Sunday, May 24, 2009

Birdcam Comparison

I have had the Bushnell Birdcam long enough to give an evaluation. Do not buy it! How is that? The Wingscapes beats it in almost every way. With the price difference being down to less than $50, there really is no reason to buy the Bushnell. The only thing that the Bushnell has that the Wingscapes does not, is the flash. I do not try for nocturnal birds, so that really is not a plus. It does not work as a fill flash, either. Here is one of the cardinals using the flash, and this is one of the better ones. Here is a video from the Bushnell. I have to laugh at the HOSP hopping around near the end! Here is one of the better stills. This one of a goldfinch is the best video. When in direct sunlight, the Bushnell is capable. I moved the camera to point in a different direction, hopefully it will give better results. The worst part about the Bushnell? When you replace the batteries, it does not remember the settings for time, date, video or still, low or high res. Since it uses batteries quicker than the Wingscapes, that is a pain.

I did not see the grosbeak since the last post. Guess it was just passing through. That is the only new bird that I saw since putting up the fly through feeder. If I had this to do over, I would not have installed it. I never had such a problem with grackles! All I get is thousands of pics of grackles, with jays, mockers, doves, cowbirds and starlings. When I go to clean the birdbath at the end of the day, all the water is gone and there is a layer of mud. I think the grackles catch worms, then dip them to clean them off.

I did have a couple of incidents that stand out. A mocker landed about a few feet away from me. I looked at it and said, 'what are you doing?' So then it flew up onto the garage roof. I'm guessing, this is the same one from the last post. The other story, I came walking around the corner, to the tube feeder. All the birds flew off, as they always do, except a blue jay. It sat there and looked at me, then went back to feeding. I waited a bit, then told it to take a hike! And it did.

Anyway, wonder who won this standoff? One and two. Finally, is this a duck?

Friday, May 8, 2009


I cleaned the fly through feeder, and moved the birdcam to point to it. While I was finishing up, a mockingbird landed on the garage roof, and sat there patiently, watching me. As soon as I walked away, it flew into the feeder and commenced to make a racket! I figured that it was directed at me, since the feeder was still empty. Then another mocker landed aside the first, and they started fighting, while still making a ruckus. They flew into the tree, near the feeder, and continued to make a lot of noise and tussle. I no longer thought that they were fighting. :) I filled the feeder, but by then they had flown off. The next night I walked out to check the rain gage, and there was a mocker in the feeder. As soon as I got close, it started making that ruckus again, and flew off while still squawking. So, maybe it was directed at me the first time?

I bought my Wingscapes Birdcam in March of last year. It worked well until December. I contacted their customer service, and they shipped me another birdcam, with a postage paid box and label. I thought that this was pretty good service, but the one that they sent me had a problem, too. So, they sent me another. I had trouble with that one, too! I lost track, did they ship 2 or 3? I don't know. The audio is bad on this one. I do not know what to think, the camera worked perfectly for the first 3/4 of a year. I wonder if they do not check the cameras well enough when someone returns one? So, I thought about buying a new one. When I bought the first one, they were pretty much the same price on all online shops. But I noticed, suddenly you can find them for $150.00, $100 off! So now I am wondering, are they coming out with a new camera? I don't know.

Bushnell makes a birdcam version of their Trailcam. On paper, it sounded like a good camera. I searched for blogs with pics from this camera, but I could not find any. So I ordered one anyway! I have it in place for about three days, now. I have to say, I am sort of under whelmed. Here is a pic from the camera. It is sort of a tricky camera shot, but the Wingscapes has taken much better pics from there. Here are a couple, a bunch of grackles, and some HOSP amidst petals from the ornamental cherry tree. I plan to point the Bushnell at the birdbath, see how well it really works. I should mention, I received little information with this camera. I read somewhere that, one GB is the largest memory card that it can handle. I still do not no if that is true, since I did not take any chances, and ordered only a one GB card.

As I mentioned before, the new feeders attract a lot of undesirables. This one looks demonic! And I get a kazillion pics of grackles and starlings in both feeders. Guess I will have to do something about this. It does look comical, but does not appear to be going away.

I kept the best for last! When I saw the first pic of this guy, (and it is a guy,) I thought it was a downy. It had it's head down, and had it's back towards me. When I saw this pic, I realized this was a new visitor. Checking the guides, I can tell you, it is a rose breasted grosbeak. Grosbeak means, gross beak, literally. Look at the size of that thing!