how much does the bird buddy cost

Bird Buddy uses AI to identify the birds in your yard — and its pretty cool.

CNET’s expert staff reviews and rates dozens of new products and services each month, building on more than a quarter century of expertise.

Bird Buddy review: Price and availability

The Bird Buddy started out as a Kickstarter project in 2022, and went more widely on sale at the end of the year. The basic Bird Buddy costs $199, and includes everything you’ll need: the bird feeder, the camera, and a small canister to help load birdseed into the feeder. It’s only available through the Bird Buddy site.

The $269 Bird Buddy with Solar Roof model includes solar panels on its roof, as you might expect, eliminating the need for you to manually recharge the camera. A wall mount, a water bottle, and a suet ball holder are included in the $336 Pro bundle. If you want to add more accessories later, each add-on is also available for separate purchase.

Compared to the BirdKiss, which has an initial cost of $229 for the model with the solar panel, that is a higher price. However, you’ll need to pay for a subscription plan, which starts at $2, in order to use BirdKiss to its full potential and save videos of your feathered guests. 99/month. For now, there is no fee for the BirdBuddy to store videos in the cloud; we’ll see how long that lasts.

What is a Bird Buddy?

A tiny birdhouse called Bird Buddy has a camera module that can be removed and recharged, allowing it to take images of and identify the birds that come to your feeder. Its clear, colored (blue or yellow) plastic construction and cute, cartoonish appearance go well with the app’s cartoon birds mascots.

how much does the bird buddy cost

The primary draw of Bird Buddy is how simple it is to record and take high-quality pictures of your backyard birds. Its five-megapixel camera streams video in 720p. (Bird Buddy reports that 1080p streaming will be possible eventually.) ) You can watch the video live or request that Birdy Buddy email you pictures of the birds soon after they visit. As Bird Buddy doesn’t have internal storage right now, you’ll need to connect the birdhouse to Wi-Fi in order to see the photos. This is not for irrational wild animal observation; rather, it is for nearby bird feeding. (Youre better off with a trail cam for that. ).

The camera/battery module is secured in the feeder by a tiny bolt and a magnet. The feeder itself features a simple-to-fill reservoir and a perch that typically draws birds at a considerable distance for interesting and slightly absurd angles in photos.

how much does the bird buddy cost

Bird Buddy review: Camera quality

I thought that the majority of the pictures that the Bird Buddy took were excellent; the American Goldfinch’s yellow plumage and the reds of a cardinal’s feathers both had a striking appearance. Similarly, the videos that Bird Buddy captured were also very good. My only wishes are that it recorded audio as well and that the Bird Buddy’s roof wasn’t visible.

Additionally, I observed that not every bird that visits the feeder is captured by the Bird Buddy. One morning, I happened to glance outside and noticed a male and a female cardinal eating seeds simultaneously, but the Bird Buddy never captured the moment.

If you would like to watch a bird feed in real time, you can also activate a live view from the camera, however this feature isn’t very reliable. The live view took so long to load that I thought the application had crashed. Additionally, you won’t have a permanent record of your visitor if you use the live view feature because the camera won’t record video or take pictures. The BirdKiss was much quicker to activate because it functions more like a conventional security camera and records sound.


Is there a monthly fee for Bird Buddy?

It is capable of 1080p video clips, though you’ll need to pay for a Bird Buddy Pro membership ($2.50 per month for an annual membership or $2.99 per month for a monthly plan). The 120-degree field of view is wide enough to capture birds hanging out on the side of the feeder.

Is the Bird Buddy worth it?

It is easy to set up, offers a personal connection with wildlife, and is educational. However, it has been reported to have issues with Wi-Fi connectivity, and the app is not user-friendly. Some customers also found the setup instructions insufficient and the bird perch design unattractive.

How does Bird Buddy charge?

The module that also houses the battery is fully detachable, so you can easily charge it with the USB-C to USB-C cable included in every order.