Customer Reviews: Hawk Eye Nature Cam
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on November 7, 2009
We mounted this camera in one of our wood duck boxes, and it took our duck watching experience to a new level. The quality of the picture is good. The night vision is acceptable. We don't see much color, but the female wood duck doesn't have much color on her. We also get hooded mergansers and black bellied whistling ducks nesting in the box.

We are using 200 feet of wire that we have put in PVC pipe and buried. We went to Walmart and bought the cheapest 18" TV that they sell. We use it just for "duck TV".

We see all sorts of nesting behavior that we would never see without the video camera in the box. We see the hen laying eggs and incubating the eggs. We see duck fights when two hens have laid eggs in the same box (very commmon on our lake).

When the eggs hatch, we know that the next day will be jump day. Usually the jump happens between 9 am and 11 am. On jump day we get our cup of coffee and sit on our patio to watch the show.

We've enjoyed a wonderful return on this investment.
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on December 28, 2010
Love this product . Works well, very easy to set up. I put one in a new kestrel box and a stupid squirrel took up residency instead of a bird. However the squirrel is quite entertaining. An it snores we can hear it LOL
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on October 17, 2013
10/18/2013- You can get a pair of these same exact tiny color / audio cameras from Harbor Freight Tools. They also include a flatscreen color monitor, a/c adaptor and 2 long cables all for $69.95. It's called a Bunker Hill Color Security System w/ Night Vision. Item # 60565. I'd leave a link, but Amazon won't let me, so just look up that item number on the HFT site. Although I don't ever buy extended warranties, you may want to consider getting one for this. I don't use mine for bird watching, but I have used it for 2 weeks with no troubles. The sound quality is excellent. The IR night vision is better than expected for surveillance, but bird watching may not be very good as a lot of color is washed out. Day surveillance is good with good color. The flatscreen monitor toggles automatically or manually between both cameras. You cannot see both cameras at once (no split screen). The auto toggling time between cameras is adjustable between 5 seconds to 99 seconds. There's a mute button on the monitor in case you don't want to hear a loud noise or if feedback occurs. A good value for under $70.
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on March 4, 2013
I gave this camera a high rating because of the price. You get a lot for the cost. I now have 2 and they have been very valuable for all what we have seen with them. On the TV, we only get a black and white picture, despite plenty of light, but it doesn't matter that much. Good infared lights, able to see everything at night.
I built a birdhouse with a ceiling 4 inches above the top of the entrance hole. That way you can mount the camera on the ceiling and get a view of the whole floor of the nestbox. There is good audio, but a humming sound due to the wires in the cable not being insulated enough from each other. I just keep the sound turned down, unless something exciting is happening.
The cable is running on the ground, through our woods. You may want to cover it a little. Twice I have had squirrels, or whatever, chew and cut the cable. It was easy to strip both ends, match the wires, twist them together, wrap with electrical tape and presto, it was fixed. We did have to have a drill to make a hole in our house to run the wires in. Then we had to attach the wires to an adaptor and that to the TV. We put expanding calk in the hole in the house.
After installing the camera, turning the lense to focus it, then putting the nestbox up, you need to talk to someone on a cell phone ( who's looking at the TV ), so you can tilt the camera so it's aim is centered in the nestbox.
We have learned a tremendous amount from this nestcam!!! Even during the winter in Michigan. We have watched a Downy woodpecker sleep in the box every night and a pair of Bluebirds in another box. The Bluebirds are a mated pair who have stayed together all winter and huddled together at night.
We have watched a chickadee family and Bluebird family go through nestbuilding and raising a family. There have been times that this camera helped us rescue them when things went wrong, like when a wren was sneaking in and poked 2 of the Bluebird's eggs. We quickly removed the damaged eggs and put on a "wren guard". After that things went ok.
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on October 27, 2009
This product does what it says and does it will. Quality of image is good. The ability to focus to a set distance works well for fixed applications.

I was dissapointed at the color quality. I was expecting B & W opperation in low light conditions but was expecting more vivid color when the lighting was good. Even in full daylight the color is washed out. Otherwise no complaints.
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on April 22, 2011
I purchased this product about a week ago, and now I have my HawkEye Camera up and running in my owl box!
It was shipped very nicely and came in a good amount of time. It had such an easy setup, but the only problem was I didn't have an RCA jack to plug the camera in to my laptop, so I had to purchase a Dazzle Video Capture HD Plus to go with it (My laptop is older so that's probably why). The HawkEye is great for viewing on your PC and TV, I hooked it up to my PC so I could stream live on The best part is the infrared night vision which is very important if you put the cam in an owl box because that's when all the action is happening! I found that the hawkeye has various uses because of its small size, and doesn't have to be used in a nesting box.
I'd definitely recommend this to a friend! I am very satisfied!
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on March 9, 2013 it. But do not add extensions the loss of pic quality is obvious. But for 50' or less do it!
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on May 11, 2015
I purchased this to monitor nests in the wild where a normal critter cam would be too intrusive. Say what you will about the color (yeah, it's not great), but where else are you going to find something so streamline and easy to use? Using a "normal" critter cam on the grassland would be like parking a city bus in front of someone's house. Maybe there are comparable products out there, but I'm happy with what I got.

**Update** I really wanted to like this camera, but the image quality is frustrating. Also, it's worth mentioning that a small mammal chewed through the cord. Sure, I should have protected it by putting it in a tube (which I thought about doing, but didn't want to spend even more money to get this system working, nor did I want to dig a 100' trench in the ecosystem I'm trying to study). But this device is made to be used outside, and it's annoyingly vulnerable. There are a lot of considerations involved in using this camera anywhere but your home/office. I got the system working finally and in the end it was undone by everyday mammal chew. I want to fix the cord but it looks tricky/impossible. It would be better if the cord were separate and replaceable instead of integral.
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on June 20, 2013
This worked great as soon as I hooked it up, but it's NOT color- not even a little bit of color, and I have it outside in plenty of light. Really disappointing. I would return it except the night vision aspect works well.
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I bought this to put in a bluebird box and for the most part it works pretty well. However, my bluebird box isn't that high or deep so the best view I can get is with the camera pretty close to the nest creating a 'zoom-in' view. I wish I could 'zoom-out' but it's not easily possible without getting another nest box that has a higher ceiling or more depth. However, I might be able to remove the weather shield since the camera is in the bluebird box and improve the placement, but not until the bluebirds are finished raising their young.

The color is basically black and white though because it's dark in there and the infrared takes over. That was expected... however when it is bright outside and more light is in the box then sometimes I can make out a little blue on the birds but it is still hard to notice.

The cable is long and really not as thick as I was hoping. I wish it was a little thicker with more shielding but the video quality is pretty good for a composite non-HD signal. The cable is also hard-wired to the camera so you can't detach it without cutting it.

The major flaw is a whine or high-pitched noise in the audio. I was really disappointed about this. I tried a ground loop noise isolator but it didn't work. I don't know why there is a whine but I can work around it by turning the volume low enough for the whine not to be that noticeable but still high enough to hear the birds.

Overall 3 stars because of the very disappointing microphone whine but otherwise seems to work well.

UPDATE 2015-05-25: I've really been enjoying watching inside our bluebird box with this camera so I'm raising my rating to 3.5 and rounding up to 4. Still disappointed with the whine but otherwise a decent camera for what it is.
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