Bird Friend Testimonial: This Smart Bird Feeder Records Your Yard Birds on Electronic Camera

Bird Buddy Review: This Smart Bird Feeder Captures Your Backyard Birds on Camera


  • A lots of enjoyable
  • Easy arrangement
  • Easy layout
  • Terrific images

Do Not Like

  • A little bit pricey
  • Some features are a little bit slow-moving

Throughout the pandemic, bird-watching flourished. So it makes good sense that a clever bird feeder has actually adhered to.

Bird Friend, which is the most-funded Kickstarter project ever before in the devices classification, takes photos of birds, recognizes the varieties and also constructs an individual collection for you in its mobile application. Given that the item released in 2020, it’s had difficulty remaining in supply, though feeders are currently delivering to individuals worldwide that backed Bird Friend’s Kickstarter project or that preordered. 

I obtained the possibility to do some hands-on screening to see what the job’s backers are obtaining and also what you can obtain if you preorder one (they’re still back-ordered, yet are anticipated to deliver in April). In spite of its high beginning rate of $199, I suggest Bird Friend to bird-watching lovers and also newbies thinking about a user friendly gizmo that supplies crisp images and also will certainly alter the method you take a look at birds.

What is a Bird Friend?

Bird Friend is a tiny birdhouse with a removable, rechargeable battery and also electronic camera component that takes photos of and also recognizes the birds that see your feeder. It’s constructed from clear and also tinted (blue or yellow) plastic and also has an adorable, cartoony want to match the anime birds that serve as mascots in the application.

My Bird Friend caught an image of this interested home finch.

Andrew Blok/CNET

Bird Friend’s piece de resistance is the convenience with which it enables you to record good-quality images and also video clip of yard birds. Its five-megapixel electronic camera streams video clip in 720p. (Bird Friend states it’ll have the ability to stream 1080p eventually.) You can live stream the video clip or have Birdy Friend send you pictures of birds quickly after their check outs. Bird Friend presently does not have inner storage space, so to watch the images, you require to attach the birdhouse to Wi-Fi. This is for close-to-home bird feeding, not wayward wild wild animals surveillance. (You’re much better off with a path webcam for that.)

A magnet and also tiny screw holds the camera/battery component in the feeder. The feeder itself has an easy-to-fill tank and also a perch that usually obtains birds at a country mile for photos with appealing and also somewhat silly angles.

The base set (presently $199) features a bird feeder and also a rope for hanging it, and also a place for connecting it to level surface areas. It has a lot of attachments for acquisition, as well. Most especially, probably, is a $70 solar roof covering that prolongs battery life. You can additionally obtain a wall surface place ($24), a water feeder ($22) or a suet round owner ($14), which need to draw in various kinds of birds.

Bird Buddy bird feeder.

There are various other placing alternatives, yet the consisted of rope came in handy and also took on squirrels jumping onto the feeder.

Andrew Blok/CNET

Establishing your Bird Friend

Constructing your Bird Friend feeder is instinctive and also very easy, and also the application does an excellent task of strolling you via establishing the clever functions. It takes a couple of mins, yet I had no worry developing my account and also linking to Wi-Fi. The component that took the lengthiest was selecting a place to hang it close sufficient to my Wi-Fi router and also most likely to draw in the site visitors I desired.

Squirrel-proofing bird feeders is an activity most likely as old as bird feeding itself. Bird Friend agents informed me they’re not interested in combating squirrels (a genuinely uphill struggle) which they have actually learnt through some Bird Friend individuals that squirrel viewing has actually ended up being an unforeseen perk. To stay clear of squirrels, I hung mine by the consisted of cable from a hook on my front veranda.

(A squirrel did get to the feeder after an acrobatic jump. It held on to the hugely swinging feeder for a couple of secs prior to deserting its strategy. Bird Friend was great.)

Evaluating out the Bird Friend

There aren’t lots of clever bird feeders on the marketplace, so I was checking Bird Friend without a recommendation indicate various other comparable items. My experience with it was extremely favorable, however, and also it knocks its stated objectives out of the park.

A close up of the Bird Buddy camera module.

Bird Friend’s electronic camera and also battery component can be quickly eliminated to bill.

Andrew Blok/CNET

The brief variation is that Bird Friend assisted me see yard birds in a brand-new and also amusing method, all with a very easy and also enjoyable user interface, while additionally giving a little bit of a neighborhood experience.

I have actually had the Bird Friend holding on my veranda for over a month currently. It signed up with 3 various other feeders that have actually been up (and also in occasional usage) for a lot longer. While it’s difficult to inform without a doubt, the Bird Friend appears to be bring in birds at regarding the exact same price as the various other feeders. Furthermore, it does not appear to be anymore or much less untidy than the others, though I checked neither factor empirically.

As a bird feeder, it’s very easy to utilize. A little door on the back opens up and also makes a channel to fill up the seed tank that you can quickly fill up making use of the consisted of mug. After that Bird Friend reaches function.

Bird Friend sends you in-app “postcards” whenever a bird check outs and also its electronic camera catches an image or video clip worth sending out. You can select to maintain or throw out the images, and also share them openly via the application or maintain them personal.

You can additionally proactively live stream the feed from your Bird Friend, though after that it will not take images. Streaming online video clip will certainly drain your Bird Friend electronic camera quicker than it would certainly or else, and also battery size has actually been a little bit of a concern. It can additionally use up to 2 mins to begin a real-time stream. When I attempted to begin streams after seeing birds seeing the feeder, they had actually usually left prior to it launched. 

A house sparrow photographed by Bird Buddy.

Residence sparrows: They’re much like us. Bird Friend captured this untidy eater.

Andrew Blok/CNET

When I initially established Bird Friend up, the battery required charging a pair times a week. When the electronic camera is hectic taking photos of great deals of birds, the battery drains pipes promptly. This was additionally throughout an amount of time when temperature levels were near no, which might have had an impact. (Bird Friend states the electronic camera can securely run to -5 levels Fahrenheit and also approximately 120 levels Fahrenheit.)

Bird Friend has actually given that upgraded its software program to have the electronic camera go into a “deep rest” setting throughout the evening. This shows up to have actually prolonged the battery life significantly, a good idea given that Bird Friend claimed that boosted battery life was just one of its most asked for enhancements. I have actually had the upgrade online for a little over a week and also the battery just required billing when after a week of rather stable usage.

Recognizing birds with Bird Friend

Bird Friend takes remarkably crisp images. As it sinks in simply the amount of high quality images of my frequenters I currently have, I have actually obtained fussy with the images I maintain. As opposed to disposing of simply the periodic fuzzy one, I’ll throw terrific images that replicate ones I have actually currently conserved. Also when I’m removing images of birds I have actually seen a loads times in the past, the close-ups of these little fluffs make me satisfied.

A black capped chickadee as captured by the Bird Buddy.

Chickadees are as adorable up close as you would certainly anticipate, this Bird Friend picture programs.

Andrew Blok/CNET

For every single photo it catches, Bird Friend utilizes expert system to recognize the birds aware. I have actually just checked it out on 3 varieties — a black-capped chickadee, a residence sparrow and also a residence finch — yet it’s done an excellent task. It’s ruined one noticeable one, yet apart from that it’s just perplexed a residence finch for a purple finch, a truly complicated difference to make.

When it believes it can not make a recognition, it’ll classify the bird as a “enigma site visitor.” You can after that recognize these on your own, or send them to a specialist that will certainly return a recognition right in the application. I did this with your house finch that had actually been determined as a purple finch. I obtained a comeback in under two days.

You can additionally share your Bird Friend with approximately 3 individuals. Visitors need to produce an account and also go into a unique code, yet after that they’ll have the ability to watch any type of photos caught from the moment they attach. They are unable to begin a real-time stream (an excellent action for protection objectives) or sight older photos (there might be an excellent factor for this, yet I do not recognize it). It’s still certainly an included worth. There’s something good regarding having a hyperlocal link with a person over a range. 

You can watch Bird Friend images from feeders around the globe, and also can additionally obtain a preference of that with Bird Friend’s public, real-time tracker of discoveries.

Last ideas

Bird Friend knocks it out of the park. It supplies on what it guarantees and after that some. While the uniqueness will absolutely subside, I make sure I’ll still rejoice to have it in one more couple of months or years, a lot more so if I lived someplace I can draw in a broader selection of birds.

Previously this month, Bird Friend revealed a hummingbird feeder. If seeing sparrows and also chickadees close-up is enjoyable, reaching see hummingbirds that close is mosting likely to be a lot more so.

Bird Friend sent me a unit to examination. The $200 cost really feels a little high to me, though I would certainly think that every person’s evaluation of the Bird Friend experience differs. I really did not evaluate the solar roof covering, yet if it maintains the battery covered up, it would certainly be a welcome enhancement.

Altogether, it’s a terrific gizmo that brings birds more detailed in a brand-new and also enjoyable method.

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