The Bird Cam

The birds still haven't returned.
This shot is of the last baby leaving the nest back in April.

What's New?

The latest news

Thursday, April 5, 2001. The birdcam is live again! Phoebe and P.D. returned a couple of weeks ago and started building a new nest in the rose bush. She laid five eggs earlier this week. After she had settled in, I got to work and mounted my fancy new waterproof camera. I'm always afraid I'll freak her out, but Phoebe seems pretty oblivious to the attention. Guess she's gotten used to it.

If last year is any guide, we're looking forward to four sets of five baby birds, hatched over the next four months.

If you're lucky, you'll catch P.D. dropping by the nest to feed Phoebe.

Visit the news archives 2000 for pictures from last year.

Friday, April 13, 2001. As you can no doubt tell, all of the eggs have hatched. I'm pretty sure three hatched yesterday and two more this morning. You'll be amazed how quickly the babies grow.

Tuesday, April 17, 2001. In case you don't have time to watch the birds all day long, I've started a photo album of interesting shots. I'll try to add to it every day.

Thursday, April 26, 2001. We figured today would be the day that some of the babies would take off. But, this morning a squirrel attacked the nest. All the birds jumped ship. We think most of them landed in the grass. P.D. did his best to scare away the squirrel. I think he even pecked at it. Beth found one of the babies frozen in fear near the walk. I managed to pick it up and put it back in the nest. A little while later, P.D. returned to the nest and coaxed the last baby to fly away with him. You can see some of the gory details in the album.

We haven't seen Phoebe for several days. We'll just have to wait and see if she comes back and tries again...

Friday, April 27, 2001. P.D. is still dropping by, but no sign of Phoebe yet.

If you'd like to see a video of the squirrel attack, and have 17 meg free on your hard drive, you can download an MPG movie of the shocking event.

Sunday, May 6, 2001. I'm sorry to report that the birds haven't returned to the nest. Guess that squirrel freaked them out. They are hanging around the bird feeder, so I suspect they've decided to nest elsewhere. If we can find the new home, we'll try to move the camera.

Wednesday, May 9, 2001. What in the world, you say? Well, Paula sent me a photo of finches nesting in a coffee can she mounted under the eaves of her house. So I decided to see if a nice new home might lure Phoebe back. (Anybody out there want a big baggie of Folgers? Beth only drinks the good stuff.)

Tuesday, May 22, 2001. I gave up on the coffee can. Still no sign of the birds. Sigh...

Why the Bird Cam?

Two years ago, a pair of finches built a nest in the rose bush next to our front door. We watched the baby birds hatch, grow, and finally leave the nest. We even witnessed a tragedy, when a blue jay discovered the nest and managed to snatch one of the babies for a little snack.

Last year, we were thrilled when the parents returned to rebuild their nest. I guess they liked the digs, in spite of the incident with the blue jay, or else they're not very bright. But, they're still a little jumpy, and skeedaddle whenever we get close enough to check on the babies. So, I decided to apply a technological solution. I propped a video camera on a step ladder a few feet from the nest and beamed the live images to our TV. The next step was obvious: Transmit the pictures to the world! (This gave me an opportunity to buy some fancy new hardware for my computer.)

The finches returned again this year, and as soon as they got the nest built, we rushed to set up the camera.

So, here they are, live from Chapel Hill, the Phinch-Phlutter family of Country Club Road.

Send an email to the Phinch-Phlutters: If you want to be on our mailing list, let us know in your email. I'll send out messages when there are significant events at the nest.