It would be sad to go to the expense and effort of installing a nest box and then find that it was not used. Bird boxes should be fixed a minimum of 2 metres from the ground, either on a house wall or in a tree, in a quiet part of the garden and away from bird feeders and predators. Garden sheds and garage walls are popular places for nest boxes, but consider that shed and garage roofs are often accessible to cats. Preferably site the box with the entrance hole between north and east. This avoids the worst of the weather and prevents the box and its inhabitants becoming overheated in sunny weather.
Take into account the length of cable supplied with your kit. This is 20 metres as standard with the HANDYKAM kit, although longer lengths are available at extra cost. Don't think at this stage that maybe you should have bought a wireless camera! The term wireless is misleading as the nest box camera still needs a power source to function and there are other issues with wireless systems such as electrical interference and reduced range if there are obstacles between the wireless transmitter and receiver. And before you berate me..... yes I have used a wireless camera!
Wherever you decide to fix the box, HANDYKAM supply you with all the fixings, including masonry drills, wall plugs, screws, tree fixing wire, aluminium nails, cable clips etc. It seems with this kit that nothing has been overlooked.
The HANDYKAM nest box fixing kit. Click for an enlarged view
Consider also where you are likely to be viewing the nest box images. Is it going to be on a TV in the kitchen, or on a computer that's in a different part of the house, or in an upstairs room? Better to consider these things now rather than have to reroute the cable later. Blue tits and great tits are not averse to using boxes that are fixed to the house wall (or at least mine aren't) and the nest box that's been mounted on a north facing wall of our house has been used each year for a number of years. A house wall is a good location as it's safe from predating cats and grey squirrels and running the cable from the nest box to the inside of the house could not be easier.
Once the box is in place, connect the cable to the camera, hide the connectors in the ceiling void, run the cable through the prepared slot in the side of the box and clip the roof in place. Connect the cable at the house end to your video device e.g. television, plug in the mains adaptor, switch on and the job's done.
The HANDYKAM nest box is longer than most, making it much safer for your chicks. It measures 14.5cm from the box floor to the nest opening. 12.5 cm is the recommended minimum distance from the floor of the box to the nest hole to keep the young chicks safe from predators. Don't add a perch to the front of a nest box as it makes it easier for predators to get a foothold and scoop out the chicks. Wild birds are not canaries! They do not need a perch, nor do they have time to use one. They fly straight into the hole, feed the chicks and then fly straight out again. Hopefully you will be able to see and hear this for yourself next spring, rather than just read about it on this website. If the box is used, you will be fascinated, and if you have children or grandchildren they will be equally enthralled.
If you get your nest box in place in the autumn it may well be used by winter roosters. HANDYKAM even supply you with a bag of wood shavings to keep the floor of the nest box sweet for your winter roosters and to deter parasites.
On page 1 of this review I said "The accessories supplied with the kit are truly phenomenal. I cannot think of anything that's omitted!" My bird box is now in place and I've not had to make a single trip to a DIY or electrical shop to purchase any additional items. Most web reviews include some downsides, but to date I’ve not discovered anything about the HANDYKAM product that could be improved.
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