Overbuilt, Over-Engineered, Over-Lasered, Smart Bird Cam Bird Feeder

My parents have an unusual number of bird / squirrel / deer / racoon feeders in their back yard. Like easily over 50 feeders, so what’s one more, right? She likes to sit outside with my nephew with an app that will identify bird chirps, so they are amateur ornithologists. For mothers day, I got my mom a Birdfy Smart Bird Cam from Netvue, that will use A.I. to identify birds that land on the feeder, and send you notifications to your phone with video. I did not particularly like the feeder that you could buy with it, so I opted for the stand-alone cam with solar, and designed and built the bird feeder part myself. Easy-peasy, right? Well, it turned into a project indeed with something that is way more complex than it needs to be. But I could not be happier with the end result!

I used my Glowforge and 3D resin printer in this project. I recently got a Anycubic Photon Max, and to print a custom enclosure for the camera. Designed in Fusion 360, this is the housing that the camera slides into, but keeps the bird seeds off the camera.

I designed the house/seed holder part using Illustrator to be cut with the Glowforge. I used a combination of 1/4" and 1/8" Baltic Birch, :proofgrade: acrylic and :proofgrade: walnut. Lots of engraving to get different faux patterns on the outer faces of the feeder. I was going for the timber frame look and think it turned out great. I finished all exposed pieces with Shellac to protect against the elements.

The free bird seed sign is an homage to Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius.

To get the faux wood texture on the walls, brick for the floor, and tiles for the roof, I purchased seamless patterns off creative market a while back for another bird feeder project.

The roof panels slide off to provide access to add bird feed.

So, does it work?

Within 30 minutes, the is the first bird that landed on the feeder. Although, I think they need to provide a macro lens for this, as the images are a bit soft and blurry, I was giddy when the A.I. actually worked. My beta tester was identified by the app as a either a Rainbow Lorikeet or a Painted Bunting. This is a Painted Bunting, and am happy that he was the first to get a snack.

Here is a Tit Mouse that showed up later, or at least that’s what the apps said. Looks like a blue jay to me.:

I will add the solar panel when I mount this to the final destination as it’s currently in a temporary spot while testing.

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I wonder if it read the sign?

great work.

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What a cool project! That is the best looking feeder I’ve ever seen.
The cam with the ID tech takes it to the next level, and she is going to love it!

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Beautiful bird feeder. I have never seen a camera that could identify the birds. Where are you going to put the solar panel?

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The solar panel is a separate mount, and I’ve placed a spot in the design for the cable to come out. The feeder will be mounted such so that it’s out of the weather, and panel will snake up to be in the sun.

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Just Wow! A wild rainbow lorikeet! I knew a guy in Miami that raised them and they were pretty incredible but the psychedelic sparrow looks almost like someone painted it. Obviously, the feeder is so impressive most birds would feel shabby if they ate there. It would be like going into the 21 Club in jeans and tee-shirt :exploding_head:

Rainbow Lorikeets!

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Not only a cool build, but the most colorful bird I can imagine! I lived in FL for a total of 36 years and never saw one.

now I’m hungry for granola

@pubultrastar Question: does it use the same wifi signal as the GF? I’m thinking of getting one myself.

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Yes, I believe that this camera requires a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi network to work. For me it’s on the same SSID as the glow forge

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This is awesome

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Well that’s the coolest looking bird feeder I’ve ever seen. Love the camera built into it.

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This is awesome! I love how you can see the birdseed through the wall of the birdhouse. What a cool gift you have created!

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My wife backed BirdBuddy on Kickstarter to do this in 2020.

Looks like Netvue beat them to market despite the 2 year head start.

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This is awesome!!! Thank you for sharing. I might need this for our treehouse :slight_smile:

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Who’d a thought! Instead of sitting blocks away with the binoculars and a bird book, you just make them a place to eat that is so fancy they have to show you their I.D. to eat there. I suppose having a big 'Grande Opening" sign set about with extra bunting would be too much but there is certainly cause to crow about it.

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Wow, technology aside, that is an incredible bird feeder!

And that technology implemented with it is equally incredible. The pictures are amazing and to be able to watch birds and record them! My grandmother would be very jealous! (Frankly, I am too. That is perfect way to watch and remember birds. And you can share them with your friends!)

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That’s what I kept trying to remember was to ask if you were going to make it a webcam that would announce the name of the bird when it showed up…
Perhaps even tweet it out!

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Such a great project! And what nifty tech!

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Impressive - really enjoy seeing photos of all your projects!!! You said you used Shellac as a finish. Shellac is not waterproof so you might want to go over it with Spar urethane which is water proof plus expands so is more resistant to cracking than polyurethane. Best way to keep outdoor wood as waterproof as possible . Here is what I use.
https://www.amazon.com/Minwax-63205444-Helmsman-Urethane-quart/dp/B005DMJKMY/ref=asc_df_B005DMJKMY/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=216800360809&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=14105406369610791876&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9033519&hvtargid=pla-378087171493&psc=1

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That is absolutely amazing!

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pretty amazing things you can pull off with the GF! Excellent work right here

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