Project: Naturebytes

If you have ever watched the BBC Planet Earth series (and if you haven’t, why not?!), you know that some of the really interesting bits are the ones that show you how the cinematographers got their shots. If those adventures made your pulse quicken, a new DIY project may help you take your first steps in wildlife photography.

Called Naturebytes, the project is a “digital maker” initiative that combines a wildlife camera, a computer, and a bird feeder to allow you to build a heat-sensitive camera trap. The waterproofed camera will take pictures whenever a warm critter strays into its field of view. These are the same sort of cameras used by professional research scientists on projects like Snapshot Serengeti.

Putting the kit together will combine learning in electronics, photography, and coding. Moreover, it will demonstrate a practical use for the skills in the field.

The project is the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign held earlier this year (you can see the original here). You can preorder your kit at the main website. Give that the development timeline of the final product may be subject to change, I wouldn’t count on this as a potential Christmas gift, but definitely one worth reserving anyway.

Chandra Clarke is a Webby Honoree-winning blogger, a successful entrepreneur, and an author. Her book Be the Change: Saving the World with Citizen Science is available at Amazon. You can connect with her on Twitter @chandraclarke.