We describe a computerized nest-monitoring unit that uses a small camera (commonly marketed as a “webcam”) mounted on a telescopic pole to relay digital video and still images to a portable laptop computer carried by the operator. This system captures and archives digital color images of open-cup nesting birds, enabling the operator to determine egg type (host or brood parasite) and number, as well as nestling development stages. These archived photographs represent a permanent record that can be revisited and reused as many times as needed. This system allows researchers to easily create and maintain their own monitoring equipment using readily available materials at very low cost.
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Vol. 34 • No. 5