Birding watching is a rewarding way to get in touch with nature while experiencing the joy of observing those beautiful garden visitors at close range. When it comes to attracting birds, the most effective way is probably installing a bird feeder on your property to maximize the number of birds that frequent your backyard. Moreover, by installing a bird camera nearby, you’ll have the best chance to capture stunningly beautiful photos of those wild birds.
Today, we’re gonna introduce two types of bird cameras for backyard birding.
Widely applied in various industries (e.g. wildlife observation or security monitoring), the wildlife trail camera is a motion-activated camera featuring an ultra-sensitive PIR detection system to capture the traces of wild animals, for hunting or conservation purposes. The trail camera can automatically photograph any moving objects that enter its detection zone. In order to satisfy outdoor application in any imaginable circumstances, the wildlife camera is weatherproof (water-resistant/dust-proof) with a wide operating temperature range to survive drastic temperature changes and severe weather conditions.
Along with the growing popularity of bird watching, it has gradually developed into an ideal tool for backyard bird watching. Birdwatchers can place the camera basically anywhere, leave it photographing for a few days and retrieve the camera to view recorded files.
Main Features of Trail Cameras
As a robust device to investigate the hidden world of wild animals and explore the mysteries of mother nature, trail cameras are normally equipped with multiple smart features like highly sensitive motion detection, no-glow night vision, multiple shooting modes, fast trigger and recovery time, etc.
1. Motion detection
Motion-activated trail cameras often adopt PIR sensing technology to capture the pictures and videos of even the most fleeting animals like birds by detecting the temperature and motion changes relative to the background environment. A highly sensitive sensor can greatly mitigate false triggers by vegetation or natural forces (i.e. wind or storm). Additionally, a larger sensor angle (48°) could increase the sharpness of images with a quicker response to motion changes, while a wider sensing range will increase the chances of capturing more details with an enlarged detection zone.
2. Night vision
Long-term exposure to white light at night disrupts the biological clock and sleeping hygiene of wild animals and even jeopardizes breeding success. Compared with white flashes and low/red-glow infrared LEDs that would emit highly/partially visible flashlights to light up the shooting area to deliver high-quality images, the glow-free infrared LEDs secure 24/7 recording without spooking the wildlife. Although cameras equipped with no-glow flashlights may fall short in flash range (not as long as other flashes) and oftentimes can’t deliver such exemplary pictures as others do, they’re extremely suitable to photograph nocturnal animals like owls and nighthawks.
3. Multiple shooting modes
Some cameras only support one shooting mode (either still images or videos), but advanced wildlife cameras can support both varieties. In the hybrid mode, they will simultaneously take consecutive photos at first and then record videos later. Through parameter settings, the wildlife cameras can be programmed to simultaneously take pictures at predefined intervals and then generate the video with the photos previously taken in the time-lapse mode, which is ideal for recording plant growth, flowering, etc. Moreover, you can set up a timer to arouse the camera to operate in specific periods.
4. Trigger and Recovery Time
Trigger time/speed basically refers to the time lag between motion detection and pictures taken. Generally speaking, a wildlife trail camera would carry a trigger speed varying from 0.2 seconds (the fastest up to now) to 4 seconds. A faster trigger speed would guarantee high-resolution images and videos to secure a better watching experience. Another key factor that will influence the image quality is the recovery time, that is to say, the amount of time a camera needs to reboot before another round of shooting. Normally, the shorter the recovery time is, the less likely the camera will miss the perfect timing.
1.Wire-free connectivity——Unlike other wireless cameras that still need a wired connection for a power supply, the trail cameras are a hundred percent wire-free. The majority of wildlife cameras are powered by batteries whether disposable or rechargeable (only a few support external power supplies like DC or solar power), which offer you great varieties in installation. Built with a LED display screen, these cameras allow users to watch live or playback videos at any time without unnecessary data conversion and transmission. Wildlife cameras normally store the footage on an SD card, so users can also retrieve the memory card for later watching.
2.Multitasking——The wildlife trail camera has an obvious advantage over other cameras for its wireless connectivity offers great versatility and flexibility in practical use. It’s widely used by professional researchers to study how environmental changes or human intervention affect the daily activities of wild animals. It’s also of great use in helping hunters figure out the most frequented areas of moving game. Furthermore, its compact design also makes it applicable to indoor/outdoor surveillance of personal or public properties and other evidence-taking works like illegal poaching.
1.No live streaming——Unlike other products, the wildlife camera has very limited options for viewing, for it doesn’t support IP technology, meaning remote observation on digital devices like smartphones or tablets won’t be available on this device. Considering it basically relies on a MicroSD card for local storage, you can only retrieve the memory card and watch the videos on a monitor or view the footage directly on the camera’s display screen.
2.Narrow scope——Normally, the wildlife camera can only cover a fixed area with a highly limited detection range, for it should be fastened to permanent fixtures like trees or metal poles. The camera doesn’t carry an adjustable focus (it can only be adjusted by changing its position with tripods), which also makes it fail to provide a wider field of view.
Recommended Product: Waterproof Wildlife Trail Camera from Green Backyard
Completely waterproof and battery-powered (last for a year in standby mode), the wildlife trail camera from Green Backyard is a highly-sensitive hunting camera with a fully integrated detection system (PIR sensors) to capture crystal-clear images at 16 megapixels and record full HD videos with a resolution of 720P@60FPS at a trigger speed of 0.2 seconds. Specially designed for outdoor shooting, it can work in any imaginable environment at an operating temperature range from -22°F (-30°C) to 158°F(70°C). Its no-glow infrared LEDs (IR flash range: 25m/82ft) ensure 24/7 nonstop shooting without startling the animals. Audio recording can be turned on to deliver the true-to-life sound. It has a built-in 2.4″ LCD screen for immediate viewing plus an operation keypad for straightforward manual settings.
With a PIR sensor angle of 50° plus a detection range of 25m/82ft, the camera can accurately capture high-quality images of fast-moving creatures with minimized empty shots caused by false triggers. As a hybrid-mode camera, it can take pictures and videos separately, and take both at the same time. Additionally, in the time-lapse mode, the camera can be programmed to take multiple consecutive pictures (up to 6 shots) and then record the video at predefined intervals. Highly advanced with the PIR Sleep setting, the trail camera will simultaneously stop filming repeated objects. It supports onboard SD storage with a maximum capacity of 256GB, and its wire-free connectivity also offers great versatility in the application (with a mounting strap).
A bird feeder camera is a perfect option for birdwatchers to capture close-up shots of the garden wildlife in outdoor settings without spooking the wildlife. With the enticement of bird seeds, those feathered friends will automatically be attracted to the camera. In this manner, people can photograph all kinds of garden critters while they are feasting on tasty bird feed. The placement of the bird feeder camera is somehow versatile. It can be placed near a feeder, a birdbath or attached to a free-standing pole.
Bird feeder cameras carry the same features as wildlife cameras do, such as motion detection, no-glow night vision and so forth. But they also show great advantages in other aspects (high resolution, remote observation, wired and wireless connectivity, etc.) to provide their users with a supreme bird watching experience.
1. Better image quality
The bird feeder camera could deliver high-resolution videos of up to 1080p/3MP (colorful images by day/black and white at night). Unlike the old-fashioned camera whose image is oftentimes blurry and fogging in close-up shots, the highly-developed feeder camera allows for zoom-in/out without reducing its clarity. Equipped with a higher frame rate and sensitive motion sensors, it is able to capture various moving objects in vivid detail. And its image quality would not be compromised during data transmission. The newly launched mini WiFi bird feeder camera is also equipped with controllable daytime LEDs to light up the shooting area in low-light conditions so as to deliver better image quality.
2. Remote observation
Supported by IP technology, the latest WiFi bird feeder camera can directly stream the videos over the wireless network to your home router. By logging in to the same network, even when you are away from home, you can still watch live or recorded videos on your smartphone or tablet by downloading a free app. If you have a difficult time with electronic products, there is a TV bird feeder camera that allows you to watch nesting birds on your TV or HDMI-compatible monitors with the included HDMI box.
3. Wired and WiFi connectivity
Like other bird box cameras, the bird feeder camera can be basically divided into two categories, wired cameras and wireless cameras, depending on how it communicates and transfers the data, which offers enormous diversities in application. A wired bird feeder camera normally transfers the footage to the watching devices through cabling. 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.
The WiFi bird feeder camera broadcasts 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. With this wireless bird box camera, you can watch live or recorded videos on your smartphone, tablet and PC. 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 like. The installation fee of a WiFi bird feeder camera is less expensive than that of a wired one, for no wiring, wall piercing or any physical labor is involved.
1.Adjustable, wide-angle lens—— Ideally, a larger angle plays an important role in delivering a wider field of view. The bird feeder cameras usually carry a wide-angle lens (CMOS lens with better image quality and higher temperature resistance) with an adjustable focus to provide a comprehensive view of the feeding birds or other wildlife in more detail, which makes them applicable to any form of professional shooting. You can easily get an optimized shooting focus through simple adjustment (rotating the lens clockwise or counter-clockwise).
2.Motion detection with instant notification——Feeder cameras are equipped with an ultra-sensitive motion detection system to identify any sort of motion or temperature changes within the sensing range. And the cameras will automatically filter any slight motion changes caused by vegetation and external natural forces so as to lower the chances of false triggers. What’s more, you will get immediately notified (a push message) once the motion detector is triggered by downloading a free app on your smartphones or PCs.
1.Complicated installation——The set-up of bird feeder cameras could be quite complicated and costly. Professional installation might be necessary when running the cable through the wall or ceiling to power the device. You might need more extension cables for long-distance applications. Supporting devices like the PoE injector, router, WiFi extender, etc. will be needed in the initial installment.
2.Wider bandwidth and larger storage——IP-based feeder cameras normally have a higher bandwidth requirement to ensure smooth live streaming and video loading during remote observation, for limited bandwidth will not only lead to network congestion and time lag but also cause a slight degradation in image quality. Also, high-resolution videos usually generate larger files which will take up more space. So a larger-capacity memory will also be needed.
Recommended Product: IP Bird Feeder Camera from Green Backyard
Specially designed for outdoor wildlife shooting, the bird feeder camera is completely waterproof to protect the camera from water penetration. Coming in a bullet shape, this camera can be mounted on the wall to function as a security camera as well. It could deliver high-definition live videos with exceptional quality (1080p full HD). It carries a wide-angle lens with an adjustable focus to provide a wider field of view to capture more details of those fleeting creatures. Furthermore, it has a built-in microphone to deliver true-to-life bird sounds. This bird feeder camera supports both PoE wired and WiFi connection, which gives you various options in installation. It enables you to watch live or recorded videos on your smartphone or tablet. Message notifications are available along with sensitive motion detection. Moreover, it supports local storage with a built-in SD card (up to 64GB).