A new camera designed for use with bird feeders promises to tell you when there are birds visiting your yard—and even use machine learning to identify what types of birds they are.
The Birdfy, from Netvue which also makes surveillance cameras and video doorbells, has raised more than $38,000 on Kickstarter, with pricing starting at $149 and an initial batch of cameras slated to ship in time for Christmas. The system is designed to detect birds using motion detection, save their pictures to cloud or local storage, and trigger a notification to a linked smartphone app along with information about what species of bird it spotted. The Birdfy can recognize up to 6,000 species, according to Netvue’s Kickstarter page.
It’s not the only digital tool that can recognize birds: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology offers a free app called Merlin that can identify birds by sight or sound, and various commercial apps can also help you either automatically recognize birds or look them up in an in-app guidebook by various features. But the Birdfy is designed for automated use in a yard, capturing images of birds as they collect food from an integrated seed container or an existing feeder to which the camera can be mounted.
The bird images can then be shared on social media or accessed by other users invited to link their Netvue apps to a particular Birdfy feeder. And users can tap in the app to access the Wikipedia page about whatever bird species they’ve just spotted.
“Birdfy caters to all—the birds and the users,” wrote Netvue marketer Jacqulin Simons on a ProductHunt post about the device. The system also includes a feature to let bird fanciers chase away unwanted visitors such as squirrels from their feeders. With the touch of a button in the app, users can trigger an alarm and flashing lights designed to scare away bird seed-hunting rodents.