Eastern Bluebirds are on the endangered species list in the US. They have a lot of competition and dangers trying to survive in suburban landscapes. This project served a few purposes:
- Provide a safe nesting house for Bluebirds
- Educational value in being able to witness nest building, egg sitting, hatching and rearing processes
- Easy way to care for birds and intervening against any predators
Over the span of a couple years, I created 3 different versions of this project. How one makes something like this varies depending on the conditions of the site. In my case:
- Ideal location about 20 feet from my house
- Nearby wall of house had outdoor electrical outlet
- I wasn't interested in putting a hole in the house and trying to run ethernet to the house
This means that running on battery/solar (and the challenges involved) wasn't a requirement, but using WIFI for connectivity was.
The final version of the project box was created out of laser cut acrylic panels and sealed with waterproof caulking. Waterproofing ended up being the primary challenge, which was overcome through the use of overhanging roof pieces, sealant and waterproof cable pass-through parts.
I started with a Raspberry Pi and Raspberry Pi Camera module, which worked ok - but in order to provide a live stream, I upgraded to a Latte Panda Alpha for the computer and a Logitech web cam in the final version. The final version had enough horsepower to serve a livestream over YouTube and/or Twitch.