Bird Feeder Time Lapse

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BobH

Administrator
Staff member
#1
Nothing amazing here, just a time lapse of dozens of birds hanging out at my backyard feeder. Playing with my GoPro and Adobe Premier learning the basics.
Available in full 1080p HD if you click the link.

https://vimeo.com/83985118

[video=vimeo;83985118]https://vimeo.com/83985118[/video]
 
#2
I like it!
The most fascinating part is to see the yard teeming with birds and suddenly....nothing....and then they're back! The ebb and flow of feeder birds is always intriguing.
What are the species you're seeing at your feeders?
 

BobH

Administrator
Staff member
#4
It's about an hour and a half total, but I chopped out about 20 minutes where they flew off.

As for the ebb and flow, it is interesting. Something spooks one of them and they all fly. Then they come back down out of the tree, and just about the time they all get on the ground, something spooks one again, and everyone flies off into the tree. That continues constantly.

What's also fascinating, from a photography point of view, is how it will be active at times and then they all disappear for a while, sometimes for hours. They seem to be most active morning and evening, with less mid day, but there really is no pattern that I've found yet from day to day. Not sure what influences them.

Relating this to wild birds, imagine you showed up at this location. At on time during the day, you'd see dozens of birds. Other times, you could wait for hours and see nothing.
 

BobH

Administrator
Staff member
#5
Oh, as for species? Red wing blackbirds are the big flock. Eurasian collared doves are the large white (tan) colored birds. A few woodpeckers. Lots of LBJ's (little brown jobs) house finches and the like....

A bit more about the Eurasian Collared Doves, which are often called a Ring Neck Dove in error. Like pigeons (which are also doves) they're non native, but have adapted quite well and are spreading throughout North America. Saw my first ones a couple years ago, now they're regulars.
 
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BobH

Administrator
Staff member
#7
Janice, I'm shooting 1800 shots per minute. ;)

Why would I shoot so many? Simple, I'm showing 1080p at 30 frames per second. Part of my testing is determining the battery life for the GoPro. It gets about 2 hours. It doesn't seem to matter what mode I'm in. I thought that if I put it in Timelapse mode and did one shot every 30 seconds for example, that it would last longer. I thought maybe I could have it last all day that way. It turns out that it does not "sleep" between shots in Timelapse mode, it's always on, just not recording. Since there is no shutter, the battery life when shooting a 1080p video is essentially the same as it is when doing a long sequence of time lapse shots.

So, for now, I just shoot in 1080p, dump that into Premiere Pro and then speed it up to a speed that I like. Not having to determine the speed ahead of time is also handy.

Eventually, I may rig up external power and let it shoot all day. If so, then I'd need to go to time lapse mode in order to not run out of space on the card. By then, I should have a good idea of what speed time lapse I like. As an example, this one was sped up to 2000%, 200 times faster than normal, or roughly one shot every 7 seconds. Then again, one frame per second makes for jerky video, so I'd probably go with something faster. Again, that's why I'm doing all this testing and experimentation.
 

BobH

Administrator
Staff member
#8
On a related note, it can do 12 mp still shots at 30 frames per second, for one second, in burst mode. Or if you drop down to 10 FPS you can get 3 frames. That allows for those cool sequential shots of bike riders and skateboarders doing gnarly tricks.
 

BobH

Administrator
Staff member
#10
The red wing blackbirds show up in huge flocks. When they do, they can clean the feeder out in a couple of hours. They live in local swamps, and there's a lot of them around.

If it's just the "little brown jobs", I can usually go two or three days before re-filling them. I don't keep them filled constantly, both since I can't afford to feed them all and I want them to have other sources rather than solely relying on me. That way if I forget for a few days, they know where to find food.
 


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