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~ Nest-Cam...a History ~

My nest-cam projects actually date back over 10 years ago, when, as an avid birder & electronics geek, I developed a festering idea of placing a video camera and tiny microphone in a nest box that had been occupied by a pair of marvelous Violet-green Swallows in years past. I thought how fascinating it would be to watch the nesting behavior of these birds from inside the nest.

After a little bit of trial and error getting everything connected and operating properly, I was treated to the endlessly entertaining and interesting process of the entire nesting season on a much larger-than-life 40" TV! The many characteristics of these birds during the building of their nest, incubating their eggs, and raising their chicks, was quite beyond my imagination. Hours were spent with family and friends watching the action. There was a daily rush to turn on the camera first thing in the morning to see what progress had been made. My how those baby birds grew!

Back then, the Internet and web-cams were fledglings themselves, but I couldn't resist the temptation to get this incredible action out there for the world to see! I am proud to say that by 1998, one of the earliest web cams of nesting birds was born; online and going strong. The response from folks the world over was overwhelming and wonderfully positive. People loved tuning in to see the action, which was updated every minute or so (live streaming video did not exist in those her ky-jerky dial-up days) and bear witness to the nesting season unfolding before their eyes!

That prehistoric (and now defunct & inopperative) nest-cam site is nevertheless still floating around out there in the digital cyber abyss at:

~ Fast-forward to the Present Day ~

We have had 2 successful seasons of nest-cam here in northern California, with one difference; this time, it has been the beautiful Western Bluebirds taking up residency in our special nest box (we named them George and Gracie)! They arrived in 2007, had chicks that year and in 2008. In 2009, we believe the offspring of George and Gracie (we named them Fred and Ethel) started their first nest, then... they suddenly split the scene. They had abandoned their nest. What a disappointment! In retrospect, we feel the key contributing factors to them moving on were: the previously fallen apple tree in which the nest-cam box is located (though reconstructed with great care in what was left of the tree, the nest box lacked the security of the branching, leafy canopy it once had), and/or, the presence of several Blue Jays, who spent considerable time on top of and near the nest-cam box itself. In spite of one's best efforts to set up 'nest-shop' in a man-made box, there are no guarantees. Bluebirds can be especially fussy in this regard.

We have since launched a new web site, in conjunction with our home country crafts business, and have included a revamped and greatly improved nest-cam as part of our critter cams page. We sincerely hope that our new nest-cam gets into full swing soon, so that it can be enjoyed by thousands of curious nature lovers all over again!

~ The Nest-Cam Gallery ~

(Click thumbnails for larger images)

This picture gallery is sure to grow and change, as brand new images of our nesting birds get posted. Please check back often for the latest additions!

       nest cam thumbnail 01. Female Violet-green swallow

Nest cam thumbnail 2. Male Violet-green Swallow

Nest cam thumbnail 3. A moth for the babies!

Mealworm Bistro thumbnail image. Check out Mealworm Bistro!

~ Nest-Cam...How it's Made ~

        Nest cam open thumbnail 1. Nest-Cam INSIDE!

                Nest cam open thumbnail 2. Nest-Cam MORE INSIDE!


~ 'Le Chateau' for Barn Owls ~

Our box for Barn Owls is coming together and we hope to have it erected in a few more weeks. Will the owls find it desirable enough to move in? We'll have to wait and see! Meantime, here are a few photos of the owl mansion (more on the way).


             Thumbnail of owl box 1 image. Overall view of the 'BIG' owl box!

             Thumbnail of owl box 2 image. Construction details..

             Thumbnail of owl box 5 image. A close look at the flight deck!

             Thumbnail to owl box specs image. Owl box specifications

Nesting Timeline and Facts


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