Have you ever wondered what species come to your bird feeder when you’re not around? You could set up a camera, but then you’d have to fast-forward through hours of footage just to find the few interesting moments — and you’d have to figure out how to identify the birds yourself. A new system called Birdsy AI does all that work for you, automatically activating itself when birds and other creatures approach.
Currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter, Birdsy AI is a video solution designed for birders and wildlife watchers capable of identifying birds and wildlife for all of North America and Europe. As more users participate, the system gets smarter, learning to identify additional species over time. Recordings are saved and labeled automatically and sent to your smartphone or computer.
The Birdsy AI app lets you watch a live stream or your saved videos from anywhere, so you can check in even when you’re at work or on vacation. The system also generates titles and thumbnail images so you can see the animals that have been by your feeder at a glance. It’ll even group videos of the same species together, though you can also browse by specific dates and times if you prefer.
Save the best moments by marking them as favorites, and get instant notifications when a new species appears so you can watch them right away (or peek at them in person, if you’re home). You can also share your favorite clips to social media at the touch a button. And if you enjoy checking out what other users are seeing in their own yards, whether they’re your neighbors or all the way across the world, you can check out the app’s “Wild Live TV” for popular videos and live cams.
The system’s Kickstarter page notes that “beta users report that they discover new birds and behavior with Birdsy. Birdsy gets you up close and personal without disturbing the natural behavior of wildlife. Beta users watch Birdsy before, during, or after work. Birdsy offers daily entertainment and is quite ‘addictive.’”
Setup is quick and simple. You’ll just need a permanent outdoor power source and a Wi-Fi signal with a minimum of 1 mbps upload speed. If your feeder is too far from your router to get a signal, you can purchase a Wi-Fi repeater or use a hardwired ethernet cable to keep your Birdsy going. The camera can be mounted on a pole, tripod, or arm, or screwed to a fence or wooden panel. Since it’s always plugged in and connected, you don’t have to worry about changing batteries or memory cards. And unlike other trail and action cams, there’s no monthly fee for cloud storage.
The camera offers full HD 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second and smart infrared night vision, so it’ll capture birds, squirrels, and other critters after dark, too. A built-in microphone captures audio, and the camera has both manual and automatic focus, so you can choose to zoom in or sharpen one bird over another when you’re in live mode.
Backers supporting this project on Kickstarter can get their own Birdsy AI camera, mount, power adapter, ethernet cable, and free shipping for pledges starting at $199. The camera will retail for $279 when it goes up for sale to the public later this year.