Birdwatching is a popular hobby that allows people to connect with nature and appreciate the beauty of birds. With advancements in technology, bird identification has become easier and more accessible. In this review, we’ll delve into the Haikubox bird ID station by Loggerhead Instruments, exploring its build quality, setup process, app experience, bird detections, and captured recordings.
Watch the video version of this review and read below for the full breakdown.
Loggerhead Instruments has invested considerable care and attention in the design of the Haikubox. After an initial run in 2022, they took valuable feedback from the birdwatching community and made significant improvements to ensure a more durable product. They also addressed supply chain constraints that previously hindered production. This dedication to quality is evident in the Haikubox’s solid construction and resistance to inclement weather.
Installation and set up
Setting up the Haikubox is a breeze. Designed to be installed on a vertical surface such as a wall, it can be easily hung using a single screw or nail. The device includes an 11′ power cable and a compact wall plug that fits perfectly into weatherproof enclosures. The Haikubox Connect app facilitates configuration via Bluetooth, ensuring a quick connection to your home network.
App and UI Experience
The Haikubox app provides an enjoyable user experience and offers feature parity with the companion website. While the device doesn’t automatically send push notifications for every new bird detection, the app allows you to enable notifications individually for each species. There is an option to turn on “New bird alerts” and it took my station about a day before I started receiving notifications for some reason.
For curious birdwatchers, the app serves as a gateway to valuable resources, such as eBird and Birdcast, providing access to photos, descriptions, and migration patterns of backyard bird visitors.
The app has a lot going on, and I think over time it could be streamlined a bit to make the icons a bit more clear and to give a clearer view into the current day’s statistics, but it’s off to a great start!
Equipped with a trained neural network, the Haikubox excels in identifying bird species with a confidence rating of 20% or higher. The detections are classified into low, medium, or high confidence levels. Comparing it to other similar devices, such as BirdNET-Pi, the Haikubox exhibited a comparable volume of bird detections, which is impressive. This similarity is expected since both devices utilize the BirdNET neural network.
I ran the Haikubox for a full day and here are the results for the top ten species it detected. I can confirm these were actual visitors to my yard today with the exception of the Common Grackle which I believe was a false positive (likely Great-tailed Grackles).
Top 10 species
Total detections: 4980
New bird notifications
If you want to be notified when a new bird species has visited, you can enable alerts for all new birds or just for specific species. You’ll only receive one alert per species every 12 hours so your phone isn’t constantly buzzing.
The Haikubox takes clear recordings of nearby birds. You can listen to clips on the Haikubox Listen website, download them, or share a link on social media [example]. Here are a few clips I captured:
Eurasian Collared Dove
Packaging & build quality
The Haikubox’s build quality deserves a second mention due to its lovely design. The packaging, adorned with charming bird illustrations, sets the tone for the attention to detail. The device itself features a sturdy construction that ensures its durability even in challenging weather conditions. Additionally, the mesh covering the built-in speaker provides protection from water while allowing clear audio capture of nearby birds.
The Haikubox bird ID station offers an excellent solution for enhancing your birdwatching experience. With its robust build quality, ease of installation and setup, comprehensive app and UI experience, and accurate bird detections, the Haikubox is a valuable companion for both seasoned and novice birdwatchers alike.
The even better if…
The app and website offer a bunch of useful features to help you learn about your garden visitors but you can sometimes get lost in the interface. I found myself looking for certain charts or the labeling feature only to remember it only appears in certain sections. It feels like there are a lot of opportunities to streamline things. The Haikubox team has been very responsive to my emails with questions and they welcome feedback from the community.
My one wishful feature request is API access to my Haikubox’s detections. Similar to my BirdNET-Pi, I would love to build a live WordPress dashboard on my website with the detection data or incorporate it into my physical bird chirp counter.
How much does the Haikubox cost?
The updated Haikubox is available for $399 from their website and includes a five-year prepaid membership.
2 thoughts on “Haikubox bird ID station review: Elevate your backyard birdwatching experience”
Outstanding article! Does Haiku have any plans for a battery operated version or possibly one that is solar powered?
Right now it’s only planned to be a stationary device, but there are other solutions that are a bit more mobile, like the BirdNET-Pi which can run on a 15-watt battery bank. It’s also usually used with a constant power source. The BirdWeather PUC that is supposed to release this month runs on AA batteries and has a battery life of several days so it’s an appropriate choice for those on the go!