I don’t know about you, but when I see a birdie, I really wish I could get a closer look at it and have it land on my finger. Of course, wild birds aren’t really into that and they only let us admire them from afar. But Lisa aka Ostdrossel has found a way to approach birds, even take their photos, without startling them. She has built a feeder-mounted camera that automatically takes stunning photos of our feathery friends.
Lisa has been feeding birds long before she started taking their photos. So once she installed the camera, the birds would still visit her and show great interest in having their “mugshots” taken. For photos and close-up videos, Lisa uses a homemade feeder camera setup. “I put an action camera (mine is a GitUp from Viofo) in a weatherproof box with a macro lens,” Lisa writes. “The videos and photos are either taken with timelapse or motion detection.” She also uses a camera by Birdsy for videos. It’s AI-powered and recognizes any bird shape. So, the moment a bird lands in front of it, its starts filming and the footage is stored on a cloud that is connected to Lisa’s Birdsy account. The camera is still not publicly available, but it will be soon, and you can check out more info here.
“If I leave the camera out the whole day, which happens a lot, I end up with up to 7000 photos, depending on the activity of the day,” Lisa explains. “My evening pleasure and routine is to go through all of them, delete the bad ones and keep and slightly edit the ones I deem publishable.”
Her camera and feeder are mounted on “a fabulous heavy inherited tripod.” There’s also a baffle to keep the squirrels out. “I put it in my yard each day, rain or shine, and so far have not had any major malfunctions,” Lisa explains.
Take a look at more of Lisa’s bird photos below and follow Ostdrossel on a dedicated website, Facebook, and Instagram. There’s even the Ostrdossel livestream, focusing on a bird fountain and allowing you to see all kinds of birds (and occasional squirrels) up close and in real-time.
Update 7 March 2021: The article has been changed to include Lisa’s correct setup. We apologize for the mistake