REVIEW – I haven’t been much of a bird watcher so far in my life, but I have always enjoyed related activities like hiking and visiting zoos and aviaries. We’ve also has a cheap bird feeder in our back yard intermittently for years, and I always like, seeing the different birds visit, so when the offer to review the Birdfy Feeder Bamboo arrived in my inbox, I happily volunteered.
What is it?
The Birdfy Feeder Bamboo is a combination bird feeder and HD observation camera. The system also includes a solar charger so you don’t have to worry about recharging the camera. The camera connects via 2.4 Ghz Wi-Fi and has a companion app for alerts and recorded video clips. There’s also an optional paid subscription for AI-powered bird recognition so if you’re uninitiated to the world of bird watching like I am, you can start to learn and “collect” different bird species.
What’s in the box?
- Birdfy Feeder Bamboo
- Quick guide
- User manual
- Charging cable
- Extension perch
- Hanging bracket
- Clips x 4
- Black strap
- Drilling template
- Screws x10
- Anchors x2
- Ejector pin
- Solar panel
Click to view
- Bird food capacity: 3L (101 oz)
- Camera Resolution: 1080P FHD video
- Field of view: 155°
- Motion detection: Infrared sensor
- Two way audio: yes (speaker and microphone)
- Power: 5000 mAh Lithium Ion rechargeable battery
- Dimensions: 11″L x 11″W x 11.8″H (280mm x 280mm x 300mm)
- Weight: 10.1 lbs (4.6KG)
- Network: 2.4 Ghz WiFi
- Waterproof: IP65
- Working temperature: 14°F to 122°F (-10°C to 50°C)
- Warranty: 2 years
- Certifications: CE, FCC, RoHS, WEEE, MSDS, UN38.3, UL62368, BattG
Design and features
The Birdfy Feeder Bamboo has a striking modern design, with two feed chambers on either side of the central camera housing, and a black wall/ceiling that protects the top and one side. The top lifts to easily refill the feeding chambers, which gravity-feed into the bottom tray, which has a nice large perching area to entice birds to hang out. The feeder is built out of bamboo (hence the name) for sustainability, strength, and anti-pest qualities.
With the top folded away you can see how easy it is to fill the dual feeding chambers from the top. These both feed into a single large feeding tray at the bottom.
The camera has 1080P full HD video capture, a micro-SD card to collect videos (in case of poor or no Wi-Fi coverage or as backup), and the option to recharge via USB or by connecting the included solar panel. Even on short cloudy November days the solar panel always provided enough during the day to never fully lose power.
Speaking of the solar panel, the image above shows the panel and the generous USB cable, so you can position the solar panel in an optimum place for solar collection (I like that they didn’t incorporate it directly onto the feeder itself, sometimes your best feeder placement is in the shade). You can also see the microSD card slot and USB-C charging/power-supply input port on the camera. There’s also a Wi-Fi antennae on the camera itself, with which I always had a “good” signal, according to the app.
While installing the Birdfy Feeder Bamboo and solar panel, you’ll want to fully charge the camera via USB-C. I’d also recommend removing the protective film, as suggested.
Next up you’ll choose a mounting option – first there’s hardware for a strap-mounted option (like to a tree, or if you’re renting and/or don’t want to permanently drill into a post). I liked this option a lot since I could try out the feeder without drilling the more permanent bracket option and make sure it could get sufficient solar supply and that I liked the placement for the resulting captured pictures/video.
The picture above shows the test location – strapped onto a post in our backyard. After the multi-week trial run, I will permanently install it next spring in this spot (it’s already getting close to too cold for operating temperatures in our high Rocky Mountain valley). I zip-tied the solar panel to the strap, then ran the power cable in through the pre-drilled hole in the back. Finally, you install the camera, plug it in, and install the Birdfy app on your app store of choice. Installation took less than 30 minutes, if I’d gone the permanent route it would have just been measuring and drilling a couple more screw holes, easy-peasy.
The final mounting option is a pole mount kit, you can use an existing pole or install one specifically for mounting the Birdfy Feeder Bamboo.
The app is pretty similar to many security camera apps, with various settings and controls for the camera, access to recorded motion-activated clips, and the ability to watch the camera live. In addition, it offers an AI-powered bird recognition subscription option, which you can use to “collect” birds that visit your feeder. You can also do this without the subscription, but you’ll need to identify the bird yourself while collecting.
I quickly found out that the common blue birds flapping around our house that I’d always been told were “mountain bluebirds” were in fact “Woodhouse Scrub-Jays”. Upon checking various websites, the AI was spot-on with this recognition (at least to my untrained eyes). At $5 a month, I’ll be tempted to keep the AI subscription going, at least for a little while while I learn the various species that are popping in. The video below shows one of these Scrub-Jays visiting. I pulled the video directly from the microSD card, so it should represent the best quality available:
I also liked the alerts received right on my phone, often if I was on our main floor and received the alert, I could peer out a nearby window to watch the bird and it was almost always still there when I did so. From the app you can download and share the video (either with the “Birdfy community”, or to external apps).
What I like
- Pretty good video quality, even in dusk/dawn
- Multiple mounting options
- Easy lift-top refill
- Solar panel is keeping up with the camera’s demand even on short November days
What I’d change
- Paid monthly fee for AI bird detection? – despite “AI Lifetime Free” appearing on website
The build quality on the Birdfy Feeder Bamboo is vastly superior to our previous cheap feeder, and birds seem to love visiting (and their scattering of the seed from the feeding platform is attracting ground birds as well like quail). I look forward to more birdwatching in the spring. The price seemed high to me at first, but after some market research it seems like it is close to other competitors (which often sport much simpler designs).