A popular trend nowadays is setting up a camera near your bird feeder station and recording all the action. Some people use regular cameras with a tripod, some people make their own setups, while others go the extra mile and will mount a post in their yard and run cable to a permanent feeder cam. Any way you go, be sure to look at the best bird feeder cameras you can afford because it’s the most important part.
So why are bird feeder camera setups becoming so popular?
- We’re just now entering an age in terms of technology where a feeder cam is pretty easy to set up
- Listening to and watching birds is a very peaceful activity that’s fun to share with others
- People love the hobby and backyard bird feeding, and it’s more popular than ever
- You can even set up a live stream to a Youtube Channel or Facebook Page.
Best Bird Feeder Cameras (Top 5)
Top 3 picks
- 4K ultra HD video
- 12MP photos
- LCD touchscreen
- Very high quality design
- 100% waterproof
- 3 levels of video stabilization
- Live Burst – Record the moments 1. 5 seconds before and after your shot
- Time lapse videos
Up first on this list of best bird feeder cameras is the GoPro Hero8. If you aren’t familiar with GoPros, they’re highly versatile, and nearly indestructible, action cameras that can be used for a number of different applications. Including filming birds at a feeder. They capture high quality video and sound and are very well made.
This wouldn’t be a feeder cam that’s permanently mounted in your yard, so if you want a “set it up and forget about it” option then this probably isn’t it. However if you want a quick set-up and take-down option that provides stunning HD video and audio and can also be used for numerous other applications in your life, then this is my favorite one.
You’ll need some type of tripod or a way to mount your GoPro near your bird feeders. The easiest and quickest way to start capturing video is to simply get a quality tripod that you can easily set up for a few hours to record then take down when you’re done with it.
You should also be able to remotely activate your GoPro with the GoPro mobile app on your phone. Comes in handy if you’re maybe walking by the window and notice a Pileated Woodpecker or another cool species at your suet feeder you’d like to capture but don’t want to run out there to turn on your camera like a crazy person and scare him off.
Here’s an example of the quality you get with a GoPro bird feeder cam:
- 14MP Clearer Image + 1080P Video Resolution
- 3 motion detectors for 0.3s Trigger Speed
- Super clear night vision
- 120° Wide Angle Lens
- 100% waterproof
- Get 20% discount on trail camera solar panel with purchase
This trail camera from Campark is a inexpensive option to consider. It’s super easy to mount to almost any tree with the included strap which takes the question of how to mount it out of the equation assuming you have a tree near enough to your feeders. The motion detectors and night vision are also nice touches.
However do not expect the video quality of a GoPro from this trail camera. It might be just fine for your needs but if you are wanting ultra crisp and clean videos showing the tiniest details of the birds at your feeders, consider something a little nicer. Having said that, this is still the most popular trail camera on Amazon and is used in numerous application by many many people, including setting it up near a bird feeder.
Since this trail cam comes with a strap that can attach to trees, posts and other things, you don’t really need much else with this one. I would consider the solar panel though so you don’t have to constantly recharge the battery. That would make this option a little more hands off.
- 4K Ultra HD action camera
- Comes with wireless wrist remote
- Built-in Wi-Fi & HDMI
- Waterproof up to 100 feet
- Battery life up to 90 minutes, 2 batteries included
- 1x AKASO EK7000 Camera
- 1x 2.4G Remote Control
- 2x 1050mAh Battery
- 1x Waterproof Case
- 1x Bicycle Stand
- 7x Mount
- 2x Clip
- 1x Helmet Mounts
- 1x Bandages
- 5x Tethers
- 1 x Protective Backdoor
- 1x USB Cable
- 1x AC Charger
- 1x Lens Cloth
- 1x Manual
If you like the action camera style like the GoPro, but don’t have the money to spend on one, then consider this option from Akaso. It has many of the features you’ll get from the GoPro and several cool accessories included, some that aren’t included with a GoPro. But don’t expect all the same features and the build quality you’ll get from a GoPro, you just can’t pack all that awesomeness into a camera that costs a fraction of the price.
Having said that, if you just want a fun little camera that’s very inexpensive to record some birds at your feeder and that’s it… then the Akaso could just work. The reviews are mostly good on Amazon from people who actually tried to set it up near a bird feeder. For this price what’ve you got to lose?
- Wifi enabled wireless IP security camera with 3 enhanced antennas
- 1080p full HD day time video quality
- 3 solar panels with built-in 10000mah battery
- Extreme weather resistant
- Starts recording and sends alert to smartphone when motion is detected
- 32 feet night vision distance, switches from day to night mode automatically
*Only works with a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi router
If you are looking for a more permanent bird feeder cam solution, but you still don’t want to have to run wires outside, then this might fit the bill. The solar panels will keep the 10000mah battery charged while it’s connected to your wifi network. Most wifi signals extend out at least 150 feet so as long as it’s not too far away from your house it should get a good signal. This one would be a good candidate for a 4×4 post.
The manufacturer recommends that you install it somewhere that gets at least 3-5 hours of direct sunlight per day, and is at least 8 feet off of the ground. However I’d say a bit lower would be fine for our application. If you want something that’s a little more hands off, has some cool features, but is still easy to set up then this is a solid choice.
- 5MP HD IP Camera with 100ft Night Vision
- 80˚ wide viewing angle
- Free App and Remote Access
- POE camera needs only ethernet cable for power and internet
- Smart Motion Detect and Alert
- Sound Recording and 24×7 Network Video Recording
This outdoor POE video camera from Reolink may be overkill for some if all you’re doing is wanting quick videos of birds at your feeder. However if you want to record everything 24/7 day and night and save the video to a network hub in your house without having to lift a finger after setup then this one could work for you.
This is actually more of a security camera but could certainly be used as a feeder cam, you’ll just have to mount it somewhere near the feeder like on a post. You will also have worry about the hassle of running an ethernet cable outside which doesn’t excite most people for an application like this. On the plus side you’d get a non-stop solid internet connection.
So this is just one last option I thought I’d throw in, take a look at the product page on Amazon and see what you think.
Features to look for in a bird feeder camera
- High resolution – I think above all else we want a sharp clear image or video returned back to us. Look closely at the specs as well as reviewers comments to tell you just how good the video quality is.
- Clear audio playback – You don’t have to be quite as picky with this feature, but you do want a quality microphone that gives you clear, crisp audio playback from your bird feeders. Again, ready specs and comments.
- Waterproof – This is pretty important, and all the cameras on this list are weatherproof and waterproof. You might also get high quality video from your Niko D3200, but it’s certainly not waterproof.
- Nightvision – Obviously birds do not venture out to visit your feeders at night, but some other critters might. If you want to see who is stealing your bird seed at night, a night vision camera with motion detectors would tell you.
- Motion detector – If you don’t want your camera running 24/7 then a motion detector could be set to switch on and start recording as soon as it detects movement with a sensor. Nifty feature for some people.
- Wireless connectivity – Want to be able to connect your camera to your home network or even your iPhone? Then you need built in wifi, or a camera that transmits its own wifi that you can connect to. This will allow you to view what the camera is seeing in real time, on your mobile device.
- Storage – If you plan on recording longer videos or just lots of videos in general, then make sure you have a camera that has plenty of storage. Most cameras have expandable memory via a microSD card.
Ways to set up a bird feeder cam
We touched on why you would want to set up a bird feeder cam, but what’s the best way to do it?
Well, there are quite a few different ways to set up a bird feeder cam in your yard and different methods will be better for different people based on their preferences, budgets, and even the size of their yards. One thing holds true for all methods though, the camera needs to be properly secured.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular and best ways to set up a bird feeder camera in your backyard!
1. Mount on a tripod
One easy way to set up your own bird feeder cam is to just mount your camera to a tripod, set it up a few feet away from your feeders, and start recording. The birds may wonder what the contraption is at first, but they’ll soon get used to it and allow you to get a few hours of great video before you bring it back in.
Many types of cameras with WiFi will also allow you to watch whats going on live from your phone or tablet. Most of the cameras on this list allow you to do that. The GoPro even has an app that allows live streaming to Facebook or Youtube.
2. Mount to a tree
If you went with a trail-cam like the CamPark then you can use the included strap to quickly and easily attach the camera to to a tree. You may even be able to utilize a low hanging branch to your advantage when mounting your feeder camera.
The only problem with this idea is that your feeders should be around 10 feet from the nearest tree. However I know not everyone follows this rule and if you don’t it’s not the end of the world for your birds. Just something to keep in mind if you’re considering something that mounts to a tree, like the CamPark trail-cam above.
3. Mount directly to feeder
Lots of people love those up close and personal videos like the video above that was captured with a GoPro. You can achieve that with other types of bird cams, but not with the high quality that the GoPro provides. Since everyone’s feeders are set up a bit differently, if you want your cam directly on the feeder you may have to think outside the box a bit. Just make sure you secure it well. Although a drop from that height is nothing to any of these cameras.
4. Mount to free-standing pole or post
If you want to set up something a little more permanent then consider getting a separate pole for the camera, like this one that can be used for bird houses. It has a flat area at the top where you can create your own wood mount to secure whatever camera you choose.
If you really want to go all out then you could even install a 4×4 post in your yard.
5. Get creative!
Above are just a few ways I could think of, but the possibilities are really endless. Maybe take a ladder out in the yard and set your camera up on it. It would be kind of crude but no one sees what’s going on behind the camera.
You can even throw some birdseed in a dish along the railing of your deck and just set your camera next to it while recording for a very simple method. Ricky of Ricky Montgomery’s Wildlife Facebook Page does just that with his GoPro many times, and he gets some amazing videos.
The point is to get creative, look around your house and garage and see what you have laying around that you could use to make a makeshift bird feeder camera stand. Otherwise look at some of the options above.
In this article we talked about some of the best bird feeder cameras for your yard, as well as some ideas on how to set them up. With the options listed above, almost anyone should be able to find a way that works for them. I personally love the GoPro method. By simply setting up a GoPro on a tripod for short periods of time you can grab high quality videos and not have to worry about any complicated set-up for your feeder cam. Plus, GoPros have tons of other cool applications!
Anyway, I hope we’ve helped you out in this article. Good luck with your feeder cam and happy birding!