UPDATE 4/10/14: We've got 3 eggs now!
UPDATE 4/8/14: My dad emailed me this picture this morning of the first egg laid!
UPDATE 3/30/14: The bluebirds have taken over one of the houses. The bluebirds are much bigger than the chickadees and ran them off and started building a nest.
UPDATE 3/12/14: I was over at my dad's house and the Carolina Chickadee was back at it hard at work building the nest. There's a cold front moving through so it is windy and cooler today and the bluebirds aren't around to chase her away. We wonder what's going to happen when they show back up tomorrow or the next day. Will they leave her alone or chase her out of the birdhouse again? The bluebirds are bigger than the chickadees. Will keep you updated. In the meantime here is a video of the nest building. No sound because I was recording with my phone...
UPDATE 3/8/14: My dad emailed me some pictures this morning of a Carolina Chickadee building a nest in one of the birdhouses. The funny thing is that bluebirds have been all over both boxes the past few weeks kind of scoping it out so he was surprised to see the chickadee sneak in there early this morning. A few hours later the chickadee started moving out! She literally pulled the moss she was using to build the nest out of the box and into a nearby crepe myrtle while the bluebirds stood around chirping at her. My dad said it was the bluebird mafia. lol
Step 1: Installing an Infrared Spy Camera Inside a Birdhouse
Note: The cameras did not come with a power supply but any 6V to 12V DC 300mA to 1A wall adapter will work fine. I had a few lying around but if you need to buy one then buy a cheap 12V DC wall adapter like this.
1) Remove the three wood screws holding the roof on.
2) Remove the camera bracket from the camera by removing the two little screws on either side.
3) Flip the roof over and attach the camera bracket with a short screw.
4) Reattach the camera to the bracket with the little screws. Tighten them but not too tight so you can reach in and adjust the camera later.
5) Pull the camera's RCA and DC connector pigtail through the little gap between the roof and side of the birdhouse.
6) Reattach the roof to the birdhouse with the three wood screws.
After this step you will want to take the birdhouse to your TV and plug the camera into the TV's inputs so you can adjust the angle of the camera and focus the lens. I placed a business card inside the bottom of the birdhouse and turned the lens until the lettering was in sharp focus.
Mount the birdhouse to a tree or post. Strip the end of the Cat 5 exposing the 8 wires inside and attach the RCA and DC adapters and plug them into the camera pigtail. You can use whatever color-coding system you want but I used:
Orange: Video +
Orange/White: Video -
Brown: Audio +
Brown/White: Audio -
Blue: 12V +
Blue/White: 12V -
The camera audio is mono so if you are plugging it into a stereo input on your TV then you can splice the audio into the Green and Green/White wires as well or you can do as I did and just use an RCA Y-splitter when connecting to the TV so sound will come out both the left and right speakers.