The Best Bird Feeder Camera to Snoop on the Birds

Inside: Discover the best bird feeder camera and the key features to look for when choosing one. Plus, view actual video footage taken from each camera I installed & reviewed so YOU can make the ultimate decision of which one is best for you.

I’ve been backyard birding for more than 20 years and have learned so much by observing them. I didn’t know how little I really knew until I set up a bird feeder camera. That’s when the real insight began.

Have you started shopping for a bird feeder camera yet? It’s overwhelming, isn’t it? There are so many models to choose from with different features it’s hard to know which ones are important.

That’s how I felt when I started shopping for a bird feeder camera to spy on the birds in my yard. The more I learned about them, the less confident I felt about buying one. Something was missing. It was this frustration and absence of real information that motivated me to research bird feeder cameras myself. Better yet, I decided to buy the bird feeder cameras so I could determine their worthiness based on actual usage.

Before we dive in, let me share my recommendation for the best bird feeder camera. 

The Absolute Best Bird Feeder Camera

Blink Outdoor Wireless Camera

Go to full review

Skip straight to the reviews.

What Is A Bird Feeder Camera?

A bird feeder camera captures images and videos of the activity at your bird feeder. It also stores the images and videos for later viewing. This description could include just about any camera but the truth is, any old camera is not ideal

If we’re being honest, what you’re really asking for is the ability to view images and videos of the birds at one or more of your bird feeders so you can watch the activity realtime or view it later.

Tammy Poppie

The distinction is important so you don’t get sucked into the marketing hype around “bird feeder cameras”, also known as Smart Bird Feeders. We’ll discuss the types of bird feeder cameras to further drive home the point.

Types of Bird Feeder Cameras

What kind of camera can you put on a birder is a common and fair question. My research revealed at least four types of cameras you can use on the bird feeder. They are: 

  1. Smart Bird Feeder
  2. Home Security Camera 
  3. Trail Cameras
  4. Action Cameras (i.e. GoPro)

Smart Bird Feeder

Price Range: $100-$300

Smart Bird Feeders are a bird feeder and camera combined into a single unit. There are only a few of these on the market (rebranded under a variety of names) and from what I’ve seen, they don’t have much fanfare.  (Just Google “name of smart bird feeder” + reviews).

I’m not sure what the advantages of a built-in feeder are but I can think of at least one big disadvantage -> You’re limited to capturing images of birds that visit that specific feeder and limited to the type and amount of birdseed that specific feeder holds. 

If you want to view hummingbirds on a bird feeder camera, Smart Bird Feeders won’t do. To capture the birds’ behavior on your peanut feeder, homemade log feeder, suet feeder, or any other type of feeder, you’re out of luck with a Smart Bird Feeder.

And all this comes with a hefty price tag – around $200. There are better options available.

Home Security Cameras

home security camera
Home security camera. Image by F. Muhammad from Pixabay

Price Range: $70 – $300

Home security cameras are very popular these days as the technology has become increasingly affordable. Plus, they’re easy to install.

Although they’re not specifically intended for bird feeders, that doesn’t mean they won’t do a great job! In fact, security cameras can be installed anywhere allowing you to capture those hummingbirds, woodpeckers, or any other species of wild bird.

Typically there’s a home base unit that connects to your Wifi and each camera is synced up to the home base unit.

Trail Cameras

trail camera
Trail camera. Photo compliments of Pixabay.

Price Range: $40 – $140

Trail cameras are another option for a bird feeder camera. They’re small outdoor cameras, marketed to hunters, and often mounted around a tree. The idea is to capture wildlife roaming in and around the tree.

Sadly, at this time there are no trail cameras I would recommend as a bird feeder camera because they’re missing a key requirement – the ability to easily and conveniently view the images. More on this when I discuss the key requirements for buying a bird feeder camera.   

Action Cameras

go pro action camera
Go-Pro action camera. Image by Vijay pendyam from Pixabay

Price Range: $200 – $500

GoPro is the original action camera and probably the most popular brand of action camera. This type of camera could be used to capture bird activity at the feeder.

They come with a variety of features that make them suitable for a bird feeder camera but with a relatively high price tag and frankly, a bit overkill for the purpose of pointing to a bird feeder.

Unless you already have an action camera and are willing to use it for a bird feeder camera be my guest. If you’re here to find the best bird feeder camera to purchase, there are better options.  

Benefits of a Bird Feeder Camera

Chances are, you already know the benefits of a bird feeder camera otherwise wouldn’t be reading this article. Still, I’d like to share the benefits I experienced after installing my bird-feeder cameras.

I set up my first bird feeder camera on my platform feeder. Platform feeders are great because you can toss any type of bird food in it and attract a large variety of species – big or small. And since they’re an open-style feeder, a camera can easily be positioned to capture a lot of bird activity at the feeder.

Seeing the bird feeder activity up close with the bird feeder camera allowed me to:

  • See which bird food a particular species prefers. I was on a mission to attract more cardinals so wanted to see for myself whether they preferred the safflower seed, sunflower seed, peanuts, or black-oil-sunflower.
  • Observe their behaviors.
  • Find out the exact time the birds visit the feeder so you can be ready tomorrow with your superzoom camera!
  • See if the feeder needs filling or snow brushed off.
  • Observe the tiniest hummingbird up close.  
  • Find out who’s pigging out on all the food!
  • Just experience the beauty of nature.

What To Look For When Buying A Bird Feeder Camera

There are a lot of features and options available in a bird feeder camera. After cutting through the endless list of features and specifications, I arrived at a shortlist of key requirements that are important. Depending on your personal preferences or circumstances, I identified a few optional requirements you may want to consider as well.

Key Requirements for Choosing a Bird Feeder Camera

  • Weather-resistant so the rain, snow, and wind don’t destroy it. Look for IP rating of 65 or better.
  • Good image quality so you’re able to clearly see the species of bird and what it’s doing. Look for HD video with 1080p.  
  • Wireless connectivity so you don’t have to run ugly outdoor approved extension cords to the bird feeder or depend on 5 hours of sunlight each day to keep the solar power camera charged. (Sure wouldn’t work in Wisconsin!) 
  • Easy to setup so you can start enjoying the birds quickly rather than studying the installation manual. 
  • Easy & convenient to view the images so you don’t have to bother your teenager every time you want to see what the birds have been up to, or so you don’t have to get out of your jammies to run outside for the memory card.
    • Look for a camera with a smartphone app to view images from anywhere vs one that stores images to a memory device (SD card or jump drive). Memory devices require you to retrieve the memory device before viewing.
    • This requirement is the reason I won’t recommend trail cameras for a bird feeder camera. At this time I’ve yet to find a wireless trail cam that doesn’t require you to view the images from the camera itself. Hopefully, that will change in the near future. 
  • Motion detection so you’re only capturing images when a bird is on the feeder which saves on power and time when you want to go back and view the recordings. 
  • Long battery life so you’re not spending a fortune on batteries and wasting time replacing the batteries.
  • Backed by a trustworthy & reputable company so you can enjoy observing birds on your feeder for years rather than tossing it in the recycle bin with all the other “As Seen on TV” gadgets. 
    • Incidentally, a majority of the smart bird feeders I researched partake in one or more forms of questionable marketing which begs the question can they be trusted?. For example, the sales pages include photos of 3” tall cardinals and 1” tall bluebirds on the smart feeders (photoshop much?), a Kingfisher (fish-eating bird) sitting on a branch with no smart feeder in sight, and a parrot fluttering about on top of the smart bird feeder. I don’t feed parrots in my backyard, do you? 
    • I was left with the impression that the companies don’t know wild birds much less bird feeding and didn’t know if I could trust them. 

Optional Requirements for Choosing a Bird Feeder Camera

  • Price because you don’t have a money tree in the backyard.
  • Audio because you want to hear what your feathered friends are tweeting.
  • Night vision because you want to capture the birds early in the morning and late in the evening. 
  • Live view because you want to see what’s happening on the bird feeder RIGHT NOW!
  • Notifications because you want to see what was happening at your feeder moments ago.
  • Zoom capability is a nice feature especially if the image is too small to make out the bird details. 
  • No subscription is required so you spend less.
  • Warranty to safeguard your purchase.  

How I Selected The Bird Feeder Cameras to Review

It would be physically impossible for me to test every feeder camera on the market. So, I had to narrow the list down to a manageable group. I decided to only consider testing cameras that at least meet the key requirements. Here they are again:

  • Weather-resistant
  • Good image quality (min 1080p)
  • Wireless connectivity (this requirement eliminates trail cameras)
  • Easy to setup 
  • Easy & convenient to view (e.g. hs smartphone app vs SD card) 
  • Motion detection 
  • Trustworthy & reputable company (this requirement eliminates most smart bird feeders)

How I tested the Bird Feeder Cameras

The bird feeder cameras I reviewed are the Blink Outdoor Wireless Camera and the Wyze Outdoor Camera v3.

My testing approach started with installing each camera (and separate mount) to my bird feeder pole directed at my platform feeder – for maximum bird activity and species variation.

bird feeder pole with cameras pointed to feeder
Blink and Wyze cameras are mounted to my bird feeder pole directed at my platform feeder.

This also positioned my tests to be equitable since each one is in nearly the exact position and distance from the feeder (about 7″). My reviews below include videos captured from each camera allowing you to compare the differences apples for apples.

I use this bird feeder pole. (affiliate link)

I use this platform bird feeder. (affiliate link)

Bird Feeder Camera Reviews

blink camera on bird feeder pole
Top: Blink Outdoor Wireless camera mounted to a bird feeder pole.

The Blink Outdoor Wireless camera is ideally suited as a bird feeder camera and is my #1 recommendation.

I was especially delighted by the ease of setup and intuitive way to view the images from the Blink smartphone app.

It has great image quality, amazing battery life, and meets all the other key requirements (see my notes in the table below).

You can easily expand the system with additional cameras. Once I saw what the first camera revealed I wanted to observe more places in my yard and you might too!


Pros

  • Setup was simple, taking only minutes.
  • Image quality is great for backyard birders.
  • Affordable (less than $100)
  • Up to 9 more cameras can be easily added to the Blink system allowing you to capture more areas that birds hang out and view them all on the same app. 

Cons

  • Requires a separate mounting bracket to be used with metal (e.g. a bird feeder pole system).

Make & ModelBlink Outdoor Wireless 
Weather-resistantYes – It’s IP-65 rated meaning it is water-resistant. And, the operating temperature range from -4 to 113° F
Good image qualityYes – Video: 1080p HD.
Wireless connectivityYes
Easy to set upYes – Simple instructions walk you through step by step setup.
Easy & convenient to view the images and videosYes – The Blink Home Monitor smartphone app works on iOS, Android, or Fire. The cameras also work with Alexa. “Alexa, show me the bird camera”.
Motion detectionYes. With the smartphone app, you can define when and how motion is detected.  
Long battery lifeUp to 2 years (2 AA Lithium Batteries) based on specified use. My batteries lasted 10 months with constant use through 4 seasons. Impressive!
Backed by a trustworthy & reputable companyBlink is owned by Amazon, a highly reputable and reliable company.

Below is actual video footage of my bird feeders from the Blink Outdoor Wireless camera about 7″ away.


No. Blink does not require you to have a subscription. However, the Blink subscription is valuable in that it stores unlimited footage in the cloud.

If you want to store and view the captured video and images without a subscription you can plug a USB drive into the Sync Module (which is included in the camera kit) to store images locally. Images are then viewed from the Blink smartphone app same as you would view images with a subscription. The drawback with storing to a USB drive is you’re limited to the capacity of the drive.

If you don’t have a subscription or USB drive connected to the Sync Module, you are limited to live views only. In other words, you would receive a notification of activity and be able to view it live, but saving and storing the video doesn’t occur. This may be fine for subjects that stick around a while but that doesn’t describe our feathered friends. That’s why I recommend getting the Blink subscription (easy and inexpensive) or the USB drive option to store locally.

By the way, the Blink subscription is pretty affordable. Only $3/month per camera or $10/month for the Plus plan which supports up to 10 cameras.


bird feeder camera
Blink and Wyze cameras are mounted to my bird feeder pole directed at my platform feeder.

I love my bird feeder pole system for hanging a variety of bird feeders. To capture activity from the pole I needed to find a way to mount the feeder to the pole. Thankfully, it was not a difficult search. I found a solution and it works perfectly for mounting on a pole, tree branch, or any other object you can imagine. It’s a clamp specifically designed for use with the Blink Outdoor Wireless camera.

Wyze Cam v3 Review

blink camera on bird feeder pole
Bottom: Wyze Outdoor Camera mounted to a bird feeder pole.

The Wyze Cam v3 is also suitable as a bird feeder camera. It’s a close 2nd behind the Blink camera system with the differentiators being image quality and battery life. (Blink is a better in both areas)

The setup was super simple which non-techies such as myself appreciate.

The image quality enables you to decipher the size, color, and even species visiting your feeder but lacks sharpness. The battery life is good and the Wyze Cam v3 meets all the other key requirements (see my notes in the table below).

You can easily expand the system with additional cameras (up to 4 total).


Pros

  • Setup was simple, taking only minutes.
  • Image quality is good for backyard birding.
  • Contains a built-in rechargeable battery to save money on replacement batteries.
  • Affordable (less than $100)
  • Up to 3 more cameras can be easily added to the Wyze system allowing you to capture more areas where birds hang out and view them all on the same app. 

Cons

  • Image quality is a bit fuzzy and really becomes pixelated when viewing in fullscreen.
  • Requires a separate mounting bracket to be used with metal (e.g. a bird feeder pole system).

Make & ModelWyze Cam v3
Weather-resistantYes – It’s IP-65 rated meaning it is water-resistant. And, the operating temperature range from -5 to 113° F
Good image qualityYes, but images could be sharper. Video: 1080p HD.
Wireless connectivityYes
Easy to set upYes – Simple instructions walk you through step by step setup.
Easy & convenient to view the images and videosYes – The Wyze smartphone app works on iOS and Android.
Motion detectionYes. With the smartphone app, you can define when and how motion is detected.  
Long battery lifeThe battery is built-in and charged via USB. Wyze states 3-6 months with “normal” usage which translates to 10-20 event videos/day. My feeder is pretty active and captures about 40 videos/day. In 2 weeks’ time, the battery depleted 34%. Depending on the activity at your feeder the battery life may be fine. On the plus side, you never have to buy batteries – instead bring the camera inside and charge it.
Backed by a trustworthy & reputable companyWyze is a widely known and reputable company.

Many things in life are subjective which is why I included video footage from the Wyze camera below. You be the judge of image quality. The camera is mounted on my bird feeder pole about 7″ from the feeder.


Does the Wyze Camera Require a Subscription?

No. Wyze does not require a subscription to use their camera. However, the videos are limited to 12 seconds in length. A Wyze subscription enables longer videos and unlimited cloud storage.

If you want to store and view longer videos without a subscription, you can insert an SD card into the camera and store to the card instead. The drawback with storing to an SD card is you’re limited to the capacity of the card and you have to go outside to get it.

That said, for convenience, you can’t beat the cost of the subscription. It’s only $1.99/month per camera. I’m not aware of a multi-camera discount plan.


bird feeder pole with cameras pointed to feeder
Blink and Wyze cameras mounted to my bird feeder pole directed at my platform feeder.

I love my bird feeder pole system for hanging a variety of bird feeders. To capture activity from the pole I needed to find a way to mount the feeder to the pole. I found a really cool solution that works for the bird feeder pole as well as any location around your yard (e.g. tree branch, deck rail, etc). It’s a gooseneck twisty device that screws right into the bottom of the camera.


Wrapping it Up

I spent hours upon hours researching then purchasing and testing different cameras that I could use to spy on my bird feeders. Of the 4 types of cameras that could work for this purpose (smart bird feeders, home security cameras, trail cams, and action cameras) the best choice was a home security camera because it meets all the essential requirements you need in a bird feeder camera. More specifically, a home security camera that’s meant for outdoors, able to connect wirelessly, easy to set up, and easy to retrieve & share videos.

I recommend the Blink Outdoor Wireless Camera for anyone who wants the best quality image or the Wyze Cam v3 for good image quality (as long as you don’t view fullscreen). Either way, you can’t go wrong getting up close to the birds and seeing what they’re up to.


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