This project was begun in September 2013 when Mr. Widdowson began to explore the idea of using a £25 Raspberry Pi computer with an additional camera module as a Wildlife Wifi Webcam to watch the school bird table from inside the school building.
With the help of two pupils from Year 6, (Cavan and Josh G), the project was begun.
- Explanation poster showing the steps taken to make the Wildlife WebCam -
The initial work went well, but we hit a snag with the fifth step in the image above (the RealVNC part). Unfortunately the port we needed to open to allow us to remotely access the Raspberry Pi computer from an iPad, or other computer, was locked down by the local authority and they would not open it as it would affect their port security across the whole county.
It was not until we changed our IT provider that we were able to open up the required port allowing remote access to be made.
By June 2014 we were ready to work through the whole project, and set up a Raspberry Pi as a Wildlife Wifi Webcam solution.
We did make one change - our wifi signal would not reach where we wanted to position the camera, so we had to comprimise and use the camera inside the school building, and power it from the mains.
After successful testing, we put the camera into use within one of the classrooms that faces our quiet grassy area where we had placed a bird table and feeders.
- Raspberry Pi mounted on the classroom wall
with camera cable going to the window -
The Raspberry Pi Wildlife Wifi Webcam now watches the school birdtable, displaying live images on a wall mounted kiosk (running a Safari browser), as well as on school iPads.
- The live feed in school, and display around it -
We have even created wonderful time-lapse videos too. The first is over the course of a day, showing the pupils just what happens outside when they are not around;
And the second is a time-lapse of the 12 o'clock image each day over several months;
We've documented all the steps we took to create this project in a help sheet. You can download it here and create your own Raspberry Pi Wildlife Wifi Webcam. Enjoy!
Oh, and you can read more about the project here (including a cheap way to "zoom" in on the wildlife)
Clipart images provided Bev Evans and used with permission