The Best Bird Feeder Camera Setup for Your Backyard

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A bird feeder camera will allow you to gain a deeper insight into the birds that visit your garden. It’s a wonderful way to use technology to bring you closer to the natural world. You can capture footage to see behavior you might have missed and learn more about the birds sharing your space. You can also feel much closer to the natural world around you, which is important for all of us these days.

For example, you can find out what the backyard birds visiting your garden most like to eat. You can find out which feeder foods are eaten most quickly and what is eating them. You can be a bird detective, solve mysteries, and unearth clues about beautiful birds and other creatures of the natural world.

Setting up a camera close to feeding stations, bird feeders, bird baths, or birdhouses can help you learn a lot more about bird habits and feel a closer connection to numerous species of birds with more in-depth bird watching.

You will discover elusive visitors you might not have spotted before and gain a deeper insight into the ecology of your area. And you can see everything your feathered friends are getting up to in your garden.

Product Name
Bird Feeder With A Camera
Netvue Birdfy Feeder Cam
Best Motion Detection
Ring or Blink Video Doorbells
Best Small Camera
Blink Outdoor - Wireless Camera
Image
NETVUE Birdfy - Smart Bird Feeder Camera, Bird Watching Camera Auto Capture Bird Videos & Notify When Birds Detected, AI Identify Bird Species, Bird House with Camera WiFi Wireless (Birdfy)
Ring Video Doorbell - 1080p HD video, improved motion detection, easy installation – Satin Nickel
Blink Outdoor - wireless, weather-resistant HD security camera, two-year battery life, motion detection, set up in minutes – 2 camera kit
Customer Rating
Video resolution
1080P Color Night Vision
1080p HD Video, Live View, Night Vision
1080p HD Video During The Day And With Infrared HD Night Vision
Field of view
135° Diagonal
155° Horizontal, 90° Vertical
110° Diagonal
Operating conditions
-10°C to 50°C (14°F to 122°F)
-5°F to 120°F (-20°C to 48°C), water resistant
-4 to 113° F
Size
10.2 x 9.6 x 9 Inches
4.98 x 2.44 x 1.10 Inches
71 x 71 x 31 mm
Bird Feeder With A Camera
Product Name
Netvue Birdfy Feeder Cam
Image
NETVUE Birdfy - Smart Bird Feeder Camera, Bird Watching Camera Auto Capture Bird Videos & Notify When Birds Detected, AI Identify Bird Species, Bird House with Camera WiFi Wireless (Birdfy)
Customer Rating
Video resolution
1080P Color Night Vision
Field of view
135° Diagonal
Operating conditions
-10°C to 50°C (14°F to 122°F)
Size
10.2 x 9.6 x 9 Inches
Best Motion Detection
Product Name
Ring or Blink Video Doorbells
Image
Ring Video Doorbell - 1080p HD video, improved motion detection, easy installation – Satin Nickel
Customer Rating
Video resolution
1080p HD Video, Live View, Night Vision
Field of view
155° Horizontal, 90° Vertical
Operating conditions
-5°F to 120°F (-20°C to 48°C), water resistant
Size
4.98 x 2.44 x 1.10 Inches
Best Small Camera
Product Name
Blink Outdoor - Wireless Camera
Image
Blink Outdoor - wireless, weather-resistant HD security camera, two-year battery life, motion detection, set up in minutes – 2 camera kit
Customer Rating
Video resolution
1080p HD Video During The Day And With Infrared HD Night Vision
Field of view
110° Diagonal
Operating conditions
-4 to 113° F
Size
71 x 71 x 31 mm

Last update on 2022-11-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What To Consider Before Buying a Bird Feeder Camera

Before buying a bird feeder camera, it is important to consider what you would like to achieve.

Are you most interested in taking pictures of visiting birds, or do you desire a video to capture something in particular? Do you want the camera to record day and night? Do you want to watch birds on your feeders in real-time? Or are you looking to replay footage later?

Establishing your key goals can help you narrow down your choices and find the right type of bird feeder camera for you.

What Kind of Camera Can I Put on a Feeder?

Almost any type of camera can potentially be mounted on a bird feeder. But any old camera will not necessarily do what you need.

Some birdwatchers may be happy with a simple solution. But if you want to ensure that you get the functionality and results you need, it can be helpful to delve a little deeper and think carefully about precisely what type of camera you require.

Bird feeder camera types include:

  • A DIY Daylight or Night Vision Camera Kit
  • A Smart Feeder
  • Home Security Cameras
  • Trail Cameras
  • Action Cameras

What Features Should You Look for in a Bird Feeder Camera?

There are many differences between the five options outlined above, and there can be a lot of technical jargon to wade through. Understanding the features and characteristics of each option can be challenging, and it can be difficult to determine exactly what to look for.

It can be helpful to make a list of desired features to help you decide. Thinking about each item on this list can help you make the right decision.

  • Weather resistance. Remember that a bird feeder camera will be out in all elements, so you don’t want to run the risk that rain, snow, and wind will destroy it.
  • Cost. Think about your budget and intrinsic value when making your choice. You don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune to take footage of birds. But you will often get what you pay for, and the cheapest options may not deliver all you want.
  • Good image quality. Of course, not everyone will worry about capturing the ultimate HD quality video. But you will likely want to be able to see the birds and what they are doing clearly.
  • Connectivity. A wireless setup will mean you don’t have to run outdoor extension cords around your garden or depend on a solar setup that might not work in areas with lower sunshine hours.
  • Installation. How easy will this be? Think about how much work you are prepared to put in and whether you will have to spend a lot of time wading through information manuals and getting everything ready.
  • Image viewing and accessibility. Will using your camera be challenging if you are not very tech-savvy? Do you want a bird feeder camera that allows you to access images from a smartphone, one that stores the footage on an SD card that must be retrieved, or one on which the images are viewed from the camera itself?
  • Additional features. Do you need audio to hear the birds as well as see them? Do you need night vision? Do you want an instant live view?

Can You Make Your Own Bird Feeder Camera?

best bird feeder camera

The first and likely cheapest option if you want a bird feeder camera is to make one yourself. This is the option we have gone for on our property to capture the behavior of birds and also to see other wildlife in our garden.

My husband got a MyNaturewatch kit to make a wildlife-watching camera powered by Raspberry Pi after the idea was featured on the BBC TV program ‘Springwatch.’

The instructions are relatively simple and easy to follow. You can find the links to make daylight and night-vision cameras here.

We like this option so much because the images are great – certainly good enough for our goals – and we have got some fantastic pictures. But we also chose it because we try to live in as sustainable and eco-friendly a way as possible, and this kit allows us to cut down on consumption and upcycle and reuse equipment.

We have set ours up where we can see forest species of wild birds in a wooded area on the boundaries of our property and our favorite bird species visiting our backyard feeders. We often capture common birds – but have seen some rarer visitors and other garden wildlife, too.

Another simple yet effective idea for a DIY bird feeder camera is to use an old smartphone that you no longer need for daily use and set it up on a holder or mount close to a feeder.

My friend has set up his old iPhone and gets good images from an old device that cannot be used as a daily smartphone anymore. This gives you a sustainable smart bird feeder camera without costing the earth while keeping e-waste out of the landfill. 

Of course, I realize that the DIY approach is not for everyone. So if you want something more ready-made and ready to go, which option should you choose?

Is a Smart Feeder Right For You?

Smart feeders are a type of bird feeder with a camera combined into one unit. At first glance, these may seem like a cool option. But I think a smart bird feeder with a camera is a bit of a gimmick. These are not flexible enough to be truly useful in capturing images of different birds in your garden.

Because the camera is integrated into a specific type of feeder, it will only capture shots of birds that visit that particular feeder type and won’t give you a broader picture of other birds in your garden. And since these are more expensive and more limited, I don’t feel that these smart feeders offer good value for money.

Should You Use a Home Security Camera?

Another option is to use a camera usually used for home security to film birds on and around a feeder in your garden. There is a wide range of these now available on the market. They can be very easy to install, and the technology has become increasingly affordable to the average homeowner.

Is a Trail Camera Good for Placing on a Bird Feeder?

A trail cam is sometimes also used to capture birds and other wildlife in a garden. These small outdoor cameras are suited to be placed in the elements in all areas and are rugged and weather-hardy.

However, those who value the ability to quickly and conveniently view the images may find these cameras lacking. Most trail cameras require you to view the pictures from the camera itself and don’t offer wireless connectivity to view images conveniently from other devices. So this is certainly something to consider.

Another thing to consider is that some trail cameras are triggered by movement and won’t necessarily be tripped by smaller songbirds and other small birds in your garden. So they may be best for capturing images of larger wildlife.

Can You Mount a GoPro to a Birdfeeder?

GoPros and other action cameras are an increasingly popular option for bird-feeder cameras. These are often used to capture footage from a bird feeder. Though these can offer excellent connectivity and high-quality footage, the price of this type of camera is typically a lot higher than the other options on this list.

GoPros already have special mounts or attachments that make them easy to affix in a suitable location on or close to a feeder. So if you are looking for the easiest option with the best quality results, then this is certainly an option to seriously consider.

How Do You Connect a Camera to a Bird Feeder?

Whether you use a specialist mount or take a more DIY approach, there are plenty of ways to safely and securely connect a camera to a bird feeder or another suitable spot in your garden. Just make sure that fittings and attachments are weatherproof and will hold the camera securely throughout the seasons, even in poor weather.

We have mounted our camera on a fence close to bird feeders using metal brackets. But there are many solutions that you might use to attach the camera, whether you want to place it on the feeder or bird table or somewhere close by.

Do You Need Wi-Fi To Use a Bird Feeder Camera?

Whether or not you need Wi-Fi to use a bird feeder camera depends on the type of camera you choose, wireless or wired. There are several different solutions for wireless options, and if you want to connect to a Wi-Fi network, you will need to ensure that your bird feeder camera is within range.

But plenty of options will allow you to access footage or view photos from a bird feeder camera even where there is no Wi-Fi connection.

Some of the Best Bird Feeder Cameras To Consider

We really love our simple DIY bird feeder camera with Raspberry Pi. So I would recommend this if you are looking for something affordable yet useful (and more eco-friendly than purchasing a new ready-to-go camera).

One of the great things about this approach is the immense flexibility it affords. One of these cameras can be used as a bird feeder camera, a bird house camera, or a more generalized wildlife camera in your space. 

As a sustainability specialist, I would recommend looking at reclaimed or pre-loved items rather than buying anything new.

So look at cameras you may already own or look into reusing old devices before you make any new purchases. After all, cutting consumption, in general, is one of the best things that we can do to reduce our negative impact on the world, including the wildlife around us in our gardens.

If you love garden birds, your impact on the natural world around you should always be at the forefront of your mind.

So rather than listing options for bird feeders that you can buy, I highly recommend that you take a more eco-conscious approach and look for kits that allow you to gain a deeper insight into garden birds without literally or metaphorically costing the earth.

If you do plan to purchase a camera for your bird feeder, here are some to consider:

Netvue Birdfy Feeder Cam

NETVUE Birdfy - Smart Bird Feeder Camera, Bird Watching Camera Auto Capture Bird Videos & Notify When Birds Detected, AI Identify Bird Species, Bird House with Camera WiFi Wireless (Birdfy)
  • 【Watch Birds On Your Phone Anywhere, Anytime】- Still watch birds by binocular? NETVUE smart bird feeder with camera can auto...
  • 【Smart AI Identify 6000+ Bird Species】- Wanna know what species of the detected birds? This smart bird feeder camera with the...
  • 【See Birds Clearly with 1080P Color Night Vision】- With 1080P High resolution, this bird feeder camera allows you to get the...

Last update on 2022-11-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Buying a bird feeder with a camera already included is a bit more expensive than some DIY options, especially if you already have a camera and feeder you can use, but if you’re planning to buy one, the Netvue Birdfy Feeder Cam comes with some of the bells and whistles you would want out of a smart feeder.

The product, which can be purchased as a standalone camera or already connected to a feeder, boasts AI detection of over 6,000 bird species and can connect to your phone to send notifications and HD video clips of their arrivals at your feeder.

It also claims to detect squirrels and alert you so you can scare them away with two-way audio, a siren, or white light if you aren’t interested in feeding them. It’s also waterproof and capable of withstanding bad weather.

Netvue claims a battery life of up to six months, but you can also go green and connect your feeder to a solar panel.

Ring or Blink Video Doorbells

Sale
Ring Video Doorbell - 1080p HD video, improved motion detection, easy installation – Satin Nickel
  • 1080p HD video doorbell with enhanced features that let you see, hear, and speak to anyone from your phone, tablet, or PC.
  • An update from the original Ring Video Doorbell, enjoy improved motion detection, privacy zones and audio privacy, and crisper...
  • Receive mobile notifications when anyone presses your doorbell or triggers your built-in motion sensors.

Last update on 2022-11-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

While it’s intended to record visitors at your front door, mounting a video doorbell on the base of your feeder is perhaps just as effective as buying a feeder with a camera attached.

Like feeder or trail cameras, video doorbells aren’t meant to capture award-winning video, but if you want to know what kind of wild birds are showing up at your feeder, repurposing a video doorbell can be a great option that will cost you less than a feeder-specific camera.

Ring is perhaps the most well-known company in the video doorbell space. After motion detection, it shoots video clips you can save with a Ring subscription and sends notifications to your cell phone when motion is detected near the camera. 

Blink is Ring’s smaller, less expensive cousin. These cameras retail for less money than Ring, but they still claim to shoot video with 1080p color video resolution.

Sale
Blink Outdoor - wireless, weather-resistant HD security camera, two-year battery life, motion detection, set up in minutes – 2 camera kit
  • Blink Outdoor is a wireless battery-powered HD security camera that helps you monitor your home day or night with infrared night...
  • With long-lasting battery life, Outdoor runs for up to two years on two AA lithium batteries (included).
  • Store video clips and photos in the cloud with the Blink Subscription Plan and save events locally to the Blink Sync Module 2 via...

Last update on 2022-11-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Except for the Blink Mini, Blink cameras require a power outlet, so the mini version might be the best option for birders. Having a smaller camera that won’t spook birds is also a potential positive.

Bushnell Prime L20 Trail Camera

Bushnell Prime L20 Low Glow Trail Camera, 20MP, 1080P Video, Hunting Scouting Cam for Wildlife Monitoring
  • Trigger Speed: 0.4 second trigger speed with a 1 second recovery rate to make sure you can capture the images you are after.
  • Video: 1080p at 30 FPS gives you great detail of wildlife activity and the intel you need.
  • Sensitivity: Low glow 36 LED lights with a 100ft Night Range

Last update on 2022-11-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Trail cameras like the Bushnell Prime Trail Camera have been used by hunters for years to tell them what kind of wildlife is on their property, but a good trail camera can be repurposed for birding as well.

The main downfall of trail cameras for birding is that you won’t receive motion notifications at your feeder like you would with a video doorbell. You’ll have to pull the memory card and check it to see what’s at your feeder unless you buy a camera with cellular capabilities, which often requires a wireless plan. 

While it might seem inconvenient to check your camera manually without a wireless connection, mounting a trail camera on a tree branch or trunk near your bird feeder station is one possible way to avoid spooking birds. Adding a camera to your feeder, even one as small as a doorbell camera can spook some birds that would normally stop to eat at your feeder.

This Bushnell model takes 20-megapixel photos with a .4-second trigger speed and runs on six AA batteries. 

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Elizabeth Waddington

Elizabeth Waddington is a conservation, rewilding, organic gardening and sustainability specialist who loves everything nature-related. She loves helping others around the world connect with the wildlife and wonders around them. When not creating wildlife-wise, eco-friendly designs, or writing about the topics that inspire her, she loves spending time watching the birds on and around her own rural property, or heading out on camping or hiking adventures to spot birds and other wildlife in a range of habitats.