Watching Wildlife From a Distance with Security Cameras

Installing security cameras in and around your home is a great way to protect yourself against burglars and other intruders. They've become increasingly popular not just because their presence is usually enough to put people off committing a crime, but also because they're a useful way to collect evidence in the event something does happen.

What you might not have ever considered is that there are quite a few other things you could do with security cameras. For fans of watching wildlife, a camera or two can really enhance your enjoyment of nature. If you're getting cameras installed for security purposes, it's easy to add just one or two more for this reason, or just position some of the cameras so they serve a dual purpose.


Depending on where you live, you might already have a lot of interesting wildlife on your doorstep, especially if there's a lot of open space near your home. But even if you're stuck with a small garden, you can still miss a lot when you're not watching.

Position cameras so that they're monitoring trees and bushes, as these are often places where animals will hide, emerge from, and feed. If you also want the cameras to be used for security, use a wide setting or a fisheye lens to capture more of the garden, so you don't miss anything happening.

For security, it's best to install cameras high up where they can't be reached, and this usually provides a good view as well. However, if you're using any only for wildlife watching, you might want to consider putting them lower down for catching ground-based animals.


A simple recording system will let you catch up on the happenings in your garden while you're away. You'll be able to watch it at high speed to catch anything interesting without having to sit for hours. A hard drive recorder is the best option if you want to record for long periods, although there are some compact storage cards available now with quite large capacities.

Many cameras nowadays can also easily be monitored live. This is either done through a computer via the internet or your home network, by connecting them directly to a screen, or even on your phone or tablet with an app. This is really useful if you're interested in birds or other timid animals, as you can watch their behaviour remotely without disturbing them.

Encouraging wildlife

The best way to increase your chances of interesting creatures paying you a visit is to feed them. Put out a variety of wildlife-friendly foods in different places in your garden; just make sure they're covered by your camera set-up!