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How to Use Surveillance Cameras for Bird-Watching

Cameras have long been used in bird-watching, typically for taking photos. However, more and more casual bird-watchers are using cameras to record their bird feeders, keeping an eye on their gardens even when away from home. 

We’re going to offer some handy tips on how to use cameras for bird-watching, so that you’ll never miss a rare or interesting bird again. 

What is a Bird Camera? 

Credit: Bird Watching HQ

How to Choose Bird Feeder Cameras?

Bird-watchers use all sorts of cameras for their bird feeder, from highly expensive digital cameras to GoPros. Phones also make a great option for casual bird watchers. The digital camera option is typically for people who want to photograph birds more than they do record them, and for surveillance purposes it can be hard to justify the high price point. 

GoPros are probably more effective at recording, thanks in part to their size, but the quality of these cameras isn’t typically much better than most smart phones. 

You can also use it to monitor nesting, as a customer of AlfredCamera has done in the video below:

“I’m using the app to watch the birds building their nest and hopefully breeding soon.” 


How Do You Set Up a Bird Feeder Camera?

How to set up a camera for your bird feeder depends on which option you go for. If you are linking a device to an app, there will typically be instructions on how to do that when you open the app itself.

It is also very important to have sound recording turned on on whatever device you’re using. While it is possible to identify most birds based only on how they look, some are very similar and can only be identified by the noise they make.

If you use a smart device to monitor your feeder, it’s important to have it set so that it can record any birdsong as well as video.

A Blue Jay retreats from a feeder with some food in its beak.

If you want to film your bird feeder from multiple angles, you’ll have to invest in multiple cameras. If you are using devices that store the footage they record, you’ll have to review the footage on the devices separately. You’ll also have no way of knowing when and where a bird appears in the video.

With app monitoring such as that offered by AlfredCamera, you can connect multiple devices and review the footage as one feed. You can also easily identify any areas in which movement was detected by the app. 


Which camera is best for bird photography?

Are trail cameras good for bird-watching?

Trail cameras are useful for bird-watching, particularly when near a bird’s natural habitat, as they allow the photographer to take a photo without disturbing the subject. When used in conjunction with a motion-detecting camera app that notifies you on a smart device of a bird’s presence at your feeder, you’ll be able to take an excellent photograph of the bird without setting foot outside. 

How do you record birds at a feeder?

Home security apps are well optimized for recording video. Many can be set only to record when motion is detected, preserving battery life and taking up as little space in your device’s storage as possible. In order to record most efficiently, you should monitor your feeder and make a note of what times it is busiest. This way, you can set your device to record only between these hours, saving battery.