Make a Birdfeeder Webcam – Make: Video Podcast

Have you ever wondered what birds live in your neighborhood? With the birdfeeder webcam that Steve and I will teach you to make this weekend, you’ll be able to find out! Using motion detection webcam software, you’ll be able to document every bird that shows up at the feeder and get a picture of it whenever it moves. Check the instruction blogpost for the pdf instructions.

Here’s the live picture from the webcam! (it does gets turned off at night) You can also get to a little birdcam page where it gets updated every thirty seconds.


Of course webcams have been around forever, but with these instructions, they’re easy! You can also use this motion detection feature for security purposes!

Here’s an mp4 that plays on pretty much everything. Here’s a 3gp and 3g2 for people who like to watch on their phone! Of course if you subscribe in itunes, the videos and accompanying pdf get downloaded automatically for you, no muss no fuss. You can browse all the Make: videos on and youtube and revver or on the weekend projects page at your leisure! – Subscribe Link

34 thoughts on “Make a Birdfeeder Webcam – Make: Video Podcast

  1. Iteki says:

    Again with the only suggesting mac software?
    I have spent ages looking for motion detection freeware (or as uncrippled shareware as possible) for PC for this, since my old one stopped working, and this is what I am on now, Webcam Monitor (after demo period you can only motion-detect for 6 hours at a time).

    Anyone got any other good suggestions? Ideally something that lets you work with zones!

  2. bentheo says:

    cool project. i love the flutie flakes in the background of the basement.

  3. mastershake916 says:

    The RSS reader is messing up, it shows this 3 times, at least that is, might be more than three.

  4. Bre says:

    @Iteki, in the pdf, i mentioned Dorgem, which has the stop motion possibility.

    @ bentheo, good eye!

    @ mastershake916, i checked the feed and it appears to be back to normal, some readers buffer by cacheing things, do you read it in bloglines?

  5. mastershake916 says:

    It was with the google RSS reader that I have on my google homepage.

  6. Iteki says:

    Thanks Bre! Checking that out now, musta missed it with the accent ;)
    ‘Scuse the snappiness, I’ve been driving myself nuts with this for the past two weeks, doing an infra-red-frog-spy-cam! WOO!

  7. Fredex says:

    Next time you are in the hardware store look around the wire fencing stuff for the staples that are hammered into fence posts to secure wire. That’s the kind of thing you wanted for nailing er, stapling the suet basket.

    A few days ago I put a photo of a bird feeder I made in the Make pool. It’s another plastic bottle type but, this one uses a wide mouth jar so it is easier to fill.

    I make bird feeders and such so I can step away from the computer for a while, ya know?

  8. says:

    And what happens when it rains? :rolleyes:

    I use Pryme for webcam with motion capture in windows.

    100% free!

  9. wai_xing_ren says:

    You know, uh…I’ve thought to myself before that I’d like to wear a big fur coat, but I’ve never actually done it.

  10. Bre says:

    Hey Wai, I got mine at a thrift store for next to nothing, you can too! It’s way too big, but it’s full of down and it’s super warm… when the power went out in my apartment for five days, I slept in it!

  11. jcohen66 says:

    How did you connect your webcam that was outside, to your computer which is inside…or did you use a wireless webcam??


  12. mixxster says:

    Hey, I can’t seem to get Dorgem to motion capture images; only interval and manual capture modes work for me. Yes, I did check the “motion capture” box. Did anyone figure this out? Or did anyone find a better program for the PC? I’m thinking of having several cameras, I could even catch an image of deer in my back yard.

  13. mixxster says:

    Oh, I didn’t see ‘s post Thanks. Pryme is awesome! Its really simple and easy. :)

  14. Bre says:

    @jcohen66 – I connected the webcam with a usb extension and Steve taped it and put a baggie over the webcam with a ziptie to keep it on there. It got stuffin the the corner of the door to the little balcony.

  15. chronopsis says:

    for macs – evocam ( has been great. $25 includes multiple motion detection zones – great for birdy feeder cams

  16. 3ricj says:

    For my camera stuff, I have a dedicated PC running linux.. using the excellent ‘motion’ software. It’s easy to make it do what you want – – motion detection, remote uploads, snapshots, full mpg video recordings, timestamps, mysql logging, etc. It rocks. Oh, and it’s open source.

  17. rcox says:

    I made a juice bottle birdfeeder like the one in this video, but it’s seen no activity in the two weeks that it’s been hanging. There has been pretty steady activity on the ground beneath the feeder after I shake some seed out, but I’ve never seen a bird actually eat from the feeder. Have any of you had success with such a feeder?

    Incidentally, rather than simple holes for the birds to pull seed out of, I cut 1″x1″ flaps that are pushed inward. I figured this would give the birds easier access to the feed.

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