In his retirement, my father has discovered the simple joy of sitting on his front porch and watching the birds that flock to his many bird feeders. Early mornings, regardless of season, find him sitting with his coffee on the white metal chair talking to his “budgies.” Last autumn, though, a squirrel moved in and intimidated the birds so much that they flew away and didn’t come back to spend mornings with my dad. No amount of squirrel preventative measures helped and Dad was deeply missing his birdie friends. My brother finally decided that we needed more information to solve the problem. He bought a Bird Watch camera and mounted it near the cluster of feeders we suspected were the squirrel’s favorite. The camera was meant to be left outside and had a motion sensor – any detected movement would cause the camera to take a rapid burst of twenty photos of whatever was in front of its lens.
It’s a pretty cool piece of technology. So cool, in fact, that it’s one of the first pieces of circulating technology you can borrow from UDPL and take with you to use at home!
We’ve just launched a new collection of technology tool and toy kits that can be checked out for a week. We’re pleased to offer the following items:
- A BirdWatch Camera – so like my father you can keep an eye on your birds or check to see if it’s a groundhog or skunk digging holes in your front yard!
- A Thermal Leak Detector – so you can easily see if your heating bill is higher because of an over-active appliance or because the heat is escaping out an un-insulated window!
- A Micro LED Projector – so you can project movies on the wall to recreate the theater experience at home or to practice for an upcoming presentation!
- A Photo Scanner – so you can scan all of the printed photos you have thrown in a box or drawer somewhere to make digital copies!
- A Fisher-Price Code-A-Pillar – so you and your young (ages 2-5) child can explore the basics of coding together!
- A Starling Word Tracker – so you can see how many different words a day your infant or toddler is hearing! (This device doesn’t record conversations, it just counts words and can be used with any language.)
To find out more information about any of these kits, you can click on the name above, visit the Circulating Technology page on our website, or stop by the front desk to look at our catalog of circulating technology. All items can be checked out for one week and include detailed, step-by-step instructions to help you use the tools at home.
As for my father’s squirrel? Well, once he saw a photo of it, he fell in love with its furry face and bought it its own feeder which he put on the fence at the other side of the yard. The squirrel and the birds live in a harmony now and my father sits on his front porch, talking to them all!