REVIEW: New smart bird feeder with a camera and sleek app | Bird Buddy

Bird enthusiasts from all over came together and crowdfunded a new bird feeder with a camera inside called Bird Buddy. It had an extremely successful crowdfunding run and raised over $10mm. I missed hearing about …

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Bird enthusiasts from all over came together and crowdfunded a new bird feeder with a camera inside called Bird Buddy. It had an extremely successful crowdfunding run and raised over $10mm. I missed hearing about this bird feeder camera when it first launched for funding back in November 2020. That’s probably a good thing, considering Kickstarter products take forever to launch (if they ever do). I pre-ordered the Bird Buddy in June and it arrived last week. I was thrilled to open it up and check it out.

Update 2024: it is now available on Amazon (Bird Buddy | Bird Buddy with solar roof)

A bird feeder with a camera or vice versa?

The feeder

Bird buddy bird feeder
A front view of the Bird Buddy smart bird feeder. It was brought inside for these photos, so it’s wet and you can see how it holds birdseed.

Upon unboxing the Bird Buddy, it was apparent a lot of care and attention has been paid to the design of the feeder itself. Manufactured from recycled plastic, the feeder is sturdy and well-built. Mine has a speckled blue housing and red perch. The front and rear of the feeder are frosted and translucent so you can view the seed level to refill as needed. It comes with a cup to help refill seed through a door on the back of the feeder. In the front of the housing, there is a dedicated space where the camera is slid into. It’s further secured with a magnet built into the housing.

The Bird Buddy came with a couple of options in the box to mount it: a universal mount, and a cord to hang it. I decided to put a nail in the fence and hang it from the cord. The wall mount accessory is likely something I’ll pick up for it soon as it’s much more secure for me than my nail. Update 12/19/22: I moved the Bird Buddy to hang on a proper feeding pole and it seems to get much more attention than against the fence.

Bird buddy feeder hanging outside
The Bird Buddy overflowing with seeds to attract whoever flies by. I installed a 3D-printed perch that attaches to the accessories holes on the feeder (see the white plastic).
Backside of the bird buddy
The seed level can be seen from both sides of the feeder. There is a small door that is difficult to open at the top where you can refill it. I’ve seen reports from other users of this door breaking, so I’m trying to be gentle with it.

The camera module

The Bird Buddy camera module

The camera module feels like it’s made out of soft-touch white plastic. The camera lens takes up most of the lower half of the device, There is a single button on the Bird Buddy which is used to pair the device during setup, and an LED status light that serves various purposes. On the bottom, you’ll find a USB type-C port for charging.


Photo5 megapixels
Video720P HD
Field of view120°
Motion DetectionDual-action motion and accelerometer

A lens for sharp photos

The white, plastic camera module inside the Bird Buddy feeder is high-quality and allows for clear, sharp photos of the birds that visit. With the app, you can zoom in and out to get a closer look at the birds’ feathers, colors, and markings. Bird Buddy’s image processing is continuously being trained to more accurately identify the birds that it sees. When a photo is captured, the feeder suggests which species it believes is in the photo. If it guesses incorrectly, you can edit and relabel the picture.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity

Setting up the camera module before inserting it into the feeder was straightforward. After turning it on and following the onboarding instructions in the app, I was up and running within 30 minutes. The camera initially required a Bluetooth connection to my phone to pair and transfer the Wi-Fi network settings. Then the module was updated after it was paired to my Bird Buddy account.

The Bird Buddy app

The magic of this connected bird feeder isn’t the feeder itself but the adorable companion app that it talks to. After the bird feeder and camera are set up, it will automatically identify the birds that visit your backyard, all while providing them with the food they need to thrive.

Scanning bird from bird feeder
An illustrative example of the processing the bird feeder’s camera will do to help identify bird visitors.

Time to place the feeder and wait

I took a break from feeding birds for the prior few months, so the Bird Buddy was set up and filled along with my other feeders. It was placed on the fence facing south toward my home and then I waited…

It took about three days before the birds started returning to my yard. I got a Bird Buddy notification and discovered that my first visitor was a female House Sparrow. She was hungry enough to visit, eat, leave, and then return for more a few minutes later.

The cute reveal

You’ll get notifications on your phone as new birds visit. Opening the app after you get a new visitor shows a cute reveal screen to see the bird photos the feeder captured. Check it out:

Log and learn more about your bird friends

Each species that visits your feeder will get its own postcard. Opening the postcard will display useful facts and tidbits about your feathered visitor. You’ll learn things about social behavior, diet, preferred vegetation, history, and where they can be found.

Fact sheet about house sparrow bird buddy app
Fast facts about the House Sparrow within the Bird Buddy app

History and facts about house sparrow bird buddy app
Facts, history, and total visits of the House Sparrow

Range of house sparrow bird buddy app
Range map and cute illustration of the House Sparrow

The app itself is user-friendly and easy to navigate. The bird postcards on the Collections tab help you track and view the different types of bird species that visit your feeder over time. It’s easy to download your favorite photos, customize which photo shows for each species, and share pictures on social media. It will be nice to see how the app and its features evolve over time through user feedback.

Here are some photos of my first visit on a cloudy day.

A house sparrow stares with a mouthful of food.

12/27/22: The Bird Buddy was updated to start taking video postcards automatically.

A visiting male House Finch. The quality of the original video is better than this. I compressed it to save space on this page.

12/19/22 update: Here are some photos of my second species visitor which arrived today after moving the feeder.

Male house finch at bird buddy feeder
Male House Finch visits for a meal.
House finch at bird buddy feeder straight on

Here are some photos from the community for you to get a better idea of the camera’s capabilities in better lighting conditions.

Northern flicker bird buddy
Northern Flicker via ElvisIsNotDjed
House sparrow bird buddy
Male House Sparrow via amarandagasi
House finch bird buddy
House Finch via SYNtilating

The good

  • The design of the feeder, camera and accessories are very well thought out
  • The app is fun to use with lots of cute animations and polishing touches
  • Great photo quality and sharpness
  • Easy to set up

The even better if…

  • Battery life needs optimizations
    • Even with the solar roof attachment, many on Kickstarter are reporting only a few days of battery life on a full charge. Hopefully, this improves over time. I’ve only had a few visitors so I’ll provide an update on battery life soon.
  • The app continues to get refined to offer options to ignore/filter specific species

Things to consider

  • The camera needs Wi-Fi, so you’ll need to ensure adequate signal strength when you choose a location for placement
  • The solar roof doesn’t seem to be making a huge difference at this point in my experience

The Bird Buddy is a must-consider for any curious birder. It’s thoughtfully well-designed and oozes details that demonstrate it was built by and for bird lovers.

5 thoughts on “REVIEW: New smart bird feeder with a camera and sleek app | Bird Buddy”

  1. Thank you for mentioning the 3D perch that you purchased off Etsy! I just bought one, in addition to the side fences. The feeder TOTALLY needed those. I’m really surprised the Bird Buddy didn’t come with better places for the birds to perch in front of the camera.

    • You’re welcome! There are a lot of people making cool stuff for them! Someone on Reddit is making a seed door replacement that’s magnetic and much better! The original tends to break!

      • I can help, Judy! The perch should have come with two screws. You put those screws through the two holes in the new perch and screw them into the holes that should be on either side of the Bird Buddy’s red perch. If the seller forgot or didn’t include screws, you should be able to pick up an inexpensive variety pack of screws at a local store to get the right size. Hope this helps! -Jeff

  2. I found the bird buddy app to be almost totally worthless. Got everything set up but no camera connection for my invited guests. Customer support answered on,y one of my requests for help.

    Received this as a gift so I really wanted it to work. Disappointment abounds.


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