the Video /Audio (yellow and white) plugs you are going into an Auxillary AV input. This means that you have to select an AV or AUX channel on your TV to view the camera, it will not be on any of your normal TV channels.
The other thing to consider of course is that you have plugged the nestbox camera (Power supply Unit) into the mains and switched it on!
Gardenature bird boxes are hand made from Western Red Cedar which is sourced from well managed forests. This wood has its own natural oils which provides sufficient protection against the wood rotting. If you wish to coat the box you may do so on the outside only but you must use a non toxic water based preservative, this may help to give the box more durability.
To make this answer really easy we have provided a video for you to watch on our 'Advice' page. Or just click here - Getting the Cable through a Wall
If you are looking to receive the highest quality colour image then you should choose a nestbox camera without IR.
If you have a camera with IR then you have the added benefit of 24hr viewing, but the colour image quality will not be as rich as a non IR camera during daylight hours. This is because the IR illuminators are constantly on, this can have the effect of bleaching colours in poor daylight conditions. However, providing there is enough daylight getting into the nestbox then a colour camera with IR will have colour images during the day, and black & white images at night. This is why all of our colour camera nestboxes have windows, these should be kept clear of any daylight obstructions in order to get the best quality images from your colour camera
Yes of course! If you purchase in Nov / December and an item is an unwanted xmas gift, you have upto 10th January to return it to us for refund or exchange.
Once you have loaded your software and connected your camera, click on the Capture tab. A notice comes up that says - loading Analog Device, you then have sound but no picture.., you need to change the source, click on -Settings- then select -Capture Source- change this to -Video Composite- click OK.