Camera Info

Westher station, feeder cam and feeder station in the snow

Weather station, feeder cam and feeder station in the snow

The camera is a StarDot NetCamLIVE streaming camera in a weatherproof housing. This camera streams H.264 video directly to a live YouTube stream, and I wrote some scripts to automatically start and stop the stream, as well as send a Tweet out when the stream is up. It also uploads a still image every 10 seconds. It’s located in my backyard in Bloomington, MN, and pointed northeast. Due to the cold winters here in Minnesota, it’s housed in the heavy duty weatherproof enclosure. The challenge here is our extreme low winter temperatures, and most cameras (even outdoor cameras) aren’t rated for operating temperatures much below zero. Stardot is one of the few manufacturers that makes cameras which can operate well below zero Fahrenheit without a separate dedicated heater. This camera has been operating continuously for several years with no issues.

StarDot also offers a weather station module which plugs into the camera and overlays weather data on the image. The cool thing is that the camera runs its own embedded Linux operating system. Since I already have a Davis weather station, and happen to be a computer programmer, I wrote some shell scripts to fetch data from the weather station and overlay the info on the image myself.

Still images are uploaded every 10 seconds during daylight hours, Central Time. During the winters here, days are short so daylight is only 7:30am to 4:30pm. In the summer, it’s much longer, lasting from 5:30am to 9:30pm. If the image is completely dark, please check back in the morning. Send an email to (making the appropriate substitutions), or tweet @lizmstanley if you see anything cool on the feedercam!

This camera was inspired by:

Also be sure to check out a few other interesting cameras: