December 12, 2010
As winter descends on those of us FeederWatching in the north we wisely close our windows to keep in the warmth. Unfortunately, closing the windows also keeps out the sounds of birds in our yards and at our feeders. If you enjoy the contented chatter of goldfinches or the alarming shriek of a Blue Jay as it descends on your feeders, here’s an idea for you. Steve Maley, a master Jack-of-all-trades and volunteer at Braddock Bay Bird Observatory, suggests rigging up a baby monitor for a low-cost solution that lets you hear the birds all year long.
Steve writes, “Cold weather has come to Rochester, NY, the windows are closed, and the bird hordes come to the feeders. Your home insulation keeps you warm, but silences the noisy blue jays, the woodpecker calls, and the goldfinch chatter. But you can still enjoy those bird sounds from your warm living room. Pick a window with a good roof overhang, and hang a $20 baby monitor outside near the top of the window. The receiving unit can go inside wherever you want to hear the birds. Plug in the 9 volt DC transformers, turn on both units, and once again enjoy hearing the birds from inside your living room or kitchen. My monitor has been on since last spring, and the receiver gets turned on only when I want to enjoy ‘being outside’ to hear the birds.”