advances in camera technology have allowed the possiblity of capturing quite incredible
live images from a martin nest to your TV screen, all for less than $200.
first endeavor into this area was in 2004. At that time we installed a black and
white camera into the top of a Natureline gourd and hard-wired it via a length
of coaxial cable to a single TV set. Were were amazed at the footage obtained
even though all the images were in black and white and no sound was recorded.
2005 Dave McClaskey of S&K Manufacturing
donated to our school a set of Bo Villa gourds and pole along with an S&K
nest camera. We installed the camera inside the lid of one of the Bo Villa gourds
and once again hard-wired it inside the school using the length of coaxial cable
supplied with the camera.
that time our resident Intructional Technology Wizard, Ron Gray, came up with
the idea of sending the sounds and images from the nest camera to all of the classrooms
at John Jay using the school's in-house cable system. The coaxial cable was plugged
into a signal modulator, which boosted the signal and transmitted them via the
cable. All the TV's in the school could then access the live sound and images
using the channel designated for transmitting live events on campus.
recorded some of this footage onto VHS tape with a VCR, and then digitized a few
samples that may be seen below:
"Purple Martin TV" was a big hit in the school, even though even this
far south almost all the action occurred during the last month of the school year
(May). Students all across the school were fascinated, and teachers reported fewer
discipline problems when the channel was running. Teachers did however, often
have to turn off the martin channel when they wanted their students' full attention.
the brood in the camera gourd was a successful one, all five young surviving to
fledge. One factor that must be considered when presenting natural events live
is that sometimes nature is harsh. Our students often expressed concern that the
smallest members of the brood were not being fed as often as their larger siblings,
we are not sure what their reaction might have been if the smallest nestling starved
or if a sparrow or SY martin had entered and killed any of the brood.
this is how we did it.....