What type of camera nestbox should I buy (or build!) If you would like more information about camera nestboxes before deciding what to purchase (or build yourself) we heartily recommend this article by Jason Alexander, the "Wildlife Gadget Man": Anatomy of a Nestbox Camera
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. CCTV cameras are available in both wired and wireless systems but we do not offer the wireless cameras because our aim is to provide affordable camera nestboxes and we find that you need to make a considerable outlay to get a good wireless cctv camera system. These can be obtained from several other reliable camera nestbox suppliers.
Please bear in mind that a wireless camera still requires power, usually via a battery pack (limiting time in use) or via an outdoor power socket.

Can I view a webcamera nestbox live on my TV? Sorry but no you can't hook it up to the TV. This system is based on a webcamera - which needs to be powered and captured by a pc or laptop.
At this time there is no TV set of which we are aware that can read the output from a webcam in live time.
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 an extra pc monitor. If you have some basic technical knowledge you can probably fit this yourself, we do not know how much it would cost to have this done for you.
We would therefore recommend that if watching the birdbox on a TV is your preference you buy one of our cctv nestboxes.
How big a hole would I need to make in the wall/windowframe to get the webcamera or cctv cable inside my house? You would need to make a hole approx 1.25 cm x 0.75 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. The cctv(RCA/AV) cable ends in three jackplugs for which total width is around 3.5 cm x 1.3 cm. We include some instructions for passing these jackplugs through a hole safely with our cctv nestboxes.
If you have a ventilation shaft or similar in place already you can usually use this to pass the cable through. Of course you can also choose to pass the cable through a window, (leaving it propped with a small wedge so it does not damage the cable). When you need to 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 do your cameras work in the dark of a nestbox and can you adjust the light

The nestbox has a small window on one side to increase the level of available light but this is still limited in relation to conditions outside the box.
The webcamera has 6 LED lights which provide illumination inside the nestbox. You should test the level of lighting when hanging up the nestbox and set it at the minimum level you need on an overcast day.
Please remember that the leds will remain 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!
Cctv cameras do not feature LEDs so you need to site the nestbox in a well lit area of your garden in order to see any colour (colour on cctv is always washed out at best compared to the lovely colours shown by a webcamera) However you will be able to continue watching on dull days and after dark as they feature Infra Red lighting which automatically cuts in when needed.

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

With a webcamera up to about 20m will usually be ok but the cables must feature an ACTIVE REPEATER every 10m at least to stop drops in 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
With a cctv camera you should stick to one extension cable of the right length. If you have the wrong length please contact us as part-exchange may be possible.

Do I need to be connected to the internet to use the 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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