Bird Buddy

I love the idea of the Bird Buddy. Somebody was like: what if a Ring doorbell camera except a bird feeder? Then totally did it. But they went the extra mile by making the app that shows you visiting birds actually kinda good. It must use some kind of machine learning model to identify the birds automatically, then you can collect and share them. But not too much more than that, because why milk it? That’s exactly what it needs to do and does it.

Promo add for the Bird Buddy showing the app with an identified Robin and a front shot of the bird feeder itself.

I ordered mine ($265 for the feeder plus a solar roof) in September 2021. I got about 50 emails from them between then and July 2023 when it arrived. A long time, but they were clear that this was a new beta product and were reeling from a very successful Kickstarter.

Once it did arrive, I found there was no real way to mount it because I didn’t have a perfectly sized unused bird pole in my yard or anything. I figured there would be a basic way to just mount it to a tree, but no, that required me to buy a “Wall Mount” separately. I did, and that arrived another week or so later.

I also had some problems getting it charged and connected. It just wasn’t clear to me when plugged in if the device was charging or not, and the first time I did it, I left it overnight and appeared not to charge at all. It could have been a me-problem. 🤷‍♀️. I tried another charging setup and was ultimately able to get it charged and thus connected to the app.

I mounted that sucker to a tree in my yard and…

Notifications in the Bird Buddy app of all squirrels.

I just got squirrels. Literally zero birds. I think it was maybe just one squirrel, but who knows? I just got endless notifications (and photos and video) of a squirrel eating my bird seed.

It’s just a classic cliché problem. Those darn squirrels!

But it’s also a problem that I didn’t have any clear solution for. Maybe one of those skirts you put around the bottom of the tree to stop the squirrels from climbing up? Nah. Too ugly. And doesn’t stop squirrels from jumping over from a nearby tree.

I was hoping “operation stop the squirrels” would end up a fun family troubleshooting kind of game, but it just didn’t end up feeling that way. Bird Buddy does have a support page about it, but the only one that might work is “use spicy seeds” which I have grave doubts about actually working and feels kinda ethically suspect.

So I took it down. It’ll probably sit in storage until it sells at a garage sale for $2 in 5 years. Or maybe I’ll get some inspiration to try again next year.



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3 responses to “Bird Buddy”

  1. Josh Eaton says:

    You need that pole! That’s how you get rid of the squirrels. I was reading about getting an owl box and it said the same thing.

  2. You might want to reconsider the spicy seed. Wild Birds Unlimited have a good selection. I’ve taken to providing feed to the squirrels elsewhere and they leave the feeder alone.

    p.s. The text size in the comment box is like a 8px

  3. This gave me a good laugh. Thank you!

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