Monday, August 25, 2014

Finding a Guinea nest with a thermal camera

Ever since I got my first 3 Guineas I've hated looking for their nests! Very few guineas lay their eggs in nest boxes. Some guineas can be coaxed to lay in the coop through the use of partitions or barriers so they feel like they're hiding. Most guineas like to make their nests in the woods among high weeds, bushes or fallen branches. This isn't really a problem until they decide to set on those eggs to hatch them. A guinea just sitting in the woods day and night for 28 days is like a written invitation to predators. Of course when they decide to set, it's time to grab the guinea and collect the eggs so she doesn't go back. Which is easy if you know where the nest is. How do you find the hidden guinea nest?

I go in detail about finding Guinea nest here: 12 Tips for finding guinea nests. Sometimes though, despite my best efforts I just can't find the nest! This was pretty frustrating for awhile then hubby came up with the idea to get a thermal camera. Since the heat imprint of the guinea would show on the screen, I could easily locate her on the nest! Check it out. 

how to find guinea nests

That of course is a thermal camera image. You can see the guinea just about center in the photo. She's facing to the right of the picture....can you see her? Maybe this will help.

thermal camera picture guinea


This one is a little blurry or smudged looking because I used the zoom function on the camera. It's pretty clear where she is now! The red dot you see is her head. Since the feathers insulate the body, it shows less heat. The head is bare so there's more heat radiating from there. Cool, right? It makes it super easy to find them! However, it's not so clear in the light of day when I'm looking for her.

finding guinea nests

Can you see her? I purposely waited till a white guinea was on the nest to take this picture but had she been a pearl there was no chance she'd be seen just by walking by. The next day I cut down a few of the ferns so you could get a better look at her:


looking for guinea nests


The thermal camera helps for sure. I still need to know what area they hang out in though. I've walked the whole woods with that camera and if I don't know where to look, the chance of finding what I'm looking for is still small. It's a great tool, sadly it wasn't cheap. (if it wasn't for high-tech-hubby I wouldn't have one!) I don't recommend the investment unless you're looking for a lot of guineas! Much easier to try to keep them cooped up till they lay, or just follow them around a lot. Too bad I can't teach them to trim the ferns for me!

~L

 

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