What are the advantages of using wildlife trail cameras?
It’s always a pleasant surprise when a wild deer meanders into your garden to say hello.
An evening stroll can lead to quick encounters with rare birds, foxes, or fluffy rabbits. Don’t you wish you had a camera handy to snap a photo and immortalize that moment in time?
We can’t always predict when these moments will happen. And fumbling in your bag or pocket for a camera scares the animals away. It’s times like these that trail cameras come to the rescue.
What is a trail camera? It’s a remote camera for wildlife viewing opportunities that let you silently capture nature on film. Watch a herd of deer, be aware of trespassers, or enjoy bird watching. Trail cameras take quality images and videos of the unseen activity occurring in your garden day or night.
Using Remote Cameras for Wildlife Watching
As with any camera, read the instruction manual to figure out how it works. Trail cameras follow the basics of a digital camera with a few more bells and whistles.
First, get some strong long-lasting batteries. The best wild life cameras have low battery usage so you won’t have to change them often.
Rechargeable batteries are best. Lithium batteries are better. The purpose is to leave the camera in secluded areas for months at a time. Get a camera that has low drainage coupled with strong batteries that don’t need to be swapped out very often.
The motion sensor needs to know what range you want. If you’re trying to observe, for example, hummingbirds at a feeder, you’ll need a camera with a short range and a close-up lens. Looking for larger animals requires a further distance with a wide angle lens.
LCD Screen or Not?
Do you want to hide in a bush and take photos yourself? Get a camera that has an LCD screen so you can see the images as you take them, just like a regular digital camera.
If you’d like to leave the camera untouched for long periods of time, get a camera that can be mounted to a tree (or stuck inside a bush with a tripod stick). In this case, no LCD screen is necessary.
Keep Your Eye on Your Pets, Children and Intruders
If the family dog is escaping at night, get a camera that has infrared night recording. Set the motion sensor and when Fido sneaks out, the camera will silently record his midnight shenanigans. This technique also works well for naughty teenagers trying to sneak out of the house – or sneak someone in – without Mom or Dad knowing.
Maybe you’ve had intruders trespass on your property? Or maybe even broken into your home? Wild life video cameras can be used for home video surveillance as well as for watching nearby animals. Mount it with a good view of your home and set the motion sensors. Any trespassers will activate the motion sensor. Catch the violators red handed.
How Wildlife Video Cameras Work
Remote cameras for wildlife watching come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and functionality. But they are all used for the same thing – watching wildlife up close from a distance.
This is where motion sensors come in. Once the designated detection range has been set, any movement that occurs in that range will trigger the camera to take photos or videos.
Mount the camera somewhere inconspicuous. Aim it in the direction you want to surveil. Turn it on, and it does the rest. Remove the SD card (or plug the camera into your computer via the USB cord) and review the stored images and video footage. Keep what you want. Delete the rest.
Picture quality is everything. The color, clarity, contrast, and resolution are all factors that make a good picture. But what about the lens?
Just because a camera has a high megapixel count doesn’t mean it will take fantastic images. The higher the quality of the lens, the better the image will be. The best trail cameras have a high number of megapixels plus a high-quality lens.
Daylight cameras are simple to use. They only take photos in the day. Trail cameras for night time can use infrared to see objects in the dark without a flash. The results are in black and white. A white flash camera uses a powerful flash to light up the area and take color photos.
Because wild life is free roaming, they see no reason to abide by human boundaries. If you have a tasty bit of fruits and veggies in your garden, be prepared to share some of it.
Some animals have mastered how to circumvent fences and other obstacles. Using wildlife video cameras will capture the antics of these furry fiends. You can’t outsmart them if you don’t know how they’re getting past your garden defenses.
The best way to be incognito with wildlife video cameras
Location, location, location! What’s the point of a stealth mission if everyone sees you coming?
Most wildlife video cameras come with a mount included. Use the mount to attach the camera to a tree. Make sure it’s mounted higher than the animals reach. Be sure to mount it securely so raccoons and squirrels can’t steal it.
Keep it in a shaded area. Don’t face it towards the sun, or the photos will be flashed out by the glare.
Get a trail camera stand, and stick it in the ground surrounded by foliage. Large animals will avoid being pricked and stuck by a thistle bush, and trespassers won’t notice it.
Getting the Most from your Wildlife Video Camera
To get the most out of your wildlife video camera, you need to use it to its full potential. Most trail cameras are waterproof and stand up to some pretty harsh weather conditions.
They’re made to withstand long term outdoor environments. Don’t be afraid to set it up in isolated or inhospitable areas. That’s what it was made for.
Once the memory card is full, it’s time to remove the memory card and see what the trail camera captured. Or plug it into your laptop.
Review the images and video on your computer (or on the LCD screen in your camera has one). There’s sure to be some great surprises and beautiful photos. This is also a good time to put in a fresh set of batteries.
Great Learning Aid for Kids
Wildlife experts love remote cameras for wildlife studies. How else can they monitor, track, and learn from animals in their natural habitat? Learning migration patterns, mating habits, catching poachers, or illegal game hunting can all be captured with a single wildlife video camera.
Bring your trail camera with you on vacation. Let the kids help you set it up. Watching your children as they watch animals in the wild is an amazing experience. Let them manually take the photos they want.
Trail cameras are durable and easy enough for a young child to use. Observing animals will teach children to respect animals, their way of life, and their environment.
Choosing the best wildlife trail cameras for your garden
Before making a purchase, always read the trail camera reviews left by other owners. There are precious nuggets of information in product reviews that customer service will never reveal.
Cameras with the best reviews and few complaints will be your best bet.
Know what you’re trying to get on film. Are you tracking deer patterns or trying to catch a trespasser? Cameras that use a white flash give themselves away when they snap a photo.
Infrared or black flash units are the best wildlife cameras for these situations. Criminals who don’t know they’re being recorded or photographed are the easiest to catch.
Cheaper Option to Home Surveillence Cameras
Whether you’d like to watch the back yard birds and animals as they graze around your property or you need home surveillance, wildlife video cameras are a sensible solution. They cost much less than fancy home surveillance cameras, too.
Let your children safely watch bears and bucks frolic in their natural habitat. Capture vibrant photos of nature that you can share with your friends. Find the best trail camera that works for you. Mount it, and enjoy watching nature at its finest.
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