I'd never thought I'd say a bird feeder is my favorite product of the year, yet here we are. The Bird Buddy is a perfect combination of beautiful design with intelligent technology, resulting in stunning closeup photos and videos of birds. At this point, I’m opening notifications on my phone from Bird Buddy with childish glee.
What is Bird Buddy?
The Bird Buddy Smart Bird Feeder is a new product combining the joy of bird feeding with the power of technology. It's a bird feeder with a built-in camera taking photos of your backyard birds as they come to snack. This intelligent feeder identifies the species of birds visiting your backyard, giving you a live view of the action on your smartphone through the Bird Buddy app.
Unboxing the Bird Buddy smart feeder
You can tell right away that the designers put a lot of care and attention into the packaging design for this product. The box is sturdy, opens easily, and features some simple illustrated birds that bring a friendly vibe to the brand.
When you pop open the top of the box, you first see the camera unit peeking out, with a QR code to scan for instructions.
Here’s what everything looks like out of the package. It includes the birdhouse, camera unit, string for hanging, a scoop for the bird food, and some hardware to attach the unit to a pole.
The camera is pretty minimal in its design, featuring a large black circle at the top where the camera is, a simple logo, and a power button.
The bottom of the camera has a USB-C charging plug, which I’m always thankful to see, compared to the awful micro USB format that needs to die already.
Once charged, you simply press the button on the camera, and it’ll eventually turn on. I wish there were a little power indicator on this because it’s not easy to figure out if it’s powered up without looking at the app.
I like how they included a scoop in the packaging, and the pointed edge helps get all of the bird seed into the feeder without making too much of a mess.
I love how simple the design of the birdhouse is. It has a simple blue plastic shell (with very subtle branding), a clear back and front to see how much bird food is inside, and a small red platform for the birds to land on.
Instead of a solid blue, they went for this spotted white look, which adds a touch of visual interest to an otherwise simple material.
The back of the birdhouse has a small plastic opening near the top which you can open and pour bird food into.
The landing platform is covered in a simple illustration of bird feet. Nice touch.
The camera easily slides into the bird feeder, and stays attached via a small magnet. I had accidentally installed it upside down a couple of times, so just note you always want the camera at the bottom.
I like how the designers went with a transparent front. Not only does it help to see how much feed is left in the house, but the contrast of the food against the plastic shell just looks nice.
The Bird Buddy app
Once you scan the QR code on the box, it’ll instruct you to download the Bird Buddy app for iOS or Android, allowing you to finish the rest of the setup process.
It’s relatively straightforward once you download it—you simply connect it to your wifi, let it update to the newest firmware, then you should be good to go.
It does take a bit longer than I expected while setting it up, so you might want to start it, then come back in 5 minutes when it’s completed.
Once it’s complete, you can add another bird buddy to your account (they’ll get notified of new visitors as well), and you can even test out the camera's live feed.
Then all you need to do is hang it up, add your food, then wait for your first bird to arrive.
The Bird Buddy doesn't compromise on quality. The photos and videos it captures are impressive, detailing every aspect of the visiting birds, from the color of their feathers to the patterns on their wings. You can even share these photos and videos with your friends and family, making it an excellent tool for bird lovers and photographers alike.
How much does it cost?
The Bird Buddy Smart Bird Feeder is priced at $199.
While it may seem steep for a bird feeder, I have no hesitations in recommending this to people.
Another plus is that there are no subscription fees. It’s pretty common these days to expect it, especially when it comes to storing photos and videos on your account.
Bird Buddy accessories
Depending on your needs (and budget), they also offer a few different versions of the product. I’ve got the base model, but if you want to upgrade to a unit with a solar roof, or additional feeders, their shop has you covered.
Bird Buddy alternatives
The Netvue Smart Bird Feeder with Camera is another popular option at the same price, but in my opinion, the Bird Buddy hardware and app design are far superior.
Where is the best place to put your bird feeder?
The best place to put a birdfeeder is in a quiet and safe location. It should be away from busy roads and loud noises. It's also essential to place it near a tree or shrub, providing a safe place for birds to retreat if they feel threatened.
Remember that you shouldn’t expect birds to flock to the feeder immediately. They’ll notice something new in the environment, take some time to warm up to it, then start exploring.
In my case, birds didn’t start landing on it until two weeks after I set it up.
What’s the best kind of birdseed to buy?
Your safest bet is to just look for a wild bird seed, which will have a wider variety of food for whatever kind of birds decide to stop by. I purchased this wild bird seed on Amazon, and it’s been working great so far.
How to make bird food at home
If you're planning on attracting various birds to your Bird Buddy feeder, making homemade birdseed is always an option. You can add different types of seeds like sunflower seeds, millet, and cracked corn. Just mix them together, and voila, you have homemade birdseed!
Who shouldn’t get the Bird Buddy?
Everyone seems to be praising this product (for a good reason), but no one has mentioned some downsides.
If you live in an apartment and aren’t on the ground level, I wouldn’t recommend the Bird Buddy.
Some birds will make an absolute mess while eating, resulting in a ton of dropped birdseed down onto your neighbours below. Trust me; they won’t be happy about it (I know from experience).
Overall, this product has exceeded my expectations for a bird feeder. I’m not a guy that’s into bird watching by any means, but now, I always look forward to seeing what kind of birds pop by to have a little snack.
If it’s within your budget, I think this product is the perfect gift. It’s such an obvious combination of technology that I’m surprised something hasn’t existed on the market for years.