A nest-cam or a bird house video camera, is a device for monitoring birds inside their nesting cavity. The 24-7 access to the nest provides an amazing view of rarely seen events such as nest creation, egg incubation & hatching, nestling and fledgling development and feeding activities.
The Nest-cam system is composed of a weather resistant video camera mounted inside a bird house or above a nest platform, and connected to a television monitor or computer and a power source . Many nest box camera feeds are now broadcast live over the internet (see Cornell Nestwatch). Nest-cams provide a video image during the day as well as at night (using infrared light which is not harmful to the nesting birds).
Some of the nest box cameras also have a microphone installed, providing an audio feed of bird songs and bird calls as well. Cameras can be plugged into any type of VCR, computer (with audio- and video-in ports and capture /editing software) or PMP (Personal Media Player) that has RCA (video- and audio-in) jacks.
Creating a nest-cam requires a plug and play camera suited to outdoor conditions, a video monitor, a power source, and a bird house with a minimum depth of 10-14 inches. Ready made systems are commercially available at a cost of $125-$150, like the Hawk Eye Nature Cam.