Birdwatching over IP?
May 21, 2009 6:05 AM   Subscribe

I love my mom, and she loves birds. I want to put her bird feeder online so she can watch it at work. Is a networked webcam what I'm looking for? What are my options?

Cost is a pretty big factor, as is complexity. Ideally, I'd just connect a router to their network and somehow, magically, there would be a feed of this thing online.

Given where I would like to place it, a cobbled-together PC+webcam will not work for me.
posted by fake to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
A wireless webcam should work as long as the birdfeeder is in range of the router. You'll probably need to construct a weather proof enclosure for it as well as get power to it.

Seems like it would be easier to google up somebody else's efforts to do same thing though.
posted by COD at 6:36 AM on May 21, 2009

Yeah, I Googled before I posted.

If you read the pages in the search results, no one says how they are doing it or with what camera. If anyone has any specific recommendations or suggestions of that nature, I'd be grateful.
posted by fake at 6:44 AM on May 21, 2009

Way to snark, COD.

Anywho, yeah, this shouldn't be too hard. What is your budget? Something like this would probably do the trick, but it's pretty cheap and the reviews not so great. These things REALLY range in price.

Most ethernet/wireless webcams are sold for monitoring purposes, therefore most will come with software to get it broadcasting over the web.
posted by nitsuj at 6:56 AM on May 21, 2009

Thanks, nitsuj -- I can afford between $50--$100. Cheaper would be better.

One other caveat: it must work with Firefox. I see that first camera doesn't, I'll have to dig around a bit more.
posted by fake at 7:12 AM on May 21, 2009

Also, if you go with a wired-ethernet cam, one of these power-over-ethernet adapters would keep you from having to run two (ethernet, power) wires.
posted by nitsuj at 7:20 AM on May 21, 2009

It wasn't snark - the point was if your mom wants to watch birds from work, there are already plenty of sites to do that at.
posted by COD at 8:02 AM on May 21, 2009

She has her own bird feeder and it has a special status.

PoE is a great idea.
posted by fake at 11:06 AM on May 21, 2009

fake, I don't want to dampen your ambitions, but are you quite sure your thoughtful gift won't undermine your mum's productivity at work, or appear to do so...? In this precarious economy, I find myself taking precautions to keep myself out of the line of fire at work. You know, in case someone gets a hankering to thin out the ranks...seems best not to become an easy target by gaining a reputation.
Like, "Oh sure, let's cut the cardinal counter..."

Jeeshh, I sound paranoid!

...might be a personal thing, I'll admit. My own administration gets off on creating a climate of paranoia and intimidation. But, in the bigger picture, who'd argue that this is an ideal time to wake up involuntarily jobless?

Much happiness to your mum, either way.
posted by sparrowdance at 6:29 PM on May 21, 2009

Whilst you're waiting, here's a white-tailed eagle, sitting on 3 eggs on the island of Hailuoto in the Gulf of Bothnia (northern Finland).
posted by flutable at 5:23 AM on May 22, 2009

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