Having treated the outside of the Hedgehog House the next thing was to find a suitable video camera to fix inside it. I tried one smallish outdoor camera with built in Infra Red lighting. It gave superb pictures but it was too large and got too hot. I had a feeling it may have warmed up the inside of the house so much that any hibernating hog might wake up thinking it was warm outside. Also it could only see about half of the inside of the house. In the end I settled on an old black and white board camera which took up very little room.
First I fixed it temporarily to one end of the roof so I could see how well it would work and how much of the inside it could see.
Next job was to provide some IR lighting in the form of IR light emitting diodes most of which were 'rescued' from old remote controls provided some years ago by a friend who worked in a TV repair shop.
Last job so far has been a soak test on the shed bench to check for reliability and heat generated. For that I will leave it working for a couple of days. At the same time I put in a layer of dead leaves to simulate what can be found at the bottom of hedgerows. Inside the entrance, on the left of the picture, there is a chicane to help keep out animals such as cats. The house is 27 inches long, 16 inches wide and 13 inches high to the top of the roof, big enough I hope for a couple of hogs and a brood.
A snapshot from the video output showing a camera eye view of the inside of the house lit only by the IR LEDs. The camera is looking towards the entrance.
Once I am happy that everything is reliable and safe then it is a job of tidying up the wiring, putting it in position under some bushes behind the shed and connecting it to the feed from the other cameras.
Although Hedgehogs naturally live under hedgerows the number of suitable hedges in a built up area can be small. Other places they use include compost heaps, a hole in the ground and, unfortunately, bonfires. Many bonfires are built for Guy Fawkes Night on 5th November and this can be around the time Hedgehogs are looking for somewhere to snuggle down for a Winter sleep. Being nocturnal animals even during warm weather Hedgehogs need somewhere dark and safe where they can sleep during the day. Hopefully one will find the des res I am providing and have a good chance of staying cosy, dry and safe.
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