Why would I want to buy a trail / wildlife camera?
This is a question that I am sure many people might ask, but unless you live somewhere where there are no wild birds or animals around, or you just aren’t interested in nature, there are so many reasons why a trail camera could be useful as well as educational.
But before I go rambling on about some of the great reasons for wanting a trail camera, for those of you who aren’t sure, here is a quick description of what a trail camera is.
A Trail Camera is a digital camera in a waterproof housing that can be set to take photographs or to record video when it’s motion sensors are triggered. It is designed to be left outdoors to record passing wildlife, and many also have infra-red flash to enable recording at night.
But I live in a town/city, not in the countryside?
Well so do we, but as well as cats and rats (only seen one of the latter in the last 5 years thankfully), we also have foxes, hedgehogs and as we found out recently, badgers as well.
What made that hole in our fence?
One morning I went out to work and found that a large hole had been made in the fence next to our side gate.
Knowing now that we have badgers visiting, we are almost certain that the badger is to blame for the hole. But we don’t mind, it’s an old fence, and it’s fun to be able to see animals like this in our garden.
I can’t afford something like that?
Well that’s what we thought too, but these days digital cameras are surprisingly affordable, and a basic trail camera can cost under £100 (US$150), although if you can afford it, don’t just opt for the cheapest model that you can find, because some of those extra features can be very handy.
What can a trail camera do?
In our case, our camera has been set in the garden where we know various animals pass through, feed, and also use a flower bed as a toilet.
These are some of the features that our Acorn 6210MC has for example:
- 12 Mega Pixel Camera
- 1080 HD Video
- Infra Red Flash
- 2 Timers (triggers only between set times)
- When triggered take photo, video or both
- Set length of video to record
- Set interval between events
- Time-lapse photography option
This is great to place in your garden or somewhere where nobody else is likely to discover the camera, but naturally you wouldn’t want to risk placing an expensive piece of kit like this in woods where someone might see it light up when it was activated.
Our model therefore has a covert infra red flash, so even when the camera is triggered by something moving in front of the sensors, there are no lights visible to humans, so you could leave it in nearby woods, or even somewhere in your garden closer to the street.
If you want to spend a bit more money, some cameras even have the capability to send the pictures and video that they record by MMS message or email by adding a Sim Card.
On the first night of use, our camera caught cats, a fox and a badger. What do you think a camera might photograph in your garden?
Well, have I sparked your interest in trail cameras yet?
There is much more to come, as we (hopefully) get more fun video of our local wildlife, as well as taking our trail camera on holiday with us later this month. I also plan to explain more about our camera, how to set it up, and how to get the most out of it.
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