Gardening Home Technology


Squirrels may be interesting animals most of the time, but when they are digging up your garden, they need to be dealt with. Some might be tempted to use more lethal methods, but imgur user “metroSFVogange” decided to instead humiliate them with an automated “scare-owl.”

This plastic owl was retrofitted with an IP camera that has an “ALARM I/O action port” that can be wired to trigger an external device. In this case, the device chosen was an electronic squirt gun, allowing it to spray water on the unsuspecting squirrels, while taking pictures for “internet points.” Faux wings were also added, using two DC motors to spin them furiously.

The author tried using a PIR (passive infrared) sensor instead the camera for motion detection. This didn’t work, but the digital motion sensing of the camera itself works for this purpose, so it was used instead. This device really has me thinking about what I could do with an IP camera, or perhaps a repurposed baby monitor…

Of note is that this owl was obtained at a discount because of the missing eye. Personally, I think it looks even more terrifying (from the squirrel’s point of view), and the author has proposed adding a glowing Terminator eye in place of the hole. Hopefully this will keep the garden defended from rodents in the future!


Jeremy is an engineer with 10 years experience at his full-time profession, and has a BSME from Clemson University. Outside of work he’s an avid maker and experimenter, building anything that comes into his mind!

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