We Didn't Like
The Bird Buddy is a great little product. Videos and photos have excellent resolution and the AI bird recognition is quite accurate. You can share your connection with up to 3 other people. Optional accessories include a solar panel and various non-seed food holders.
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Bird Buddy Review
The Bird Buddy is a smallish hopper-style bird feeder with a camera built in, available in blue or yellow. It photographs and identifies visiting birds using artificial intelligence (AI), and connects to your phone via a free downloadable app.
The camera takes high quality 720p video at a viewing angle of 120 degrees, and you can save still photos at 5 megapixels. Images are stored in Amazon's Web Services cloud. As of mid-2023, Bird Buddy's cloud storage had no limits on space used or time stored.
After capturing a photo, it sends a "postcard" to your smart phone so you can watch the bird in real time or look at captured photos later.
The Bird Buddy app (for Android and iPhone) is very accurate at identifying common birds like blue jays and cardinals, not so good at picking out rarer or very similar-looking birds. At present, it can identify about 1,000 different species.
When it's time to recharge the battery, the camera unit easily snaps in and out of a magnetic holder so you can plug it in. Charging will take 2 to 4 hours.
If you don't want to be bothered with manual recharging, you can buy a Bird Buddy with a solar panel on the roof to keep the battery charged.
There's a door on the back for easy filling, and the feeder is easy to set up. You can purchase a bundle of accessories that includes a water bottle, fruit spike and small dish for jelly or other foods. There is also a separate accessory for holding small suet balls.
Or, if you want the whole hog, you can buy the Bird Buddy with all of these accessories, which is a better value than buying them all separately.
The Bird Buddy company also gathers data (not identifiable to a person) for it's Heartbeat Project, which is building a database to help scientists understand bird populations and migration patterns. You can visit that page to see where Bird Buddies are capturing photos, and look at actual photos captured in the last few minutes.
Who is this product for?
The Bird Buddy is a great choice for your first smart bird feeder. It's easy to set up, charge and fill, and it comes with a metal mount that makes it super-easy to take the feeder down for cleaning.
On the other hand, if you're often mobbed with birds, the feeder capacity might be a little small for you.
If you don't get the solar roof version, you'll probably need to charge your Bird Buddy about once a week, which may get bothersome.
Overview of features
9" x 6.3" x 6.9"
Time To Charge Battery
Mike & Speaker
Add extra viewers
Up to 3 additional
The Bird Buddy basic package includes:
- 1 bird feeder housing
- 1 AI powered camera module
- 1 USB-C charging cable
- 1 metal hanger
- 1 metal universal mount & screws
- 1 seed scoop
- White silicon plugs to protect the USB port
How to use your Bird Buddy
The first thing you'll need to do after receiving your Bird Buddy is to charge the camera module for 2 to 4 hours, using the USB-C cable that comes with it. (See photo above.)
The package doesn't include a wall adapter, so you may need to buy one if you don't have one handy.
While you're waiting for the battery to charge, download the Bird Buddy app from your app store, open it, and create an account.
The Bird Buddy camera needs a 2.4G wireless connection to function in tandem with the app.
Once the camera is charged, you'll need to pair it with the app via Bluetooth and connect it to the internet.
Finally, you'll need to sign in to the app and "add a Bird Buddy" (or "pair your feeder") to link the camera with the app.
Disconnect the camera, snap it into the feeder and you're ready to go!
There's a small door on the top rear of the feeder. Open the door and add birdseed using the scoop that comes with the feeder. The seed port on the front is quite large, so you can use any kind of seed here.
Your Bird Buddy can be mounted on a pole using the universal mount that is provided. You can also hang it from a wall or fence but you'll need to buy a wall mount separately.
The Bird Buddy needs to be placed where it will get a strong WiFi signal (or you can boost the signal with a WiFi repeater.)
If you've got the solar powered version, you'll also need to place the feeder where it will catch enough direct sunlight to keep the battery charged.
Even though the Bird Buddy comes with a metal hanger, we don't recommend using. That's because the feeder could move and make your photos and videos blurry!
Before you starting cleaning, be sure to remove the camera module!
Clean the solar roof add-on by spraying it with water and leaving it to dry.
On the feeder itself, you can wipe most gunk off with a wet cloth or sponge. If you need to clean inside the feed hopper, a bottle brush works well. We recommend using a 10% bleach solution or Grapefruit Seed extract for disinfecting your feeder.
You can also completely disassemble the Bird Buddy if necessary.
What people who own the Bird Buddy say
Alternative to the Bird Buddy
If you want a smart bird feeder with more features we recommend the SOLIOM BF080 smart bird feeder. At 1080p, the camera has a slightly higher resolution and offers full color night vision.
Solar charging is included and so is a 32GB microSD card, which you can replace with one as big as 128GB. You can also allow 5 or more people to view your feeder stream.
The Bird Buddy is a very popular smart bird feeder that is easy to set up and operate and beloved by the people who own it. Although it's app recognizes far fewer birds than most (1,000 compared to 10,000 or so), it is far more accurate.