how much does a bird feeder cost

We have updated this guide to reflect Rings subscription increase to $5 per month beginning March 11, 2024.

If you’re a bird stalker who is generous enough to leave out food, you typically only know when birds have visited because of the carnage left behind: the drained feeder, the mess of seed hulls, and an unimaginable amount of bird poop.

Instead of camping out with a pair of binoculars to spy on your feathered friends, get an up-close view with a smart bird feeder.

This relatively new breed of devices incorporates the attractive powers of a bird feeder with a wireless camera and a smartphone app that lets you view recordings of the activity in the feeder, so you don’t need to always watch the feeder to enjoy it. The camera can be set to send smartphone alerts when birds come by and record videos or photos of their escapades for viewing later—and some smart feeders can even identify the various species of birds that visit.

If high-tech bird surveillance sounds like fun to you, here are three setups for installing a smart bird feeder, depending on your interest level and budget.

Who goes there: Bird Buddy with Solar Roof

how much does a bird feeder cost

This bird feeder records still images and videos that can be shared with a vibrant in-app community. It can also detect who or what is approaching for a meal.

Beyond just entertaining bird photos, The Bird Buddy also has an educational component. With its built-in camera, you can take 5MP pictures and 720p videos of passing birds—and, presumably, squirrels as well. The Bird Buddy employs artificial intelligence (AI) to detect the types of birds that visit by establishing a wireless connection to the cloud. Share your indigo bunting pictures and videos with others in the Bird Buddy app’s community area if you want to show off. Mounts, a solar panel to lessen the need to charge the batteries, and extra feeding attachments like a suet-ball holder are available for the approximately $200 Bird Buddy. The best part is that, for the time being at least, both the ID service and video storage are free.

My preconceptions about the Bird Buddy’s functionality were pleasantly surprised when I realized that my preconceptions were incorrect. For example, I had assumed the gadget would ping me each time I received a visitor, which would be numerous times. As an alternative, the AI of the system essentially selects highlights depending on how distinct and captivating they are (so don’t expect any people pictures). And while that might sound like a deal breaker at first, it ended up being advantageous because birds return frequently once they know you’re offering a free buffet. Receiving a notification every time the camera detects movement could easily lead to hundreds or even thousands of them in a day.

Also, the notifications aren’t instant, as with many Wi-Fi cameras. You shouldn’t expect to see birds in the act because it can take some time to take pictures and videos, send them to the Bird Buddy server, and have the AI decide whether or not it’s a worthwhile session. Instead, you will receive a delayed notification that you have received postcards, which are pictures and videos of your visitors in the app.

how much does a bird feeder cost

how much does a bird feeder cost

The Bird Buddy camera can capture 5MP photos and 720p videos (including livestreaming) with a 120-degree viewing angle for free. However, you will need to pay $3 per month or $30 annually to subscribe to Bird Buddy Pro in order to increase the video resolution to 1080p. (Compare that to the 1080p and 130-degree views from the Ring Stick Up Cam Plug-In or the 2K and 160-degree angle of the Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Camera.) You can also change the Bird Buddy’s motion sensitivity with the paid plan; without it, you can’t regulate how frequently or how much the camera is triggered. Simply charge it, insert it into the feeder, and watch for action.

And something will happen. The Bird Buddy caught eight different kinds of birds (as well as a few squirrels) in the two weeks I had it set up, many of them were returning customers. Every encounter will be captured on camera by the Bird Buddy, which allows you to share the photos and videos with the Bird Buddy in-app community and decide which ones to keep or delete. (Please note that a date, a time stamp, and some location data are included if you share them.) ).

The app is fun even though I thought it was a little awkward at times—for example, it just throws all of your photos into one large feed without any sort of date or bird classification. Any bird name that the Bird Buddy has identified can be clicked to reveal its habits, favorite foods, average size, and song samples, along with the number of visits you’ve received.

And unlike a fusty bird book, the Bird Buddy has a sense of humor: descriptions of birds aren’t dry ornithology, but rather kid-friendly trivia (fun fact: Grackles allow ants to crawl all over them in an effort to kill parasites). Birds are described as brainiacs, hoarders, bullies, and the like. Bird Buddy currently uses its own proprietary database, which is vetted by ornithologists, to identify roughly 1,000 species of birds.

You might need to refill the Bird Buddy more frequently because it’s smaller as a feeder than many of the non-camera models, like those in Wirecutter’s best bird feeder guide. With a pull-down hatch on the back of the feeder, it’s simple to fill and holds about 4 cups of seed. As recommended by Wirecutter, it’s simple to disassemble the feeder and clean it with soapy water or bleach if the birds become especially unruly around you.

On paper, the Bird Buddy is certainly expensive. Additionally, even though the base model costs roughly $200, we advise spending the extra $70 for the solar-panel equipped model to avoid having to recharge the battery every few days. For ardent birdwatchers, the Bird Buddy’s feature set—which includes free video storage, AI-powered filtering to minimize annoying notifications, photo sharing and viewing capabilities—makes up for its steep price.

Perky-Pet® Black Carriage Bird Feeder

With its six feeding ports, which allow you to feed a lot of birds at once, birds will be drawn to the Perky-Pet® Black Carriage Bird Feeder. Moreover, it has a wraparound perch that lets birds eat from all directions. You’re going to get a great view with all those birds! This feeder can be mounted on a pole or hung from a hook for flexible placement throughout your yard.

With the Perky-Pet® Black Carriage Bird Feeder, there is no need to stand in line to get your turn at the seed tray. Six feeding stations are positioned along the robust wraparound perch, enabling 360-degree feeding access. This allows several birds to eat at once and provides you with a great view from every direction. Plus, the 1. A 5 lb seed capacity guarantees that there will be enough food for everyone.

Hang or Pole Mount

With the Perky-Pet® Black Carriage Bird Feeder, you have the most placement flexibility possible. Hang the feeder from a hook by using the hanging cord that is attached. Alternatively, you can put the feeder anywhere in your yard by mounting it straight on a pole.


Are bird feeders worth it?

For birds, feeders can aid survival during migration and harsh winters, some studies show. And some bird lovers reason that feeding birds may help offset the harm we’ve done them by turning woods and meadows into lawns and shopping malls.

How much money is spent on bird feeding?

In the United States (U.S.), 57 million people engage in bird feeding, and Americans spend more than $12 billion U.S.D.

What is the cheapest way to feed the birds?

Other bird seed alternatives to offer to birds include fruit and vegetable seeds, dried fruits, peanut butter and/or jelly, apples, pears, nuts, and unbuttered popcorn.

What is the cheapest DIY bird feeder?

A water or milk jug winter bird feeder is easy to make and inexpensive. Rinse out the jug, cut open the sides, cut or drill holes for a thin dowel or chopstick perch, add the birdseed and hang it in a tree.