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LaCrosse V40 - Pro Weather Monitor
WU local Weather
Front Porch Cam
Back Yard Cam
Nest Cam II
Watch Nest Cam II fast update loop (experimental at this time)
The Nest observation camera has been changed to a newer IP camera and the nest housing has been modified into a feeder tray that is partially housed and with a camera inside at the ceiling looking down at the feeder tray. Next spring the housing will be converted back to a bird nest by replacing the bottom and front of the housing. The camera will remain in place with only some minor adjustments of the viewing position. There should be major improvements in the video quality over the 2018 nesting pictures due to the new camera.
Spring 2018 Nest observation info and pictures follows:
Chrome Users Note: I have been having problems getting new pix to show up when viewing the web site. I know the pix has been updated, but it displays the old pix. Simple Refresh command does not help. I have noted this on several computers and my cell phone Chrome app. I suggest you try the same process that has resolved the problem short term on my computers. The command flow is as follows: Settings/ scan down to and select Advanced/ scan down to and select Clear Browsing Data / check only 3rd item (Cached images and files)/select Clear Data. At this point you should see current pix. However, once it is changed you may be back to looking at old pix and need to re-do this procedure.
First Chick Video Mon June 4, 2018 This is the first video after the first chick hatched taken automatically by the system early Mon am. The male came by soon to feed him. Watch the little mouth open up for food near the end of the video. See also pix 4 in the gallery below.
Male Feeding Video Tue June 5 - This video is quite short but shows the male in position to feed anyone presenting an open mouth.
Male and Female feeding Video June 7 - This video shows a feeding sequence starting with both parents in the nest and feeding 2 open mouths. Then the male moves out of picture and sticks his head out the portal darkening the nest inside some. However his tail can be seen at the lower left corner of the picture. Then he leaves the nest getting out of the portal opening, changing the light level up to bright before the camera compensates. Then watch the hen position herself over the nest to keep the babes warm. The outside temp that morning was around 55 deg. F.
Video in .mp4 format or Video in .AVI format June 8. Feed Me, Feed Me, No Feed Me. This video is given in two formats for users to try in case you have not been able to play the previous video formats. Please let me know which works best for you mp4 or AVI?
Update Sat June 23, 2018. As of today we are Empty Nesters (again). They grew very fast and left at 19 days old. It was amazing how fast they grew and how fast their feathers grew. It seemed that every morning when we checked on them they had grown much just over the night. I tried to set up a camera to monitor the outside of the nest to catch their exit, but the light was not favorable and while we did see some activities around the nest, we did not catch them exiting. Refer to the Photo Gallery below to see time line pix of them to see how fast they were growing. We did lose #5 about 2 weeks ago after what was a very cold night. They were getting big enough that the mother was having trouble rounding them up and cuddling them under her and we suspect that #5 did not get properly covered so he did not make the night. After his demise we nervously would turn on the monitor the first thing every morning and try to count the birds. Sometimes it took several views before we caught all 4 at once.
Update Sat June 9, 2018. Bird #5 has been sighted so no need for concern about him. See the photo gallery below with the pix showing 5 little beaks open and wanting to be fed. Imagine coming home with one bug and being faced with that sight.
Update Fri June 8, 2018. Interesting to note two pix for chick size comparison. See Photo Gallery photo nr4 of the first chick taken June 4 and photo nr 7 of the nest taken June 8. Notice that the head of the chicks on June 8 are as big as the whole bird/egg was on June 4. That was 4 days of growth! That took a lot of bugs delivered by the parents. They are active making deliveries almost during all daylight hours. I think the photo comparisons are accurate as both were taken by the same camera, in same position and scaled to the same overall pix size. Note the Date label as a calibration point for size comparisons. It is going to get crowded in that nest by the time they get to 18 to 22 days old and leave per schedule predicted. That puts them out between June 23 and June 27.
There may be a problem with bird #5. We have never really been able to convince ourselves that we were seeing all 5 chicks at once due to low resolution or a feather or parental body coverage of the nest area. If anyone has seen a pix that was showing all 5 at once please let us know.
Update Tue June 5, 2018. The last time we saw the 5th egg was Mon pm. Tue morning and all day all we could see was a glob of pink from the little bird bodies in the nest. Due to the less than desirable resolution of the pix it is hard to get a count on the total but we suspect the 5 hatched last night and is in the glob. The best time to see them is when the male is in doing his feeding. He tends to stand back from the nest and beak feed the little mouths that he is facing. Who gets fed is probably not totally fair, but that is part of the process. You can often see the little heart shaped mouth facing directly into the camera. The hen usually is the one that covers them to keep them warm. You will see her (the browner one) in the nest much of the time. Especially since the temps were in the high 50's the past few nights. The nest is not lighted but we suspect she is the one that stays in all night to keep them warm.
Update Mon June 4, 2018. The birds had a totally different schedule planned than I did. Today we had 4 eggs hatch way ahead of my schedule.. As of sunset the 5th egg still has not hatched but the nest now includes 4 chicks.
News Flash **** I am happy to report that this picture is now being automatically updated every 30 seconds with the implementation of different software (Blue Iris) and changing to the computer that is used for the 'Back Yard Cam' and the 'Front Porch Cam'. If you are idly parked on this site with no interventions, the web software updates the picture you see every 3 minutes unless you hit the browser refresh option sooner. We will be experimenting with the timing offered at present to offer better updates on the bird activity. It is going to get pretty busy once the eggs start to hatch. After dark there will be a dark/blank picture shown. There may not be a picture occasionally and you may catch me out mowing either in front or back. I have to roll up about 100 ft of camera wire leading to the nest as the mower would make a mess of the wire.
More News ** We are currently (May 31, 2018) in the Incubation stage. Timing expected is as follows:
5/24/18 Last Egg laid. Our count stopped at 5
Incubation by female only usually takes 14-15 days. It is a little hard to tell when they started as activity in the nest was sporadic. Lets say it started 4 days after last egg on 5/28/18.
That would put the first hatching to starting on June 11 or 12. (However, it started June 4 - way early per my schedule)
Birds out of nest about 18-22 days after hatching which would be June 29. Wow, by July 4th this process will be all over (if not sooner). Life is tough out there in the backyard as the neighbors have seen a family of skunks and we often see a woodchuck. Not to mention all the other little critters running around below the radar (the yard camera).
We have not activated the solar powered fan in spite of some pretty hot weather. The wireless sensor planted inside the nest has shown the max temp last week reached about 102 degrees on a hot sunny day. Web sites say the eggs should be kept by the parents at around 100 degrees. The use of the fan may happen when we have chicks on hot days. Currently the female is almost constantly in the nest twisting in circles to gather the feathers and rotate the eggs. The male occasionally stops in to look at the eggs and maybe arrange feathers, but never takes a seat. If you catch him in the nest he will be much bluer color on the top than the female that shows more as brown.
This picture comes from a camera mounted inside the birdhouse at the roof and looking down at the nest. The birdhouse entry is on the left side of this picture. There is a fan located at the floor under a window screen partition and above holes in the floor to blow cool air up through the nest area to vents in the top of the house. The fan will be powered by two solar batteries. One on the roof and one at the west side for hot sunny afternoons. The birdhouse is out in the sun with no shade except for a newly planted plumb tree near by on the left so it is hoped that the birds will not be annoyed by the fan that is for their benefit. We have not yet given them the "benefit" of the fan. The plan to let them get more committed to the house before turning it on. The house is built with 3/4 inch strofoam insulation between outer and inner walls to lessen heat build up. That's correct, a birdhouse with a R factor of 3.
This picture is manually updated so this picture is not
exactly real time. The time stamp in the picture indicates when the
picture was taken (24hr format). Our current guests are Tree Swallows.
The birdhouse can be seen in the ' Back Yard Cam' picture at the far right back at the rear edge of the lawn area. It is pole mounted and the largest item of the various other birdhouses and feeders. Also see below for a picture of the birdhouse.
Following is some pictures previously captured. Note date in picture for time taken.
Nr 1 -The first egg
Nr 3 - Start of nest building 5/8/18
Nr 9 -misc test picture
Picture Collage as of May 26, 2018. This is my attempt to show several pictures with the minimum effort.
Selecting this title will bring up a short video of the female making a quick entry and exit from the nest during her nest building activities. Note that the light in the box darkens as she enters trough the access hole and again when she leaves followed by camera light compensation corrections. Due to limitations of the camera and the extended USB interface, the frame rate is 2 frames per sec (fps).
The Birdhouse location
The birdhouse inside (before the nest was filled)
Birdhouse with front door tipped up (open) to see inside. Note camera inside upper left. Fan in bottom under the nest tray made from window screen. When the door is closed, the wire mesh observed at the top of the picture is actually the inside front just under the access hole for the bird to grasp inside to hold and gain access to the hole. They often position themselves so they can peek out the hole. The camera light level is noticeably darker when they have their head in the hole.
This is how the birdhouse site looks 6/23/18. Looks like the grass and plants have been growing as fast as the birds.
This is what was inside the birdhouse after they all left.
Back Yard Cam and Game Cam
The camera used in these positions is a Reolink RLC-410S
4.0 Mp w/2560 x 1440 resolution
Fixed 4.9 mm lens and Sound
Front Porch Cam
The camera used is a HIKvision DS-2CD2032-I IR network camera
3.0 Mp w/2048 x 1536 max image resolution
Nest Cam II
This camera is a Sea Wit seaw-88EAE-NP
1.3Mp (1280x960) 960p
3.6 mm lens modified to focus close nominally at 5 inches
first put in service Aug 2018
The following 2 pictures show the location of the camera taking the back yard picture above
Weather Underground Webcam test picture (wuwebcam.jpg). They require a pix smaller than 150kb.
/* The following added to show the camera pix in large format for HD TV 1920 x 1080 */
/* updated 8/27/2018 */