Set Up a Bird Watching Camera in Your Yard for Wildlife Fun

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With a bird watching camera, you can see the birds in your backyard up close without disturbing them. Bird lovers may set up bird feeder cameras or even get a smart bird feeder with a built-in camera.

In this helpful guide, we’ll walk you through our top choices for bird watching cameras. We’ll also offer some tips on what to look for in a camera and how to improve your bird watching experience.

Choosing the Right Bird Watching Camera

Which camera is best for your backyard depends on what your goals are. If you want to live stream, for example, you’ll need a camera with Wi-Fi.

Here are some features you should look for in a bird watching camera:

Where You Can Mount the Camera

Some smart feeders only allow for hanging, while others are designed for mounting on a pole. Before you get a camera, you should get an idea of where and how you plan to mount it.

Image Quality

Not all bird watching cameras produce the same quality of videos. Do some research on camera specs and decide what will work best for your feeder.

If you aren’t as concerned with crystal-clear definition, you might opt for a lower-resolution camera. Be sure the camera can focus on objects close up so you don’t get blurry video.

Battery Options

Most smart bird feeders can connect to a solar panel to save battery power. Motion-detecting cameras also save battery by only powering on when they detect a bird.

Best Cameras for Bird Watching

Choosing the right bird watching camera isn’t an easy task. There are lots of options, each with advantages and drawbacks.

Which bird watching camera is best depends on your situation, the equipment you already have, and the features you want.

Best Overall Bird Watching Camera: Bird Buddy Smart Bird Feeder With Solar Roof

The Bird Buddy Smart Bird Feeder packs a lot of features into a small, sleek package. The camera offers a wide-view lens to ensure you don’t miss any of your feathered visitors. 

The user interface of this smart feeder is intuitive and easy to use. With a dedicated app, you can live stream and export vertical videos to share on social media.

Bird Buddy uses AI to identify birds that visit your feeder and can alert you when they show up thanks to its motion detection. The app also allows you to see what other Bird Buddy feeders in your community are capturing.

The company offers a variety of accessories to customize your feeder, such as:

  • Suet ball attachment
  • Perch extender
  • Wall mount
  • Nutrition set to leave out fruits, jellies, and water

You can ditch the batteries and annoying cables thanks to the feeder’s solar panel attachment as well. The feeder uses recycled materials and has a modern design with rounded edges.

Keep in mind that you need to have this feeder connected to Wi-Fi to access videos.

Best Camera for Bird Identification: Birdfy AI Feeder

The Birdfy AI Feeder is another top option for a bird watching camera. It offers several advantages over other bird feeders:

The Birdfy AI Feeder has 1080p image quality, which gives you high resolution video. The species identification software is also very reliable, with the ability to recognize over 6,000 species.

Another excellent feature of this camera is its color night vision. The mounted LED infrared light allows you to capture nocturnal birds and get quality videos in poor light conditions.

Squirrels can be a nuisance at bird feeders, scaring away the birds and hogging the feed. Luckily, this feeder has two-way audio, so not only can you hear the sounds of your backyard wildlife, but you can also shoo squirrels off of your feeder remotely.

Some of the features of this feeder require a monthly subscription, but you can still use the camera without one. To use the bird identification feature or store files in the cloud for longer than 30 days, you’ll need a subscription.

Best High-End Smart Bird Feeder: Birdfy Bamboo Lite Feeder

If you want a stylish, high-end feeder and have the budget for it, look no further than the upgraded Birdfy Bamboo Lite Feeder. This model features slick and environmentally friendly bamboo housing.

The bamboo model also has a higher capacity than the standard Birdfy Feeder, so you don’t have to take it down for refilling as often. The Birdfy Bamboo Lite also comes with a solar panel and charging cable.

While its bamboo construction gives this feeder a modern and natural aesthetic, the material is more vulnerable to squirrels. If you opt for this model, ensure you don’t have squirrels nearby or place it somewhere out of their reach.

Best Feeder for Durability: JCS Wildlife E-Z Fill Smart Bird Feeder

Some bird lovers may already have a feeder they like and don’t want a smart feeder. The JCS Wildlife E-Z Fill Smart Bird Feeder with Wi-Fi Camera, Solar Panel & AI Bird Recognition is a compact feeder cam with high-resolution video. 

The mounting hardware allows you to mount it on a tree or against a wall. It also offers posts if you prefer to have your feeder freestanding.

The JCS Wildlife E-Z Fill Smart Bird Feeder also comes with a solar panel attachment so you don’t need to worry about batteries or power outlets. In insufficient light, however, you can still charge it via USB-C.

This feeder is low-profile with rugged poly lumber construction. In addition to Wi-Fi connectivity, the camera also provides AI bird species recognition.

This feeder comes apart for easy cleaning as well, with a detachable feeder ramp and drain holes to keep feed dry.

Best Smart Feeder for Hummingbirds: BirDock Hummingbird Feeder with Camera

Hummingbirds have specific dietary needs, relying on liquid nectar for food. As a result, hummingbird feeders don’t work the same way as other feeders. Rather than seed blends, hummingbird feeders have a basin for holding nectar.

You can buy nectar in stores, but many brands use food coloring that can be harmful to these little birds. According to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Biology Institute, it’s actually cheaper (and better for the hummingbirds) to mix your own nectar using a mixture of one part sugar to four parts water.

What makes the BirDock Hummingbird Feeder is its combination of five flower ports and a high-tech camera. The BirDock Hummingbird Feeder has a staggering 1296p HD camera and free species identification software.

The 140-degree lens also ensures you get clear footage no matter which port the hummingbird drinks from.

DIY Smart Bird Feeder Option: Wasserstein Bird Feeder Camera Case for Ring, Blink & Wyze Cams

Some bird enthusiasts have a camera but no feeder. If this sounds like you, you might want to try the Wasserstein Bird Feeder Camera Case.

If you already have a security camera you aren’t using, this case is a great way to make your own smart feeder. The camera case is compatible with several camera models, including:

Keep in mind that these cameras aren’t designed for bird watching, so the video quality won’t always be as good as other smart feeders. You also won’t have access to the bird identification that a lot of other bird watching cameras offer.

Despite its shortcomings as a smart feeder, the Wasserstein Camera Case is a budget-friendly option. Many smart feeders can cost more than $200, while this case is under $60.

Get the Most Out of Your Bird Watching Camera

Beyond which bird watching camera you choose, several other factors can impact the quality of the video you get. Here are some tips to help you capture the best videos:

Make Use of Connected Apps 

Integrating your bird watching camera with its dedicated software allows you to monitor bird activity remotely. Many smart feeders provide real-time alerts and updates on what species is at your feeder.

Create a Bird-Friendly Space

You can’t put your feeder just anywhere. Birds can be skittish, especially if they don’t feel like they’re safe from predators. The Humane Society of the United States recommends:

  • Placing the feeder roughly 12 ft. from trees or bushes so the birds have cover to fly to
  • Protecting ground-level feeders with chicken wire or thorny sticks
  • Washing your feeder every two weeks to prevent disease 

Time-Lapse Photography

Many smart feeder cameras have time-lapse photography. Experiment with this feature to capture the daily rhythm of your feathered friends. Over time, you can learn their schedules and preferences and tweak your setup.

Explore Night Vision

Most birds that eat seeds are diurnal, preferring to eat in the daytime for maximum visibility. However, many bird species will visit feeders at dawn or dusk, when lighting isn’t optimal for your camera.

Choosing a camera with a night vision setting can help you get top-notch footage even when the light isn’t at its best. Don’t worry about the infrared light harming or disturbing the birds, as it’s invisible to them.

Discover the Wildlife In Your Backyard With a Bird Watching Camera

The right bird watching camera can transform your yard into your own personal bird habitat. Whether you opt for a smart bird feeder or a minimalist trail cam, you can capture video of all the wildlife that visit your home.

Decide which features are most important to you and where you plan to mount your bird watching camera. With the right smart feeder, you’ll never miss a finch or chickadee again.