Using Game Cameras to monitor egg laying.

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supremelysteve

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I just purchased two systems to monitor egg laying in my greek tortoise pen.
I've been thinking about doing this for about a year. These are on sale now on Amazon, so I ordered them. Should arrive next week.

Last year, I only found 1 nest, and was constantly weighing my female greeks to see who laid. I know for sure that at least one other female laid a nest, and I suspect several females laid. I never found the other nests, despite digging in every possible location I could think of, and wasting a lot of time. Either the eggs in missed nests were infertile, were eaten by ants, or were not laid in a suitible location to hatch. If this system works for me, it should pay for itself fairly quickly. Plus, I might catch some surprising events that occur during the day when I'm at work!

Total cost including shipping was $121.10 for each system (camera, card, and solar panel).

Here is what I ordered.
Moultrie Game Spy Plot Stalker
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004ILNMIY/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20
SanDisk 16 GB Class 2 SDHC Flash Memory Card
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001T9IVCU/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20
Moultrie Digital Game Camera Power Panel
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001DEZ26Y/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

Here is the Moultrie website page for the camera
http://www.moultriefeeders.com/productdetail.aspx?id=mfh-dgs-ps

These seem to get poor reviews, due largely to poor battery life, and that you HAVE to have a class 2 sd card with a max size of 16gb, or you'll have storage and automatic shutoff problems.

With the solar panel adapters, and the correct cards, I should be able to monitor my tortoise pen to catch when, where, and who laid eggs. I can't find info on exactly what the angle of view on these cameras are, but I think I'll need both to cover most of my pen.
Here is the product description:

New Moultrie Plot Stalker Digital Hunting Trail Camera.

View 12 hours of activity in 10 minutes. Thanks to the technology of the Moultrie Plot Stalker and time-lapse photography, you can see a full day of activity condensed to a 10-minute video clip. Now you can see what happens on your green field or favorite hunting spot even when you're not there.

Features:
8.0 Megapixels
High-Definition video playback
Upload and share with YouTube, Facebook, Flickr
Simple setup - no tools, no wires!
4 photo resolutions
Time and date stamp on every photo
Picture delay options from 10 seconds to 1 day
Up to 4 daily on/off cycles
LCD display shows Plot Stalker program, images taken, memory and battery capacity
Easy menu navigation buttons
Rugged, weather-resistant case withstands the elements
Operates on 4 AA alkaline batteries (not included)
External power port for optional
Moultrie Power Panel ®
Includes a mounting strap, USB cable and Software CD
Playback speed up to 8X - watch an entire day of video in minutes
Motion Track Advance feature provides ability to skip to the next picture with activity. Rewind, pause and play as well as zoom in and out for maximum scouting experience

Takes up to 3,600 images in one day
Plot Stalker software stitches images into a high-definition video, making it easy to view a full day of activity in minutes!
Panoramic, long range view for maximum field coverage


So, anyone think it'll work? :p
Steve
 

dmmj

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Will you be able to review the day's events on your computer?

Lol never mind I saw the rest of your post
 

supremelysteve

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dmmj said:
Will you be able to review the day's events on your computer?

Lol never mind I saw the rest of your post



Yes, but to do so you have to remove the sd card from the camera, and transfer it to your computer. Then, using the supplied software, it will stitch the pictures into a movie clip. Then you can review it all pretty quickly. It even has a skip-to-next-motion frame that skips ahead to the next motion image.
I'm expecting to review the footage once a week, although the card should store pics for more than 3 weeks. Of course, i'll probably check it at least every day the first time I set it up!
My plan is to run them from 8:00 am til 6:00 pm, set on 1 picture per minute.
According to the online user manual, on High (1,920x1,080) I should get 13,992 photos on a 16 gb card. On Fine (3,264x2,448), I should get 7,688 photos.

Otherwise, there is a separate item moultrie makes that can stream your camera over the internet using the AT&T network. I don't know if it's compatible with this particular camera though. Here is the link to it.
http://www.moultriefeeders.com/productdetail.aspx?id=mfh-gsc-p
 

Tony the tank

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I have a cctv system in my enclosure wired to my tv set.. so anytime I want to check on them..I just click the remote...beats walking up a d down the stairs..
 

EricIvins

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Personally, you should reverse the times you have it set..........I've very rarely had any type of Tortoise lay during the day - Some start late afternoonish, but the majority of nests I've seen being laid were between midnight to around 4/5am.......

The caveat to this is that these are under conditions where the Females know where to lay - If you are in the situation to where they don't have suitable substrate to lay in, you may see very unpredictable nesting behavoir......You'd really need to record 24/7 to catch those........
 

supremelysteve

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EricIvins said:
Personally, you should reverse the times you have it set..........I've very rarely had any type of Tortoise lay during the day - Some start late afternoonish, but the majority of nests I've seen being laid were between midnight to around 4/5am.......

The caveat to this is that these are under conditions where the Females know where to lay - If you are in the situation to where they don't have suitable substrate to lay in, you may see very unpredictable nesting behavoir......You'd really need to record 24/7 to catch those........

I don't have them set for any times yet. I don't even have them yet, and all my tortoises are still hibernating.
Their pen is large, outdoors, and well landscaped. The one female I did find the nest of laid between 11 am and 3 pm, because I'd been weighing her and expecting her to lay, and she laid while I was gone during that time.
Most of what I've read describes them as morning to early evening nesters.
GBtortoises described in the thread below how his most often nest in the early-mid evening.
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/Thread...ctivity-in-my-outdoor-enclosure#axzz1kIkZ8p5G

Are you saying you have had greek tortoises nesting at night?
I hope this is not the case, because these cameras don't have infrared, and are only useful during the day.

My box turtles always start nesting in the early evening, and can go late into the night, but they always start before dark.

Are you saying you've had greek toroises
 

Tom

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EricIvins said:
Personally, you should reverse the times you have it set..........I've very rarely had any type of Tortoise lay during the day - Some start late afternoonish, but the majority of nests I've seen being laid were between midnight to around 4/5am.......

The caveat to this is that these are under conditions where the Females know where to lay - If you are in the situation to where they don't have suitable substrate to lay in, you may see very unpredictable nesting behavoir......You'd really need to record 24/7 to catch those........

Interesting. Mine always lay in the middle of the day. Sometimes on colder winter days they don't finish until after dark.
 

lvstorts

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Keep us posted on how it works. I've been looking into systems for a while now. I'm missing greek nests regardless of lots of observations and digging. I missed 2 last summer. Its heart breaking to come across a nest with well formed babies inside, dead.
 

ALDABRAMAN

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Great concept, ours lay in the evening, usually between 1800 and 2300 hours. I have had one lay at 1300, however very rare.
 

exoticsdr

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My leopard usually lays early evening...finding her digging a nest around 6pm and finishing when she's finished.
 

supremelysteve

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My game cameras arrived last night in UPS. Now I realized I have to order some security camera mounts. These cameras have tripod thread mounts, but I have to be able to secure them at the proper angle.

The other hangup is that class 2 sd cards are required, I think. My 16 gb class 2 sd cards arrived from amazon last week, but they showed up as class 4 cards, so I sent them back. I ordered 2 more 16 gb class 2 sd cards from ebay, and they showed up as class 6 cards!?
Before I send these back, I'm trying to contact Moultrie, the camera manufacturer, to find out if class 2 cards are absolutely essential.

Below is the review for this camera that concerns me about using the right sd card.
http://www.chasingame.com/index.php?id=199
 
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