Return to the Blog Home Page
Wildlife Nest Cams at Fotherdale
I have more than 30 cameras postioned in my garden and the countryside surrounding my home and gallery so that at any one time I can watch the wildlife that visits. This network of secret cameras includes cameras hidden inside the nests of barn owls, tawny owls, kestrels and stoats relaying images 24 hours a day to screens inside my gallery. Every week I go through the footage and pick the best of it to share with you.
As a wildlife artist I am constantaly filming and photographing wildlife subjects for my paintings. I used to watch what was happening outside the animal nests and often felt frustrated because I couldn’t see what was happening once the subject disappeared inside. Now new technology means that I can see what’s happening inside as well as outside. And its been amazing! I’ve found it so rewarding to be able to follow the stories of courtship of different species and then watch as they go on to rear their young. I offer food to supplement the diets of the wildlife and this small ‘trick of the trade’ means that the same individuals return again and again to my garden. With this technology I can follow their daily lives. The animals that use my nest boxes are almost like a family to me. I watch their interactions every day and follow their behaviour as they encounter different challenges.
Scroll down for a link to each nest cam story.
I have cameras positioned both inside and outisde the nest boxes I made so that I can watch what happens from the moment the wild creature disappears into a box. Over the years I’ve developed nest boxes that are not only rigged with cameras and microphones on the inside, but are also made to look beautiful on the outside. It’s a bit like ‘set design in the wild’ since I use beautiful old tree trunks to ensure that when a bird or mammal pauses at the entrance to their nest box, I capture them against a stunning backdrop that will eventually look beautiful in my paintings. This blog features three of these ‘natural looking’ nest boxes: one made from an old elm stump, another from an ash stump, a beech stump and one from a sycamore stump. Look out for these as the wildlife choose which to nest inside – sometimes there are viscious battles over particular ones.
The animals I watch every day are so much a part of my life that I’ve given many of them nicknames. Look out for tales of Bandita the white stoat and Kes the old kestrel. I hope you enjoy following their stories as much as I do – and enjoy the portraits I paint of them! Follow the links below to see each of the blog posts. Why not also visit my gallery in Thixendale where you can see the paintings and watch the cameras live?
Author: Robert E Fuller