Still wondering what to get for your friends who have a craze for bird watching or birding? Sitting in the garden with a pair of binoculars is the most basic and mundane way of wildlife observation, so give them a bird box camera to free them from the boredom and frustration of endless waiting and help them get a better picture of what these avian creatures do in their private lives. But it’s quite tricky handpicking a suitable camera from all dazzling choices. Here is a guide to help you pick a sound bird box camera for your friends.
Bird Box Camera
A bird box camera is a video recording system (wired or wireless) that can be easily installed in the birdhouse or nesting box to watch birds on your smartphone, tablet, PC and even TV. It is one of the most satisfactory and cost-effective approaches to capture high-resolution videos or images of nesting birds that are inaccessible with naked eyes or binoculars. It allows us to watch nesting birds and newborn fledglings without disturbing the resident birds or jeopardizing their breeding success. Bird box cameras actually come in various shapes, shades and features, so pick one that suits your specific needs.
Which Type of Camera to Choose
Since there are multiple choices out there in the market, the following aspects should be taken into thorough consideration when choosing a bird box camera.
First thing first, always choose one within your budget and at a reasonable price. You can roughly browse the shopping websites and set an ideal budget so as not to overpay something that isn’t even compatible with the price. Keep in mind that although there are exceptions where low-priced units outperform the expensive ones, expectations should still be managed accordingly when you purchase some fairly inexpensive units.
Wired or Wireless?
The bird box camera can be roughly classified into wired and wireless camera according to how it communicates and transmit the data, not how a camera is powered, for every camera (wired or wireless) needs power supply whether it’s from the mains or from the batteries.
Wired Bird Box Camera
A wired camera normally transfers the footage to your watching devices through cabling. An analog camera often transmits the footage down a coaxial cable and since the analog camera cannot process video footage, you’ll have a DVR (digital video recorder for processing, compression and storage. If your television doesn’t have an RCA input, you’ll need an RCA-to-HDMI converter for signal conversion or use a DCR instead. The PoE wired bird box camera transmits the data and receives the power through the same Ethernet cable, working together with a PoE injector and a router. No signal converter is needed. It can also work with an NVR (network video recorder) for local storage.
The biggest advantage of the wired bird box camera mainly lies in its reliability, for it’s still in good condition despite the degradation of the WiFi signal. Additionally, its image quality won’t be compromised by bandwidth fluctuations. Considering that the camera cannot be connected to the Internet directly, its limitation to the local operation, however, makes it more secure. But every camera has its own limitations and frustrations. Professional installation might be necessary if you need to run the cable through the wall or ceiling. Most wired cameras don’t support features like live streaming, video sharing and message notifications. The wiring design also dramatically limits its application in long-distance applications.
Recommended Product: TV Bird Box Camera with HDMI Converter
This outdoor TV bird box camera is applicable to any custom birdhouses or nesting boxes with a great capacity to deliver high-definition videos and pleasant bird sounds to secure a satisfactory bird watching experience. Thanks to its waterproof casing, this gives you peace of mind on where to place the camera without the concerns of water ingress. It is also applicable in night shooting with invisible infrared LEDs to enable 24/7 recording without spooking the birds.
It features a 2.5mm adjustable lens to display a wider viewing angle of 120° to give you a better perspective inside the birdhouse. A highly sensitive microphone is also incorporated for audio recording. Working collaboratively with our HDMI converter, you can watch true 1080p live video on your TV, HDMI and VGA monitors. This converter also supports audio output (only in one channel) and no extra speaker is demanded when viewing on TV. A 20M 3-in-one HDMI cable is also included to lower the volume of cabling. Moreover, its user-friendly installment process makes it accessible to senior users.
The wireless camera, also known as a WiFi camera, transmits video and audio signals wirelessly over the internet or other wireless network to a receiver or a router that connects to your viewing and recording device. Although it can communicate without any network cabling, it is not actually ‘wireless’ like a wire-free camera which doesn’t require any cord at all, which means it must be plugged into an outlet using a power cord. But when it is powered by a battery, it becomes a wire-free camera. Some wireless bird box cameras generally store their footage on a cloud server, so you can access it from anywhere, while others also can store video on local media, such as an SD card or a DVR/NVR.
With this wireless bird box camera, you can watch live or recorded videos on your smartphone, tablet and PC. It has numerous smart features that aren’t available in the wired camera, such as message notifications, account sharing. The most obvious benefit is that there is an increased amount of flexibility that comes with a wireless camera. You can place the camera basically anywhere you’d like and place it in a different location without having to deal with the wires. The installation fee of the WiFi bird box camera is less expensive than that of a wired one, for no wiring, wall piercing or any physical labor is involved. But it relies entirely on networks for data transmission, which makes it even more vulnerable when facing signal degradation and fluctuation. And the WiFi bird box camera has a higher bandwidth requirement for smooth live streaming. Its ability to connect directly to the Internet also puts it at a higher risk of being hacked.
Recommended Product: Outdoor WiFi Bird Box Camera
This outdoor WiFi bird box camera launched by Green Backyard is a fully-featured mini camera. Its compact design makes it easy to fit in any kind of birdhouse without taking up too much space. The camera has a 2.5mm wide-angle lens with adjustable focus to provide a field of view of 120°. Thanks to its bird-friendly night vision design with invisible infrared LEDs, it delivers colorful high-resolution (3MP) images during the day and sharp black-white videos when all the natural light fades out. Its controllable daytime LEDs help to deliver better images in low-light conditions. It has a highly sensitive microphone inside to deliver true-to-life bird sounds.
Specially designed for outdoor observation, it is completely water-resistant to prevent water penetration. Unlike other bird box cameras whose network performance will get severely compromised by interference, the metallic antenna has greatly enhanced the WiFi signal. By downloading a free app, you can live feeds on your smartphones or tablets. Instant message alerts will be sent to you once the motion detector is triggered. Account sharing makes it easier to share interesting footage with your families and friends. The outdoor WiFi bird box camera supports both SD card (not included) and PC software storage. And this camera can also work with a motorcycle battery, giving you greater flexibility on installation and (re)placement.
A Birdhouse with a Camera or a Bird Box Camera Kit?
Whether to get a birdhouse with a camera installed inside or just buy a bird box camera kit mainly depends on whether your friends have a birdhouse already. If your friends already have one in their backyards and they have no plan to set up one more birdhouse, then you’d better go with the camera kit. For those who want to make a birdhouse on their own, here is a step-by-step tutorial How to Make a DIY Birdhouse with a Bird Camera to help you get started.
Related Product: Wireless TV HDMI Bird Box Camera with Birdhouse
This camera kit includes a TV long-range HDMI camera and a cedar birdhouse. The weatherproof long-range HDMI camera broadcasts audio and video signals over the wireless network and streams live feeds straight to your TV of up to 300 meters between the camera and the receiver (PoE-enabled). Working collaboratively with the HDMI converter, it allows you to watch live video on TV or HDMI/VGA monitors after a simple plug-and-play installation. The smart features like 3MP Ultra HD, 120° wide-angle lens with adjustable focus and built-in microphone, provide its users with utmost audio-visual enjoyment. The glow-free infrared LEDs ensure all-day shooting.
Made of natural cedar wood, this birdhouse is naturally weatherproof and rot-resistant. A 38mm stainless steel cover plate is pre-installed around the entrance. Another three cover plates (25/28/32mm) are included for adjustment and customization to attract small garden visitors and deter large predators. The removable rooftop and front panel of the birdhouse provide easy access for regular clean-outs after one brood. A window is carved on one side covered with a removable panel (translucent) for illumination. The grooved front wall helps newborn fledglings climb out of the bird box. The mesh floor and ventilators at the bottom greatly maximize air circulation and drainage.
Related Product: IP Bird Box Camera
This camera kit includes a PoE wired bird box camera, a PoE injector, a power cord, Ethernet cables and some installment gadgets. It offers the most satisfactory bird watching experience to the users with high-resolution images/videos (all in 1080p HD) and real-to-life bird songs thanks to its built-in microphone. Coming in a compact size, it can easily fit in any standard-sized nesting box or birdhouse. This bird box camera applies a 2.8mm wide-angle CMOS lens with an adjustable focus to deliver a wider viewing angle (102°). It features invisible night vision using no-glow infrared LEDs to record the video at night without spooking the residents.
Using a single Ethernet cable for both power and data transmission, this IP bird box camera offers exponential network reliability to secure better live streaming and saves complicated cabling. Compatible with all digital devices, it allows you to watch live videos on your smartphone, tablet or PC and share the footage with your families and friends through a free app (applicable to both iOS and Android devices). Notifications will be sent to you once the camera detects any activity inside the box. But it has a major downfall in that it isn’t waterproof, so extra protection is needed to prevent water ingress. Although this IP bird box camera doesn’t support on-board MicroSD card storage, you can store the footage on a cloud server, PC software, or a DVR.
For more information, go check Green Backyard! Recently, we’ve launched a new series of bird box/feeder cameras for you to choose from.