Over the last week, I have been trialling sunflower hearts against niger seed, with two Nature’s Feast feeders mounted in the same place, with one of my cameras on them. Yes, that is a baking tray they are mounted on… pizza trays, baking trays… they ll make brilliant trays for your feeders and they are easily cleaned with their non-stick surface.
One way I thought I could monitor the popularity was to set my Bushnell Trophy Cam up in front, on stills mode so it would photograph the visitors. I would then be able to look at the footage and see which birds went where. I do not tend to use the Bushnells on stills mode much… I always set it on video, so I was interested to see what the pictures would be like. This cam is set up for close-up footage so was placed just under 50cm from the feeders. There is about a 3-4cm depth of focus, so it is hard to set it up to try to ensure that the visitors will be in focus. Also, I was not sure how fast the shutter speed is. A fast shutter speed will mean that motion is ‘frozen’ and the image is clear. A slow shutter speed means that any movement in the picture will result in a blur.
I left the camera there for two days and had absolutely HUNDREDS of captures! I have uploaded a selection of the best onto my Flickr account and you can see those images HERE.
Here are a couple, showing how good the images are…
After a week, it was very clear which feeder was winning… the sunflower heart feeder was empty and only about 1/6th of the Niger seed had been eaten.
This trial will continue for the next month or so, so watch out for these feeders on my live cams.