The 2 Best Video Bird Feeders We’d Actually Buy

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The newest craze in bird feeding is automated camera feeders that take photos of your feathered friends as they appear at the feeder.

The quality of small cameras has vastly improved in recent years, leading to the inclusion of cameras on items like doorbells and bird feeders.

The feeders send videos and photos to smartphones automatically, a connection of technology that would have seemed unthinkable at the turn of the century.

More bird feeder cameras have started hitting the market in recent years. Unfortunately, many of the video bird feeders you’ll find on Amazon just don’t cut it in terms of quality and reliability.

The truth is, there are more video feeders out there I wouldn’t recommend than the ones I do.

Without further ado, here are the 2 video bird feeders worth spending money on right now.

Bird Buddy

Bird Buddy has taken some lumps in the public eye of the birding world for lengthy shipping delays and customer service issues, but the core of the actual product is pretty positive.

Bird Buddy feeder hangs on the branch, outdoor

Bird Buddy takes photos and videos of birds as they show up at your feeder. It’s not a purely motion-activated camera, as it doesn’t take a photo or video at every moment that a bird shows up, but when it recognizes a bird and the camera does fire, it produces fairly impressive results.

Blue jay photo from Bird Buddy camera

Shooting five-megapixel photos and 720p video, Bird Buddy sends videos of upwards of a minute and groups of photos to your phone, called postcards, while attempting to identify each bird as it shows up.

You’re given the option to save each photo or video in the app or download it to your phone/tablet, and they’re grouped in-app by species, meaning each new species grows your bird photo collection.

screenshot of bird buddy gallery with different birds

The Bird Buddy feeder isn’t super big as far as bird feeders go. It measures 9 x 6.3 x 6.89 inches, which could prohibit some very large birds like a pileated woodpecker from accessing the seeds, but it’s big enough that birds like cardinals and bluejays can access it. With this in mind, it’s ultimately big enough for most popular backyard songbirds to duck under the roof.

Bird Buddy retails at $249 for just the camera, with add-ons such as a solar panel roof or different mounts adding additional costs.

Click here to learn more about the Bird Buddy video bird feeder.

For our full breakdown of the Bird Buddy’s best features and room for improvement, click here.

NETVUE Birdfy

NETVUE Birdfy AI - 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 only)
  • 【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 2023-02-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

NETVUE’s Birdfy camera takes videos of everything that appears in front of the camera, whether that’s squirrels, wild birds, or anything else.

Like Bird Buddy, it attempts to identify each bird species via AI, with a growing database that helps the camera pick out which species is at your feeder.

This feature is still a work in progress. While the company says it can identify over 6,000 species of birds and is improving constantly, some reviewers have even reported the camera mistakenly identifying North American birds as penguins or other unlikely birds.

Birdfy AI version comes with the AI recognition feature, while the lite version does not.

Photos and videos are saved in the Netvue cloud for future viewing.

The feeder comes in light blue and light yellow colors and measures 10.23 x 9.64 x 11.22 inches, slightly bigger than Bird Buddy. The external perch outside the feeder base offers a bit more space for larger birds to land as well.

The company also boasts two-way audio on the device, meaning that you can use a siren, white light, or your voice to try and scare away squirrels when they appear. Some squirrels might get used to this or already be too confident to be scared by a noise, but it’s worth a shot.

NETVUE Birdfy retails for between $210 and $275 depending on whether you’re adding features such as AI recognition or a solar panel to help power the feeder.

Repurposing Another Device

While the price of small cameras has decreased and the performance continues to increase, they’re still an added cost for the average bird watcher, and it’s a new product category that is still improving.

If you’re not interested in being an early adopter and want to wait until the technology is flushed out a little bit, that doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have options to capture photos at your feeders.

There are other devices you can repurpose to give you at least some of the benefits of a camera feeder. You might even already have one of them at your disposal. Let’s dive in.

Video Doorbell

Blink Video Doorbell | Two-way audio, HD video, motion and chime app alerts and Alexa enabled — wired or wire-free (Black)
  • Answer your door no matter where you are from your smartphone with 1080p HD day and infrared night video and two-way audio.
  • Experience long-lasting battery life, custom alerts, privacy settings, and more.
  • Get alerts when motion is detected or someone presses Video Doorbell. Connect to existing doorbell wiring or pair with a Sync...

Last update on 2023-02-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Do you have an extra doorbell camera sitting around that you’re not using? These motion-activated cameras can be repurposed as bird feeder cameras.

This isn’t their intended purpose, so you probably don’t want to go out and purchase one solely to use as a bird feeder camera. There are a couple of drawbacks, but if you already have one, give it a go.

Ring cameras, for example, shoot 1080p HD video, but they don’t send photos to your phone as a bird-specific camera would.

If all you want is to be able to view a real-time video livestream of your feeder or receive some videos to see what kinds of species are showing up, a doorbell camera could do the job that you want it to.

Trail Cameras

Sale
GardePro E6 Trail Camera WiFi 24MP 1296P Game Camera with No Glow Night Vision Motion Activated Waterproof for Wildlife Deer Scouting Hunting or Property Security, Camo
  • Innovative Wi-Fi Connection: The GardePro E6 features super low-power Wi-Fi and compatible with Bluetooth technology, comes with a...
  • More Reliable Signal: The E6 cam is equipped with an antenna for more reliable Wi-Fi signal, significantly reduces the...
  • 24MP Still Image and 1296P Video: Featuring a premium optical lens with wide 110° view angle and a cutting-edge image sensor, the...

Last update on 2023-02-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Trail cameras are typically larger and bulkier than a bird feeder camera would be, but they’re built for taking motion-activated wildlife photos.

They’re not necessarily meant to capture the tiny little birds that show up at feeders, but rather larger wildlife like deer. Still, in the right setup, you could get one to do the trick for your backyard bird feeder.

Due to their size, trail cameras probably aren’t ideal for mounting on your actual feeder, but you could mount one on a nearby tree or fence post and capture a few photos of birds as they stop by.

GoPro or Another Camera

Sale
GoPro HERO11 Black - Waterproof Action Camera with 5.3K60 Ultra HD Video, 27MP Photos, 1/1.9" Image Sensor, Live Streaming, Webcam, Stabilization
  • Revolutionary New Image Sensor: expansive field of view ever on a HERO camera out of the box. This gives you an extra-large canvas...
  • Unbelievable Image Quality: With 5.3K video that gives you 91% more resolution than 4K and an incredible 665% more than 1080p,...
  • High-Res Photos + Videos, High Frame Rate: HERO11 Black’s new image sensor boosts photo resolution up to an incredible 27MP...

Last update on 2023-02-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

A small camera like a GoPro can be used much in the same way that a doorbell camera would be.

Or, you could purchase a DSLR camera and get into bird photography. It’s not cheap, but it can be an extremely fun and rewarding hobby to pursue.

Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm Lens | Built-in Wi-Fi | 24.1 MP CMOS Sensor | DIGIC 4+ Image Processor and Full HD Videos
  • 24.1 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor with is 100–6400 (H: 12800)
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC technology
  • 9-Point AF system and AI Servo AF

Last update on 2023-02-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Want to get started? Here are some tips for starting out as a bird photographer.

There is also the consideration of turning a DSLR camera into a wildlife camera trap that takes high-quality photos to add to your portfolio.

As good as they’re getting, trail cameras and bird feeder cameras still will not take photos anywhere near as well as a good DSLR camera can.

If you’re really into photography, this can be a great way to enjoy your favorite hobby around the clock, even when you’re not there to actually push the button.

This is a high-effort, high-reward endeavor. It’s not as simple as buying a new feeder and putting it in your backyard. Click here for a guide on how to set this up and get started.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the Best Camera for Bird Watching?

The best camera for each bird watcher is going to depend on their budget and what they’re looking to accomplish with it.

Someone who wants to get into bird photography as a hobby and capture striking, high-quality photos of birds is going to want to purchase an actual camera and telephoto lenses.

Someone who just wants to collect photos of birds as they show up at their feeder won’t need that much firepower, and may instead opt for a bird feeder camera, which has become a new trend on the market.

Is a Camera Bird Feeder Worth It?

Whether or not a bird feeder camera is worth it depends on your budget and what you hope to accomplish with it.

The new bird feeder cameras are cool, but they’re a relatively new product, so they still have some bugs to work out. Whether it’s worth it for you depends on you.

For many people, it will be worth it to capture photos and share them with family and friends.

How Do You Make a Bird Feeder Video?

Some new bird feeders contain built-in video capabilities. These products will automatically record video as birds show up at your feeder and send it to your phone.

Without spending the money for a new technologically advanced feeder, you can still make videos at your feeders, however. If you have a DSLR camera, set up a tripod and record as birds come and go for the best quality videos.

Otherwise, consider getting closeups by mounting a camera like a GoPro or video doorbell camera to your bird feeder. While they’re not meant specifically for this, they should be able to provide you with some of the video content you’re looking for.

How Much Is a Bird Cam?

A camera bird feeder like the Bird Buddy or Netvue Birdfy will set you back between $200 and $300 depending on any sales and what bells and whistles you add during the checkout process.

To save money, you can set up a DIY bird feeder camera with the use of a video doorbell, trail camera, or action camera such as a GoPro.

Do Trail Cameras Work for Birds?

Trail cameras definitely work for birds, but trail cameras do have their downsides. The first is that, generally, they’re fairly large, so you probably won’t be mounting one directly on your bird feeder.

You can, however, likely mount it on a nearby fence post, pole, or tree and find some success capturing photos of birds at your bird feeders.

Just make sure to set up your camera close enough so that it is able to sense the movement of small birds.

How Can I Hide My Camera in My Bird Feeder?

With bird feeders like the Bird Buddy, the camera is already built into the structure of the feeder.

If you’re really handy, you could find a way to hide a camera in your feeder, but there isn’t a very good way to hide a camera in most standard bird feeders. It just might be one of those occasions where the birds will need to adjust to it.

This is the case for anything new that birds have to deal with, from a new feeder or bird bath to a feeder changing locations.

With time, they’ll adjust to a camera mounted on your bird feeder and will not see it as a threat. It just takes a visit or two before they start to realize it won’t cause them any harm.

How Do I Livestream My Bird Feeder?

The best way to Livestream your feeder is going to be to buy a camera that offers that capability or to set up another device that offers live streaming.

Bird Buddy, for example, allows users to stream the view from their bird feeder at any given time.

Other devices that could be used include video doorbells, for example, which would allow you to see what’s going on at your feeder at any given time.

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Jacob Swanson

Jacob Swanson is a writer and wildlife photographer born and raised in Wisconsin and currently based in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Since graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, his work has appeared in over a dozen different web and print outlets. In his free time, he’s on a personal quest to visit every U.S. national park and see as many wildlife species as possible. His favorite birds are whooping and sandhill cranes.