We get so many home deliveries that I wanted to add some kind of video devices to watch over the front door for us. I wanted something somewhat hidden that didn't take a bunch of wiring to install, and that I could monitor remotely. It really hit me when I got home late one day to find a big furniture delivery had arrived and been sitting at the front door for hours. Anyone could have taken it; we'd never know who it was.
I found some cool, wireless, "bullet" cameras that I could cover the area with. I found a good angle pointing at the front door from the mesquite tree in the yard.
Even through this camera would be out of the way, I wanted to hide it somehow. I figured since we already had a bird feeder hanging off the tree, why not another?
I pull a weathered, old feeder out of the shed and brought it into the garage. It was dirty and weathered. The formerly clear plastic was yellowed by the sun. Perfect!
I popped a cut-off wheel into my rotary tool and started slicing through one of the side panels of the feeder.
I had to open the garage door to keep the melting plastic small from going in the house. The old feeder was a little brittle, but it cut easily.
Since the sides were still semi transparent, I dusted the inside with a tan spray paint, speckled it with black, and flecked some yard dirt into the wet paint. From a few paces away, it would look like it was full of birdseed, completely obscuring the camera within.
I taped the camera up tightly with masking tape for painting. I didn't want to permanently recolor the camera, in case I changed my mind later.
I hosed the whole thing down with a few coats of tan spray paint.
I cut out and removed the tape covering the charging port, the lens area and the front speaker (You can actually talk to people remotely using your cell phone with this camera!) "Thanks Amazon guy"
My camera came with a cool, little magnetic base attachment. I pulled one of the screws out of it and replaced it with a longer one through the bottom of the feeder. The base locked tightly into place.
I’d cut the central hanging wire out of the feeder so the camera would fit. Since it wouldn’t be full of bird seed, the lid would hold the camera weight, just fine.
With the camera mounted in the secret feeder enclosure, I hung it from the mesquite, somewhat close to the real feeder. Even from the front, you don’t see the camera in there from the walkway, unless you are really looking for it.
Up close, you nearly have to be directly in front of it to see the high tech secret within. Get too close, and our big cactus is gonna get ya!
The location is angled to catch the side view of anyone approaching or full frontal when they depart.
Here's a photo direct from the camera. It captures a nice, wide angle that doesn't get clipped by the edges of the feeder. It has infrared, so it can see in the dark and capture all the things that go bump in the night,… and we do have things that go bump in the night.
That first location sways slightly in the breeze, so it picks up more movement that I want to get alerted to by the phone app. I chose a second location for the next mounting.
This one is a tighter area that gets a nice facial closeup. Do you see it?
You can't see it until you basically get to the front door, then you really have to look up at an odd angle to spot it. I have it tucked up under the eve.
I have this one set to email me and record when it detects is motion at the front door. I can also take a look at it through my smartphone whenever I want to. The camera simply goes out through our home wi-fi router. There's no special hub or extra smart device needed.
The cameras have rechargeable batteries, but I'm certainly not going to drag a ladder out and climb up to get them. Instead I installed the optional solar panels. The location in the eve got a panel around the corner of the house, up on the side facia board. The bird feeder's panel is on the other side of the tree, down on the ground.