In the test: Birdfy bird feeder with full HD camera and AI bird identification

Birdify feeder in the test

Two weeks ago, Netvue wrote to me asking if I would like to test their product “Birdfy Feeder”. Since I have a heart for birds as well as technology, I was interested in the product and had the birdhouse with camera sent to me.

Briefly described, it is a plastic feeder in which a full HD camera with motion detector and IR night light is integrated, which is powered by a battery. You can view the photos and videos via the app and, if you wish, you can also receive push notifications when the camera has taken new pictures.

Using an AI function, the camera can even recognize the bird species in the videos and photos and provide the media with corresponding information in the overview.

This is what the Birdfy feeder looks like in practice in our garden - but I didn't use the solar module because the battery lasts for weeks (photos: Sir Apfelot).
This is what the Birdfy feeder looks like in practice in our garden - but I didn't use the solar module because the battery lasts for weeks (photos: Sir Apfelot).

Technical data of the Birdfy feeder

Before we get to building and setting up the birdhouse, I would like to briefly list the data and the scope of delivery of the device, because it is really good. The only thing missing from the package is the bird food. ;-)

  • Manufacturer: Netvue Technologies Co., Ltd.
  • Product: Birdfy Feeder + Solar
  • Type: Bird feeder with video camera
  • Color: white-blue or white-yellow
  • Material: Polycarbonate and ABS
  • Capacity (feed): 1,5L
  • Camera resolution: 1080p FHD video
  • Video: 1920×1080 px, 15 fps, H.264
  • Shooting angle: 135°
  • App: Birdfy (Netvue)
  • Motion detection: passive infrared sensor
  • Audio: 2-way (microphone and speaker)
  • Battery: yes, 5000 mAh
  • Charging port: USB-C
  • Storage: Micro SD card (not included)
  • Dimensions: 220 x 225 x 270 mm
  • Weight: 1,5 kg
  • Network: yes, WiFi, but only 2,4 GHz
  • IP protection class: IP65 (protected against jets of water)
  • Temperature: -10 to +50°C
  • Solar module: yes
  • Price: RRP 299,99 EUR (check here on Amazon)
NETVUE Birdfy bird feeder with camera and free AI bird detection for live observation,...
  • Free AI Bird Identification: Netvue Birdfy bird camera detects over 6000 species of birds; if, for example, a robin...
  • Watch birds anytime, anywhere: With Netvue Birdfy bird feeder with camera you can monitor bird activities...
  • Perfect bird feeder with camera in the garden: With the HD 1080P camera and color night vision, the built-in microphone and...

Scope of delivery of the Birdfy Feeder + Solar

As the name suggests, this set includes a solar module. This can be mounted near the birdhouse and the camera battery is always charged when the sun is shining.

The following parts are included in the Birdfy set:

  • Birdhouse with camera
  • Fastening material:
    • metal angle
    • webbing
    • Screws + dowels
  • Squirrel protection (funnel)
  • solar module
  • Fastening for the solar module (screw mounting and bending arm)

Before I even used the bird house camera, it was clear to me: the manufacturer doesn't do things by halves when it comes to the accessories supplied. Various things are included for both the birdhouse and the solar module with which you can attach the devices to poles, trees or walls.

There is also a plastic funnel that can be mounted on a pole to protect the house against squirrels. But anyone who has ever seen on YouTube what puzzles the little rodents solve to get food knows that the funnel is more of a guide for them.

Here you can see the scope of delivery - this includes the solar module at the top left, protection against squirrels and various mounting materials.
Here you can see the scope of delivery - this includes the solar module at the top left, protection against squirrels and various mounting materials.

Construction

Both are relatively quick. At first I was a little surprised by the number of parts that came in the package, but then I realized that you only need a few of them and the rest are optional.

Assembling the birdhouse goes something like this:

  1. Attach the perch to the house and screw it tight
  2. Put the lid on and let it click into place
  3. Insert micro SD card into camera

Then all you have to do is attach the birdhouse somewhere, pour bird food into it and set it up with the app.

In this drawing you can actually see quite clearly where all the individual parts included in the scope of delivery can be used - the bending rod is also used here with the solar module.
In this drawing you can actually see quite clearly where all the individual parts included in the scope of delivery can be used - the bending rod is also used here with the solar module.

If you also want to use the solar panel, you can do this with screws or with a flexible rubber rod provided. Sounds weird? Yes, I don't know exactly how to describe this part.

It's a bit like the Gorillapod tripods, except it only has one leg. But at the end there is still a tripod screw connection into which the back of the solar module can be found.

The structure is also described in German in the operating instructions.
The structure is also described in German in the operating instructions.

Fixed power connection via USB-C possible

If you don't want to use a solar module, you can also use a solid one USB-C cable Connect to the back of the feeder - exactly where the solar module would otherwise be connected.

In this way, for example, you can permanently supply the camera with power via a USB-C power supply from a garden shed or via a thick power bank. Just a tip for the hobbyists out there.

Equipment

Once the SD card is inserted into the camera and the Birdfy app is installed, you can set up the device.

A word about the SD card: In order to insert it until it clicks into place, you have to use a tool such as a dime, a screwdriver or something else narrow with which you press in the memory card.

You have to provide the SD card yourself and then insert it into the bottom of the camera.
You have to provide the SD card yourself and then insert it into the bottom of the camera.

 

Filling the Birdfy feeder works when you have the lid up.
Filling the Birdfy feeder works when you have the lid up.

 

I didn't fill the feeder until I installed it.
I didn't fill the feeder until I installed it.

Account compulsory and releases

Unfortunately, in order to use the app, you not only need a free account, but also 2,4 GHz WiFi access and various permissions such as access to the photo library.

I have only allowed “limited access” here, so that the app can only see the photos and videos that it has put there itself. It cannot read my other data.

You cannot use the app without an account. And the app would like some approvals so that you can use all the functions.
You cannot use the app without an account. And the app would like some approvals so that you can use all the functions.

AI features – on some models for additional payments

As far as I can see, the set I ordered includes permanent AI recognition of the bird species. According to their support, there are also cheap models where you have to order the bird identification via subscription.

The Amazon description says the following:

With Birdfy you'll never miss birds in your garden again! (Lite version – bird species identification feature requires subscription).

The app therefore shows that you can activate various subscriptions for AI recognition of people, birds or animals. These subscriptions then include all Netvue devices that have been registered in the app.

This means that an interior security camera also benefits from such a subscription. However, the AI ​​recognition of the bird species makes little sense unless you have many different birds flying around in your living room.

The subscriptions are not compulsory and the subscription options are also displayed for me, but the bird recognition still works and after a few minutes adds the bird species to the videos and photos.

As you can see, my subscriptions are not active, but the bird species is still shown to me - screenshot from the app.
As you can see, my subscriptions are not active, but the bird species is still shown to me - screenshot from the app.

Image quality of photos and videos

One of the most important points when evaluating such a bird house camera is without a doubt the image quality. The Birdfy feeder has a small camera that, in my opinion, is definitely designed for videos. That is, everything that is referred to as a photo below is just a screenshot from the video.

The app also doesn't show an option whether you want to record videos or videos. Every time it registers movement, the camera automatically records a video and then creates screenshots of interesting moments in which the bird species it has detected are marked.

By the way, the marking is only displayed in the app. When you export one of the photos to the photo library, the tags are not there.

What's immediately noticeable about the photos is that they are quite heavily compressed, which unfortunately obscures the details a bit. The screenshots definitely don't hold up to a comparison with an iPhone photo.

These example photos from our garden are unedited and came straight from the camera.
These example photos from our garden are unedited and came straight from the camera.
Unfortunately, not every bird jumps directly in front of the camera.
Unfortunately, not every bird jumps directly in front of the camera.
Here I caught a glimpse of a star.
Here I caught a glimpse of a star.
Unfortunately, the great spotted woodpecker is quite blurry. The camera struggles in difficult lighting conditions and strong contrasts.
Unfortunately, the great spotted woodpecker is quite blurry. The camera struggles in difficult lighting conditions and strong contrasts.

Birdfy camera resolution

The videos and screenshots have 1920 x 1080 pixels - which corresponds to the Full HD format. The quality is also perfectly fine for videos if you want to distribute the recordings on Facebook or YouTube.

Of course, as a hobby photographer I would like better resolution, less compression and a higher frame rate than 15 fps, but we are talking about a complete package that is available for around 150 euros. You can't expect the same image quality as a smartphone that costs several times as much.

Here I have edited together a few videos that I took with the camera in our garden. This gives you an impression of the video quality:

 

Live bird camera – that works too!

A question that always comes up with such cameras is the question of live recordings. Can the camera also transmit the current image so that you can see what is currently happening in front of the lens?

Yes, she can. You open the app and select the camera there. The app then connects to the camera via WiFi and displays the current camera image. You can now take a screenshot of the camera image or start a video recording using two buttons.

Subzero temperatures, snow and ice did not harm the bird feeder and especially the camera (photos: Sir Apfelot).
Subzero temperatures, snow and ice did not harm the bird feeder and especially the camera (photos: Sir Apfelot).

View community recordings

If you like, you can also share your own recordings with the community of other camera users. If you do this, the recordings will appear in the feed that you can find behind the “Community” button.

In this feed, all recordings are also labeled with the names of the animals or bird species recognized. In addition to many birds, you can also find one or two squirrels or even a raccoon that enjoy the bird food.

Squirrels also enjoy bird food, as you can see in this photo.
Squirrels also enjoy bird food, as you can see in this photo.

And in some shots you wonder where the people live. For example, I saw a video with a ring-necked parakeet and the bird definitely didn't look like the birds you find here in Germany.

I can well imagine that the community section can be an exciting area for many bird lovers that invites them to browse.

On the left is the community area in the app; in the middle the timeline of your own recordings; on the right is the list of recordings with AI bird recognition.
On the left is the community area in the app; in the middle the timeline of your own recordings; on the right is the list of recordings with AI bird recognition.

Night photography possible

The camera can also record in the dark and works either with black and white recordings (infrared) or, if desired, a light can be activated when motion is detected, which then ensures colorful night photographs.

I had activated the feature, but unfortunately the birds are not active at night and I was unable to take a photo.

Since I couldn't get a night shot, I fished one out from the community so you can see that it really works.
Since I couldn't get a night shot, I fished one out from the community so you can see that it really works.

Better shots with the right camera placement

The small cameras built into such devices usually have significantly better image quality when the object - i.e. the bird - is well lit. I would therefore recommend placing the bird feeder so that a bird sitting on the feeder perch is not in the shade of a tree.

Likewise, the sun should not shine into the camera lens, because the dynamic range of the cameras is not high and the photos will be better if there are no large differences in brightness in the image. If you manage to keep the sky and white house walls out of the picture, you've already won a lot.

I attached the feeder to the tree with the strap. You just have to remember to loosen the strap a little every 2-3 weeks so that the tree can continue to grow.
I attached the feeder to the tree with the strap. You just have to remember to loosen the strap a little every 2-3 weeks so that the tree can continue to grow.

 

The place actually looks nice, but the birds ignored the bird house for 3 days.
The place actually looks nice, but the birds ignored the bird house for 3 days.

My conclusion: a recommendation, or not?

It is always difficult to make a final recommendation with such products. For people who enjoy seeing birds roaming around the garden, the bird house camera could be a nice addition so you can see the little ones up close.

The AI ​​bird detection is a great feature so you don't have to spend a lot of time querying Google to find out which birds came across your lens. I think for many people the Birdfy feeder is a nice gadget.

If you see the focus on photography or high-quality videos, you should perhaps look for an alternative. I will soon write a report on how you can build something with an old iPhone.

We gave the Birdfy house in the bamboo design version as a Christmas present to a business partner - it's just a nice gift idea for people who want to watch birds and animals in the garden. And the price, the workmanship and the scope of delivery are really okay.

Here is the design variant:

Birdfy Nesting Box with Dual Cameras - Smart Bird House with Double Camera 1080P Automatic...
  • 📸 The world's first smart birdhouse with dual cameras: Birdfy Nest. With the dual HD cameras and the...
  • 🦜 Bird watching from different angles: With the internal camera you can watch the birds hatch from...
  • 🎄 Bird-friendly design & easy assembly: The Birdfy Nest has been carefully designed to accommodate our feathered...

If you want to take a look at the full HD birdhouse, you can here at Amazon or with the following product box:

NETVUE Birdfy bird feeder with camera and free AI bird detection for live observation,...
  • Free AI Bird Identification: Netvue Birdfy bird camera detects over 6000 species of birds; if, for example, a robin...
  • Watch birds anytime, anywhere: With Netvue Birdfy bird feeder with camera you can monitor bird activities...
  • Perfect bird feeder with camera in the garden: With the HD 1080P camera and color night vision, the built-in microphone and...

The only important thing is that you don't take the “Lite” version, because it is cheaper, but you have to buy the bird identification with artificial intelligence as a subscription.

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The page contains affiliate links / images: Amazon.de

2 comments on “In the test: Birdfy bird feeder with full HD camera and AI bird identification”

  1. Hello Jens, thank you for the comprehensive review!

    One question: Is the app absolutely necessary or can I use the camera without it, save the recordings to the SD card and take them out from time to time to transfer them to my computer?

    1. Hello Kevin!
      I don't think you can even use the birdhouse if you don't install the app. You have to adjust a few things etc., otherwise it doesn't matter.
      Once it's set up, you probably no longer need the app and can read the recordings from the card.
      VG, Jens

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