Behind the Scenes

Here are the techniques for installing the recording equipment in the nest:

Welcome behind the scenes of the ‘Falcons of Théding’, on this page you will find out how is installed the equipment to film the falcons in the nest, and what software is used to allow the broadcast of the video on the Internet.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

In this summary, click on the part you want to see:

Connected birdhouse (current year)Installation summary
Kestrel birdhouse (2017 to present)2 motorized IP cameras with ethernet cable
Blue tit birdhouse (2019 to present) Birdhouse 30 meters from the house with artificial lighting
Great tit birdhouse n°01 (2020 to present)Birdhouse 5 meters from the house with natural lighting
Great tit birdhouse n°02 (2020 to present)Birdhouse on the 2nd floor balcony with natural lighting, CPL sockets
Redstar birdhouse (2019 to present)Camera under the roof of the garden shed
Barn owl birdhouse (2019 to present)Infrared camera in the attic
IT technical partSummary
Video serverOperation system of live broadcasting
WebsiteCharacteristics
Connected birdhouse (previous years)Summary of old installations
Kestrel birdhouse (2007 to 2009) USB cameras via computer

Kestrel, 2017 to present system:

Historically, the nest is located in an old farm: the hawks benefit from a small skylight formerly used to ventilate the hay stored in the attic.

For several years, different types of nest boxes have been presented to our kestrel couple. The installation of a nesting box improves considerably the survival rate of the brood (protection from bad weather thanks to a roof; a ledge to prevent the fall of chicks; a perch as observation post).
The currently used nesting box is made up of a nesting chamber (36 cm in width, 36 cm in length), a corridor accessed from the outside (18 cm wide , 40 cm long; in alignement with the size of the skylight) and an outdoor platform (30 cm in width, 20 cm in length) with edges.

faucon crécerelle nid
Le nichoir avant installation

If you want to make a birdhouse, you can follow the advice on the page “build a kestrel birdhouse“.

The webcam mounting system has been adapted to better position the webcams and thus have a global vision of the nest.
As shown in the plan above, two motorized webcams (Hikvision DS-2DE2A404IW-DE3 4MP) are used to film the hawks. The first is placed inside the nest. The second webcam is placed outside the nest using a pole ; it allows viewing of the ledge / perch.
The two webcams are equipped with an infrared vision, so the hawks are visible 24 hours a day.

Since 2017, the presence of a computer is no longer necessary to make the video relay. Indeed, the webcams used are IP cameras (or ‘network cameras’) using the internet protocol; thus they are directly connected to the internet modem via a 20 meter ethernet cable. Of the same length, an extension makes it possible to bring the electrical supply.
To go further in-depth and discover the principle of broadcasting the video stream to your screen, see the “video server” section .

The equipment is protected by lightning arresters.

Some pictures of the installation:

Translate : 
Le nichoir depuis l’intérieur = The birdhouse from the inside
La caméra intérieure = The interior camera
La vue depuis le nichoir = The vue from the birdhouse outwards
La perche avec webcam avec webcam au dessus de la plateforme = The perch with webcam above the platform 
La maison des Faucons de Théding = The Falcons nesting house in Théding 

Webcams features:

Hikvision DS-2DE2A404IW-DE3 webcam (outdoor): resolution up to 2560 × 1440, night vision (integrated LEDs), H.264 video training, frame rate: up to 30 images per second, microphone not integrated (connection present), motion detector, price: €200 [acquisition in 2019 and 2020]

Hikvision (DS-2DE2A404IW-DE3)

Blue tit, system 2019 to present:

Since 2019, it is possible to follow a blue tit nest live.
It is a nesting box with balcony, fixed in a fir tree, oriented towards the East, having a flight hole of 27 mm, thus it is adapted to the blue tit and prevents the entry of the great tit or the sparrow.
The wood used is 22 mm thick maritime pine with 3 layers of linseed oil on the outside of the nest box. The dimensions of this maisonette are:

 

It is a compact camera model DLink (DCS-4622) which is integrated into a false ceiling of the nest box. The camera is connected to the internet using an ethernet cable. The latter also allows the camera to be powered electrically using PoE technology.
In this same false ceiling (perforated by small holes), a small LED projector is integrated. This is connected to a socket which allows the light to be switched on and off automatically at sunrise and sunset.
The nest box being located 30 meters from the house, is connected with 40 meters long cables (electric and ethernet), which pass through an underground sheath.

The choice of viewing angle is important for this type of nest box. Indeed, the depth of field not being important, it is necessary to have a wide angle in order to be able to film the entire nest box. Here, it is an angle of 80° with the possibility of orienting it from a distance. This camera also has the possibility of a fisheye view so that you can also see the balcony and the entrance to the nest box.

Note for using PoE technology (power supply via Ethernet cable or Power over Ethernet, in English): an Ethernet cable of category 5 (or more) is required, coupled to a module (suitable multi-plug type) for injecting electrical current in the outgoing ethernet cable.

Discover the technology behind live broadcasting in the “video server” section.

Some pictures of the installation:

Translate : 
Travaux de la tranchée = trench work
La tranchée ouverte = the open trench
Le nichoir connecté = the connected nest box
Nichoir ouvert = open birdhouse
Faux plafond vide = Empty false ceiling

Camera features:

DLink DCS-4622 webcam: 3 Mpx, resolution up to 1920 × 1536, night vision (integrated LEDs), H.264 video format, frame rate: up to 25 frames per second, possibility of fisheye vision, integrated microphone , motion detector, price: 170 € [acquisition in 2019]

Caméra mésange

Great tit (nest 01), 2020 systme to present:

Since 2020, it is possible to follow this great tit nest live.
This balcony nesting box, fixed in a maple tree, is oriented to the South-east, it has a 32mm flight hole adapted to the great tit.
The wood used is 22 mm thick maritime pine with 3 layers of linseed oil on the outside of the nest box. The dimensions of this maisonette are:

 

It is a small camera model of the HQCAM brand (HQ-200IR940A) which is integrated into a false ceiling of the nest box. The camera is connected to the internet using an ethernet cable. The latter also allows the camera to be powered electrically using PoE technology.
Unlike the blue nest box connected, this one does not have artificial lighting. Since the camera has a low-light sensor, two round plexiglass windows have been created on two sides. These provide sufficient light during the day. At night, infrared lighting takes over.

The choice of viewing angle is important for this type of nest box. Indeed, the depth of field not being important, it is necessary to have a wide angle in order to be able to film the whole nest box. Here, it’s an angle of 110°.

The nest box is located 5 meters from the house, with an aerial ethernet cable (not buried this time).

Note for using PoE technology (power supply via Ethernet cable or Power over Ethernet, in English): an Ethernet cable of category 5 (or more) is required, coupled to a module (suitable multi-plug type) for injecting electrical current in the outgoing ethernet cable.

Discover the techniques of live broadcasting in the “video server” section.

Some pictures of the installation:

Translate : 
Le faux-plafond avec la caméra = The false ceiling with the camera
Le nichoir (trou d’envol sur l’avant et fenêtre en plexiglas sur le côté) = The birdhouse (flight hole on the front and plexiglass window on the side)
Le nichoir dans l’érable = The nesting box in the maple tree

Camera features:

HQCAM HQ-200IR940A webcam: 2 Mpx, resolution up to 1920 × 1080, 1/2″ CMOS sensor ultra-low light (0.001Lux) SONY 323 HD, 2.8 lens, 110° viewing angle, night vision (LEDs) integrated), H.264 video format, frame rate up to 30 frames per second, built-in microphone, price: €80 [acquisition in 2020]


Great tit (nest 02), system 2020 to present:

Since 2020, it is possible to follow this second great tit nest live.

This balcony nesting box is not located in Théding, it is located in Ostwald (city part of the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg), on a balcony on the 2nd floor of a 4-storey building. The nesting box faces west. It is protected from the weather. The flight hole is 32 mm allowing the installation of great tit (or blue tit).
The wood used is 22 mm thick maritime pine with 3 layers of linseed oil on the outside of the nest box. The dimensions of this maisonette are:

 

It is a camera (Hikvision DS-2CD2545FWD-IS) fixed to the ceiling of the nest box, with an adjustable viewing angle (manually) allowing you to choose your field of vision. This camera is not camouflaged in a false ceiling (because it is larger).

The camera is connected to the electrical network. However, this model does not support wifi and does not have the possibility of drilling holes to pass an ethernet cable, we used instead CPL sockets.
The principle is very simple: a 1st PLC socket is connected to the internet modem, an ethernet cable is connected to this modem on one side, and to the PLC socket on the other. A second PLC socket is connected, this time to the balcony, with an ethernet cable which transmits the internet connection to the camera via the electrical network.

The camera model chosen has a basic light sensor. We therefore did not add artificial lighting. However, two rectangular plexiglass windows were created on the 2 sides. These provide sufficient light during the day. At night, infrared lighting takes over.

The choice of viewing angle is important for this type of nest box. Indeed, the depth of field not being important, it is necessary to have a wide angle in order to be able to film the entire nest box. Here, it’s an angle of 110°.

Discover the principle of live broadcasting in the “video server” section.

Some pictures of the installation:

Translate :
Le plafond avec caméra fixée = The ceiling with fixed camera
Le nichoir ouvert par le dessus = The birdhouse open from above
Le nichoir fixé sur le balcon = The birdhouse fixed on the balcony

Camera features:

Hikvision DS-2CD2545FWD-IS webcam: 4 MP, resolution up to 288 × 1520, 1 / 2.5 ″ progressive scan CMOS sensor (low light: 0.008 Lux), 2.8 lens, 110 ° viewing angle, night vision (LEDs) integrated), video format up to H.265 +, frame rate up to 30 frames per second, integrated microphone, price: € 160 [acquisition in 2020]


Barn Owl, 2019 to present:

Since 2019, a barn owl nesting box has been installed in the attic of the house in Théding.

The barn owl is a nocturnal animal ; therefore, its nest must be poorly lit. For this, the brightness is reduced thanks to a corridor located between the entrance and the main location of the nest box.

The nest box is monitored by an infrared IP camera (DLink DCS-5222LB).
The camera is electrically connected, then it broadcast on the internet using an ethernet cable.

Discover the principle of live broadcasting in the “video server” section.

Some pictures of the installation:

Translate : 
Le nichoir avec la caméra = the birdhouse with the camera
Le couloir = The hallway
L’entrée (vue depuis l’intérieur) = entrance (view from inside)
Le nichoir depuis le grenier = The birdhouse from the attic
L’entrée (vue depuis l’extérieur) = entrance (view from outside)

Camera features:

DLink D5222LB webcam (indoor): resolution up to 1280 × 720, night vision (integrated LEDs), H.264 video format, frame rate: up to 30 frames per second, built-in microphone, motion detector, price: €200 [acquisition in 2018]

DLink (intérieure)

Redstart, system 2019 to present:

Since 2019, it is possible to follow a red robin’s nest live.
It is a hollow false-nest which is used as support for the construction of the seasonal residence of the redstart.
The nest being under the roof of a garden shed, next to a basin. A flat camera (Dahua DH-IPC-EW4431-ASW), fixed above the nest, with a fisheye view mode was chosen.
The camera is connected to the internet using an aerial ethernet cable (not buried), 40 meters long. This camera uses PoE technology to be powered electrically : so current is supplied through the ethernet cable.

Note for using PoE technology (power supply via Ethernet cable or Power over Ethernet, in English): an Ethernet cable of category 5 (or more) is required, coupled to a module (suitable multi-plug type) for injecting electrical current in the outgoing ethernet cable.

Discover the principle of live broadcasting in the “video server” section.

Some pictures of the installation:

Translate : 
L’abri de jardin = garden shed
Le support pour le nid avec la caméra = Support for the nest with the camera

Camera features:

Dahua DH-IPC-EW4431-ASW webcam: 4 MP, resolution up to 2688 × 1520, viewing angle 180 × 180 (fisheye), low light sensor 0.01Lux / F1.2, night vision (integrated LEDs), video format H.264 / H.265, frame rate: up to 25 frames per second, built-in microphone, motion detector, price: 80€.


Video server:

IP (Internet Protocol) cameras no longer need to be connected to a computer. They are directly in communication with the modem using ethernet cables (of variable length, depending on the distance to the nest box) or via wifi (less stable, in my opinion). In certain conditions, it is also possible to use PLC sockets , the internet connection is conducted thanks to the electric current, which limits the ethernet cables with extension… We used this technology for the titbox (n °2) on the balcony.

The internet modem , which is also powered 24 hours a day, is configured to redirect (TCP / UDP protocols) the broadcasting server (outside the network) to the cameras locally (inside the network).

Since 2018, a broadcast server is used (LSDD 50GB cloud), provided by Scaleway (15€ / month). In fact, this server is a virtual machine incorporated with encoding software (ffmpeg). This computer retrieves the video stream (via the internet modem) from each webcam and encodes it in the right format for YouTube.

From the website, or from the YouTube platform, on a computer , tablet or even mobile, the nest is widely accessible simultaneously to an unlimited number of Internet users, around the world, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! A replay is possible up to 12 hours back.

In 2007, it was a commercial server (IPCamLive). This means that no modification of parameters was possible and the functionality was limited. This configuration was more expensive.


Website, how it works:

The domain and domain name are hosted by OVH (€ 30 / year).

The videos are hosted on YouTube .

The website has been managed with WordPress since 2018 (free).

Until the end of 2017, the site was administered with the Macromedia Dreamweaver 8 program (Adobe).


Kestrel, system 2007 to 2009:

At that time, two USB cameras were used to film the hawks. They were camouflaged by a black bag or a piece of cardboard, the LEDs had to be turned off. 
Via USB extensions, the two webcams were connected to the computer in the attic.
The program ‘VisionGS Business Edition – V1.50 Final’ was used to relay the images from the webcams to the OVH server which itself enabled the nest to be displayed live on the website.

Camera features: 1.3 mega pixel sensor, video capture up to 640 * 480, price: 50 euros