Referring to recent questions for floating hide and requests from our core team members for more information, how our pictures came out, I want to show you some of my experiences and ideas with floating hide.
1. Why a floating hide?
There are (for me) two aspects: Reducing animal distress and better (that means lower) perspective. Of course, you can also use a normal boat to try to get closer to waterbirds, but in this case (my experience) the birds won't let you come so close to them and the point of view is much higher and therefore less interesting. For these reasons I decided to build a floating hide a few years ago.
2. Why did I build one and not buy it?
First of all: the commercial hides aren't cheap. I have not been into one, they seem to be good, but some hundreds of Euros you have to pay for a good one. I bought all the materials for my floating hide in a shop for construction stuff and it came out for less than 200 Euros. Disadvantage is the weight. My floating hide is very heavy compared to the commercial ones. But it swims very well and my main-targets are terns, which are nesting in the middle of lakes. I need a floating hide that swims well and that is calm in the water.
3. How did I build it?
I used two water resistant wooden-panels and in the middle Styrodur, which also is water resistant. I sawed out space for myself and also created an area where I could mount the gimbal. For camouflage I built a basket out of bamboo and covered it with camouflage netting.
Ready for action… But: You need a truck… (ok, a VW-Caddy is enough)