A wildlife fanatic who installed a camera in a bird box to film a family with blue tits was shocked when the videos attracted 41 million views in one month.
43-year-old John Chadwick began live-streaming images of the birds with their chicks so his family could see their progress before blowing up the nest.
But just a few weeks after uploading the videos to YouTube, it racked up millions of views around the world.
John said, “He’s gone a little crazy. I just wanted to show my neighbors, friends, nieces and nephews what the birds were doing. I had no idea that movies would attract so much interest.
“To think that literally tens of millions of people have been avidly watching birds from all over the world is just unbelievable and quite overwhelming.”
The sound engineer, who has been on tour with the Beatles’ Aerosmith and Ringo Starr, bought the bird box on a whim during closing.
He set it up in a willow tree in the back garden of his Leicester home in March, and within hours two blue tits moved in and had five chicks.
John said: “In one day the birds moved and I wanted to know what was going on inside.
“I learned to broadcast live to help my local pub do their open mic, and in February I bought a bird box camera during the lockdown.
“I started livestreaming and making a video of the highlights every day, the first day 100 people saw it.
“It showed things like the chicks being fed in the nests while the parents carried caterpillars.
“The daily highlights continued, and about three days before the girls flew off, I hit 100 subscribers.
“After three months of doing three hours editing a night of 15 hours of daily footage, I had 2000 subscribers.
“I decided to put together a final video and keep it as short as possible, showing the birds entering the nests, the eggs hatching and the chicks fledged.
“I put it on June 7 and by Thursday 100,000 people had seen it, and by Saturday it had five million visits.
“I went to a barbecue on Saturday afternoon and when I came back I had two million more. In the first week he had made 10 million and now more than 41 million. It’s just weird. “
John’s videos are primarily viewed by people in the United States and India, with UK audiences accounting for just five percent of his total views.
And despite the huge worldwide success of the films, John is unlikely to earn enough for his own savings.
He said: “My personal challenge was to cross the threshold to monetize and then get back the 150 pounds I paid for the camera and the 90 pounds I paid for the hard drive; expires any day.
“Some people say they find it quite relaxing and others are really fascinated.”
(CLOCK the viral video below.)
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