Sunday, 16 August 2009

Preparing the Hedgehog House

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.

Board Camera

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.

Board Camera

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.

Hedgehog House

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.

Hedgehog House

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.

Inside the Hedgehog House

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.

17 comments:

  1. Very interesting thanks John. I hadn't considered the lack of suitable hedges in suburbia! Very ingenious use of the diodes and IR camera. Hope some 'hogs' take up residence.

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  2. This is so cool!!! I, too, await with bated breath ...

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  3. How interesting ~ very clever of you! I bet you've had fun rigging this all up in preparation for occupation. Any news of Hope yet?

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  4. Hi Mick. I think our suburban hedges are too well manicured. We are too tidy to give the sort of shelter much wildlife needs. That is my excuse for having an unkempt garden and I'm sticking to it :)

    It may take a year or two to get a resident as it did with my bird boxes.

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  5. Hi Wilma. Don't stop breathing all together - it may take a while to entice a resident. :)

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  6. Hi Rob. A project every now and then keeps the brain active and keeps me away from the idiot lantern in the corner of the room. It will be interesting, hopefully, to see a bit more of 'hidden' nature.

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  7. Hi Glo. I have been tinkering with things electronic since I was thirteen and tend to accumulate all sorts of 'junk' for which I eventually find a use.

    I haven't heard from Elaine. She is so busy looking after poorly hogs. She did say at least a week and probably two. It is just 11 days now so I assume Hope is being fattened up so she is the right weight to survive the Winter hibernation period.

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  8. Well done John. That deserves to be a success.

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  9. Thank you Keith. I can but hope that some hog will find it irresistible.

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  10. Hee Hee John, I can tell you have been in your element getting that all set up, just your sort of thing, my brother used to be like that when we were kids (not that I'm suggesting you are a kid! :) ) He always had to take things to bits to see how they worked, particularly radios etc. On the odd occasion he didn't put things back together again he wasn't too popular, I especially remember the 'Mum's bike incident'!

    We will look forward to seeing if the new 'des res' has inhabitants eventually.

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  11. Definitely reached the second childhood stage, Jan. :)

    I can but wait and see what turns up.

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  12. Hi John,

    Really enjoying you Blog, I will be keeping a close eye on the Hedgehog Project, looks really promising. You have some great photos and video footage here.

    Well done.

    John

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  13. !!!! I miss so much when I don't blog every day. Thoroughly enjoyed this post, and like the others wait with anticipation for any signs of habitation in the new mansion! :)

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  14. Brilliant John! You've got a great quality picture inside your des res. Looking forward to seeing what happens when it's sited in your garden :-D

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Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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