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Top 5 best bird box cameras for getting a unique look into the life of wild birds in your own garden
Last Updated on June 11, 2020 by John
If the plants in your garden attract birds, have you ever wonder what these avian creatures do in their private lives? Camera bird boxes give you a close inside glimpse into the homes of birds in spring when nesting; binoculars and sitting quietly in the garden only give you a distant view. Explore the mysteries of birds as they make nests in your birdhouse and hatch their chicks. You’ll be able to watch the eggs hatch in real-time without disturbing the birds in any way.
Three of the reviews in our Best Camera Bird Box review deal with bird box kits. With these, you purchase the bird box and the camera. These usually (but not always) come assembled for you. Our other reviews are for cameras designed for the bird boxes that you already have (or want to purchase) so you can use whichever style box you want to.
Our Buyer’s Guide details the features to look for in your camera nest box. It also explains, in some detail, the differences between a wired, wireless and a Wi-fi camera. The FAQ section at the end answers some of the most-asked questions about this subject.
Our Best Pick in the review of the Best Camera Bird Box is the Garden Secrets Cedar Bird Nest Box & Bird Nest Box Colour Camera with Audio. The multi-species bird box is made with cedar certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and is screwed, not nailed for better insulation. A great set to get you started.
Our Runner-up is the best camera to put in your own bird box. The Green Feathers Wildlife Wi-Fi Bird Box Full HD 1080p Camera with IR (Night Vision) camera fits inside any standard bird box. The camera has all the features you expect from a premium camera plus the features that come with having Wi-fi.
Top 5 Camera Bird Boxes to Buy
1. Garden Secrets Cedar Bird Nest Box & Bird Nest Box Colour Camera with Audio Set
The Garden Secrets Cedar Bird Nest Box and Bird Nest Box Colour Camera which also features Audio is a wired system that comes with everything you need to set up the bird box and camera. The multi-species bird box is made of cedar certified by the Forest Stewardship Council to be environmentally and socially beneficial and economically viable.
Cedar is durable and the bird box needs no further treatment to keep it looking good. The entry hole has a copper ring to keep out large birds and squirrels, leaving the birds inside safe and in peace. Its little features like that which make all the difference.
The camera comes with a free wide-angle lens and night vision through LED lights. Images are in colour during the day and in black and white when the light fades thanks to the infrared LED lights. You play the images of birds directly on your TV.
This kit comes with 30m of cable (power/video) so you have plenty of reach for most gardens. This should reach from the bird box into your home through the hole you make in the outside wall. The two-year comprehensive warranty covers all parts of the kit so you have full peace of mind.
- Wired kit contains everything you need to get started.
- The bird box is hand-made of 20mm thick, naturally durable cedar, perfect for the British climate.
- The box can house many species of birds under its hinged roof.
- The entry hole has a copper ring to keep out large birds and squirrels providing a safer place for birds to nest.
- Light enters the bird box through a clear plastic covered hole on the right-hand side.
- Comes with a long 30 meter cable to reach from the bird box to your house.
- Camera comes with a free wide-angle lens.
- Both images and sound play on your television.
- Images are in colour during the daylight hours and in black and white at night.
- Two-year comprehensive warranty for full peace of mind.
- Doesn’t record video.
- Feeding the cable into the house can be a little difficult as the cables to thick to feed through a small home, just as easy to feed it through window like you would Christmas lights.
The Garden Secrets Cedar Bird Nest Box & Bird Nest Box Colour Camera is an almost fully featured bird box with the camera. The cedar box looks good, insulates the interior of the box and lasts a long time. A clear plastic window on the right side of the bird box let in enough light so the camera produces images in colour during the day. At twilight, night vision kicks in and the images are in black and white.
Reviews online point out that the Garden Secrets Cedar Bird Nest Box & Bird Nest Box Colour Camera only streams to your TV which does seem to the case. You have to watch the birds live as you can’t record them.
The Garden Secrets Cedar Bird Nest Box & Bird Nest Box Colour Camera is our Best Pick in this bird boxes with camera review. It could be for you if you want a wired system and don’t want to record the images. A perfect kits for getting started without spending the earth on more expensive wireless setups.
2. Green Feathers Wildlife Wi-Fi Bird Box Full HD 1080p Camera with IR (Night Vision)
If you have your own bird box that’s currently attracting birds, keep them in a familiar place and buy just the camera.
The Green Feathers Wildlife Wi-Fi Bird Box Full HD 1080p Camera with IR (Night Vision) is such a camera and is one of the best of its type reducing the need for cables with the exception of the power cable. You have to use your existing bird box, make one or purchase a new nest box you like. This camera fits inside a standard bird box. The viewing angle of the camera is 100 degrees to give a wide view of the inside of the birds’ home. You still have to provide power and the camera comes with a 1.5m power cable that is extendable up to 20m with an extension cable which most people will probably need.
The Green Feathers Wildlife Wi-Fi Bird Box Full HD 1080p Camera with IR (Night Vision) has all the features of other cameras in premium bird boxes, plus a few extra due to the Wi-fi connectivity. The standard features include a wide-angle lens, adjustable focus, and hidden-from-the-birds night vision through invisible infrared LEDs in the camera. You can take photos 24/7 (colour in day and black and white at night) due to the night vision feature.
The Wi-fi aspects of this camera is where the differences occur. First, the included receiver has a 30m range. You can position your bird box this far from your TV. However, solid objects such as walls and trees reduce this range. You have to experiment with the placement of the bird box. Secondly, the 700 TV line resolution is the first of its kind for any bird box cameras on the market (according to the manufacturer). This lets you see clear details such as the details of a bird’s feathers.
The most exciting aspect is that you can view of images on your TV, computer or on your mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. You just download the free app that suits iOS and Android devices. The app lets you set up schedules for recording. You can also use the motion sensor to let you know when the birds are active through a push notification to your mobile device which is a nice feature not many other models have. Check up on the birds even when you’re away on holiday through your smartphone or tablet, how good is that. A microSD slot lets you directly capture photos and video on the camera without them going to a computer, TV or mobile device which is also a nice feature if you want to play around with editing them.
- Camera fits inside a standard bird box.
- Wi-fi camera with free apps for iOS, Android and Windows PC.
- Keep an eye on your birds when you’re away through your mobile device.
- Recording schedule and motion detection set through the app means you’ll always get images of the birds in action.
- Microphone is in the camera so you can record the sounds of the birds.
- Built-in microSD slot to record the video directly onto the camera.
- Wireless range is up to 30m, so your bird house doesn’t need to be close to your home.
- Camera has adjustable focus and wide-angle lens as well as invisible infrared so you can take the best images possible.
- Warranty is a 30-day no-hassle guarantee and a three-year guarantee as standard.
- The included power cord is very short so nearly always need the extension cable too.
- The app could be better, does the job though but seems to be designed for multi-camera setups.
- You are likely to experience interference if you have a Wi-fi router near the receptor, but this is a common problem with anything that’s Wi-fi.
A long with the powerful camera and microphone, the Wi-fi feature lets you be away from home and watch the images on your smartphone or tablet.
Online reviewers of the Green Feathers Wildlife Wi-Fi Bird Box Full HD 1080p Camera remark that the Wi-fi works through a glass window but has problems going through solid objects such as a wall. They also say that you probably will experience interference from other Wi-fi devices on the same channel. However, you have a choice of four channels to use so you can switch if necessary. The 30m wireless range lets you place your bird box quite far out into your garden so for most people everything should work fine.
The Green Feathers Wildlife Wi-Fi Bird Box Full HD 1080p Camera with IR (Night Vision) is the Runner-up in our review and the best camera for a bird box. It’s the camera to consider if you want to get away from your TV when you watch your birds’ lives in their home and are looking for a more advanced wireless setup although you still need to get power to the camera.
3. Birdboxview Colour CCTV Camera Fitted in Nest Box
The Birdboxview Colour CCTV Camera Fitted in Nest Box is a wired camera bird box that comes in a kit containing the camera, the bird box and all the cables and is more of a budget kit so that everyone can have access to a bird-watching camera kit.
The bird box has a V-shaped roof that birds like, according to the Royal Society for Protection of Birds (RSPB). The roof is removable so you can clean out the nest box at the end of the season ready for next year’s inhabitants. A window in the side of the bird box is covered with a clear plastic screen. This lets in enough light for rich images and video. The base of the box has a ventilation slot to circulate the air inside and to drain any water.
The camera is a tiny 420TVL CCTV camera that sits at the inside top of even a small bird box. The angle of the camera is set so that you see most of the inside of the box. You can change the angle of the camera to cover what you want, along with the focus, to ensure the birds are clearly in shot. The camera also contains the microphone for live sound. The LED lights that lighten the inside of the nest box are invisible instead of the telltale red colour of regular LED lights. The birds won’t even realize that the lights are on.
The Birdboxview Colour CCTV Bird Box also contains a microphone so you can listen to the chirps of the birds as you watch them. The microphone is contained unobtrusively in the camera so it’s not visible to the birds.
- Wired camera and nest box kit comes with everything you need.
- V-shape roof that birds like and recommended by the RSPB.
- Tiny 420TVL CCTV camera, with adjustable angle and focus, placed in the top of the box for the best view to show the entrance and nesting areas.
- Night vision LED lights are invisible so as not to disturb the birds.
- Microphone is contained in the camera so it’s not intrusive to the birds.
- Cleaning the bird box is easy as the roof is removable.
- Ventilation slot in the base of the bird box allows air circulation and water to drain.
- A window in the side of the nest box adds light to enhance your viewing experience.
- Instructions are simple to follow for the camera set-up and nest box care.
- Customer service is reviewed highly so have no hesitation in asking them questions.
- 450TVL specification camera produces only muted colours even in bright light conditions. This is really expected for a budget-friendly model.
- The entry hole is not sanded smooth and could be finished off better.
- The camera angle doesn’t cover the entire bottom of the box.
The Birdboxview Colour CCTV Camera Fitted in Nest Box lets you watch birds as they settle in, lay eggs and hatch them. The bird box has a V-shaped roof recommended by the RSPB so its good to see they take this in account when designing the nest box. With the camera microphone, the sounds of the birds enhance your viewing and something, not all budget cameras feature. You can adjust the camera’s angle and focus to give you the best viewing of the box’s inhabitants. This camera bird box is relatively inexpensive and perfect for an affordable option.
Online reviewers state that the camera doesn’t give clear and bright pictures. This is addressed on the manufacturer’s website. It explains that with such a small camera and in the dim light of the box, muted colours are only possible, even in bright light. In dim conditions and at night the camera produces black and white images. This means that in the day time, in a dim location the camera might default to black and white. Some reviewers have complained about the quality of the nest box. They state that the entry hole is not sanded smooth; you have to fix these yourself.
The Birdboxview Colour CCTV Camera Fitted in Nest Box is worth a look if you’re not sure whether you’ll like watching birds. It has most of the features of the more expensive camera bird boxes but the camera not quite as good but it does the job. Being able to see and hear the birds is a feature that some other nest bird boxes don’t have.
4. Green Feathers Wildlife 700TVL Wired Bird Box Camera with Night Vision
The Green Feathers Wildlife 700TVL Wired Bird Box Camera with Night Vision comes alone without a bird box. Although this camera fits into a standard bird box, it’s so tiny that you can also use it in small nest boxes.
This camera has night vision and uses invisible infrared LED lights (on the camera) to provide enough illumination. Video taken through the day is in colour and changes to black and white with night vision and when the light in the nest box dims.
Viewing the images of the birds is straightforward with the Green Feathers Wildlife 700TVL. Just connect the included three-way cable to your TV or Video recorder. The write-up for this camera promises interference-free images at 700 TV lines. Note that you only receive pictures as this camera doesn’t have a microphone. The camera viewing angle of 110 degrees gives a good view of the bottom of the bird box where the birds nest.
- Just the wired camera and not the nesting box.
- Colour camera if there’s enough light inside the nest box.
- Camera is tiny so can use it in small bird boxes.
- Camera has night vision through invisible infrared LED lights, a wide-angle lens and an adjustable focal length.
- Connects easily directly to TVs and recorders with the included 20m three-way power and video cable to display the birds larger than life in interference-free images.
- Camera’s viewing angle is 110 degrees and gives a great view of the bottom of the bird box.
- LEDs may give a pink tinge to the images during daylight.
- No audio, just video.
- Need to buy a video cable but they are readily available in Maplin and online.
The Green Feathers Wildlife 700TVL Wired Bird Box Camera with Night Vision is a camera that has most the features of other bird-watching cameras. The camera is very small so fits into a smaller-than-standard size bird box. The wide-angle lens at 100 degrees shows most of the interior of the box, but especially the birds nesting on the bird box floor.
Several online reviewers complain that the LEDs give a pink tinge to the images in the daytime – and have posted photos to prove this. Green Feathers sells a daytime LED light that takes away the tings of colour and gives a true image. This camera doesn’t come with audio just video so you can see your birds but not hear them.
The Green Feathers Wildlife 700TVL Wired Bird Box Camera with Night Vision is a consideration if you have smaller bird boxes and want a budget camera. You’ll see the birds but not hear them on your large screen. You also need to buy the video cable separately depending on what length you need but it does include the power cable and plug.
5. Gardenature Nest Box Camera System Ultra Hi Res 700TVL
The Gardenature Nest Box Camera System Ultra Hi Res 700TVL camera’s design is to guidelines from the RSPB for you to watch the birds and to look after the bird box. It’s the only product in this review of the best bird boxes with camera to give full details about the construction and material of the nest box.
The box of the Gardenature nest box camera system is made from solid western red cedar that’s responsibly sourced. This bird box has a multi-species design in that it has protective plates to make the entry hole smaller if small birds come to it. The camera is housed in a sliding drawer at the top of the pitched roof so only the lens juts into the bird box interior. This provides the least distraction possible for the birds.
The camera of this bird box kit, made especially for this range of bird boxes, has ultra-high resolution at 1080p. You see the fine details of the birds and have a great view of the chicks when they hatch. You can also hear the birds as there’s a built-in microphone. The LED lights for night vision come on gradually as darkness falls. The instruction sheet has useful tips on how to encourage birds to nest in the box. The generous warranty covers the camera for three years and provides lifetime technical support.
- Made of responsibly sourced western red cedar to ensure durability.
- Multi-species nest box so you may see different kinds of visitors to it.
- Nest box has removable centre panel with a pre-drilled hole and optional hole size reduction plates as well as a small sliding drawer on the top of the roof for the camera.
- Nest box design is from guidelines from the Royal Society for Protection of Birds and includes a pitched roof.
- Camera made specifically for garden nest boxes by Sony and has an ultra-high resolution of 1080 pixels to see the fine details on the birds.
- Camera has night vision capability (LEDs gradually come on as the light fades) and an adjustable focus.
- Infrared (IR) night vision provides colour images during the day
- There is also a built in microphone so you can hear as well as see what’s going on.
- We didn’t find any significant negative reviews of the Green Feathers Wildlife 700TVL Wired Bird Box Camera with Night Vision.
The Gardenature Nest Box Camera System is an ultra-high resolution camera that gives you detailed images and sounds of the birds in your nest box. It’s a wired system so you’ll have a cable (power and video) across your garden from the bird box into the house. The sturdy and durable bird box is made to guidelines of the RSPB.
Take a look at the Gardenature Nest Box Camera System if you want a wired system to see and hear your birds on your TV in great detail during their stay. A good alternative to our best pick
Camera Bird Box Buyer’s Guide
Wired, wireless or Wi-fi?
The choice between wired, wireless and Wi-fi is in how the video is transmitted to the screen you watch it on. All three of these types of bird box still need a power supply, whether it’s from the mains or from a battery.
A wireless camera nest box has a built-in transmitter that transmits the images and sound to a receiver in your home that you’ve plugged in to your TV or video recorder. You need a separate cable/card (sometimes included) to watch everything on a computer. You still need to supply power to a wireless bird box.
- You won’t have ugly cables strewn across your garden.
- You don’t have to drill a hole through an outside wall (but you may need to for the power cable).
- Can plug the wireless bird box into a mains socket that’s outside your home.
- Still needs to be supplied with power; either from the mains or batteries.
- Batteries are used up extremely quickly (just a few hours for small batteries).
- You disturb the birds when you change the battery so consider an external battery (in a waterproof container) with a switch.
- Low resolution images as uses analogue technology.
A wired camera bird box camera carries power, video, and audio through one cable into your home. You plug the cable into your TV or video recorder, or to a computer with a special cable/card.
- Excellent image quality.
- Uses a single cable to run into the home (as with a wireless bird box).
- You need to pass the cable and the attached plug through a window, an open door or a ¾ hole that you’ve drilled in your outside and inside walls.
- The cable in the garden may be impractical if you have kids or pets running around and exploring.
A Wi-fi camera nest box transmits the video and audio over the airwaves to a receiver in your home. While the camera has all the features of a wired or wireless set-up, the Wi-fi gives you access to the mobile world.
- View the images and sound on a TV, computer, smartphone or tablet.
- Can schedule the recoding times or activate the motion detector to start recording when the birds are active with the app.
- SD card slot to record the images to the camera.
- You still have to have the power cord across your lawn if you don’t have a nearby outside power socket.
Where to view?
You can view your footage of the birds’ daily lives on a number of devices. Not all camera bird boxes offer all these choices.
Your choices are:
- TV (wired, wireless and Wi-Fi).
- Recorder (wired, wireless and Wi-Fi).
- Computer – Windows PC or Mac (wired, wireless and Wi-Fi).
- Mobile devices – smartphones and tablets; iOS or Android (Wi-fi).
- On the camera (Wi-fi).
Video and audio?
Most (but not all) camera nest boxes provide both video and audio footage from the bird box. Decide if you can get by without sound and make your purchase according. The microphone is usually in the camera and is hidden from the birds. As for video, check that the camera bird box can handle night vision by using (sometimes invisible) LED lights. Much activity occurs at night. The images by daylight are in colour and those at night are in black and white.
The bird box
Camera bird box kits come with the bird box, camera and a power cord. If you buy the camera alone, you still need to know about the features of a bird box that you use. Some manufacturers of kits don’t tell you much about the bird box that’s included; others tell you all the details.
These are the features to ask about:
Most of the bird boxes in the kits are of the standard bird box size. This consists of the measurements of the actual box as well as the diameter of the entry hole. Different species of birds prefer different size houses. The standard size box suits most birds.
This refers primarily to the shape of the roof. The RSPB suggests that you have a sloped or pitched roof on the bird box. Some bird boxes come with a flat roof and others with a gabled one. Choose whichever one gives you the visual appeal you’re going for.
Two of the three camera bird box kits in this review state that the box is made of thick cedar that doesn’t require treating. One product highlights that their box is screwed together for strength rather than nailed. Check what the material is in your preferred bird box and how you have to look after it.
It’s quite dim inside a bird box so there needs to be a source of light to collect colour footage of the inhabitants. Most boxes have a window in one or two sides covered by a clear or opaque plastic disc. This lets in light in the daytime so you have coloured images. At night, (sometimes invisible) LEDs are used to produce the light needed for night vision recording.
Most cameras for bird boxes have the same kind of features but the details vary.
- Wide-angle lens for the largest area of view.
- Adjustable focus manually to make sure the birds appear clearly.
- Viewing angle should cover all the interior of the bird box.
- LEDs for night vision photography.
- One cable for power and voltage (usually only in kits).
- One cable that goes from the camera to the power cable (usually only in kits).
Wi-fi cameras may have some or all of these in addition to the regular features:
- MicroSD slot to record the images directly to the camera.
- App (hopefully free) that may have the facility to enter your recording schedule or use motion detection to start recording.
- Channel selector so you can negate any interference from other Wi-fi devices.
How do bird box cameras work?
Bird box cameras can be wired, wireless or Wi-fi. Many of the cameras have night vision, a wide-angle lens and adjustable focus. You put the camera in a bracket in the box. If it’s wired, wireless or W-fi you attach a single cable to the camera cable. The one cable carries power, video and audio if your camera is wired, and just power if your camera is wireless or Wi-fi. Wired cameras sent the images over the single cable. Wireless cameras transmit the footage to a receiver plugged into your TV, recorder or computer. Footage is transmitted over Wi-fi for Wi-fi cameras to your TV, computer or mobile devices.
Where is the best place to place a nest box?
The best place for a nest box, according to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, is facing between north and west; this avoids strong sunlight and the wettest winds. The birds should have a clear flight to their entry door, with no trees or bushes in the way. Some birds prefer the box to be two to four metres up a tree, while others will nest in a box in the eaves.
Can nest box cameras be used with small nest boxes?
Most of the camera bird boxes and individual cameras we review here state that they fit into standard bird boxes. However, the camera of the Birdboxview Colour CCTV Camera Fitted in Nest Box is so tiny that the manufacturers state that it fits into a small bird box.
How do you fit a nest box camera?
Thread the power cable thorough the hole drilled in one wall of the bird box. Position the camera as given in the instructions. It may be on the roof of the box or somewhere to the side. The camera usually fits into a bracket that’s already attached to the box. Connect the camera cable to the power cable. Use clips to hold the outside cable securely to the box.
If you buy just the camera, you have to figure this out yourself and drill the hole. The camera instructions may help you decide where to place the camera in the bird box.
With all the models in this Best Camera Bird Box review, you can sit on your couch and watch birds at a closer distance than watching from out in the garden. Some of the models have audio so you can hear all the noises as well. While wired and wireless camera bird boxes plug into your TV, recorder or computer, Wi-fi cameras also transmit the images to a mobile device. Night vision allows you to watch the birds 24/7.
Our Best Pick is the Garden Secrets Cedar Bird Nest Box & Bird Nest Box Colour Camera with Audio. This camera has all the features you want in a premium camera bird box, except that it only goes to your TV.
The Runner-up is also out Best Camera for bird boxes. The Green Feathers Wildlife Wi-Fi Bird Box Full HD 1080p Camera with IR (Night Vision) transmits via Wi-fi to your TV, recorder, computer or mobile devices. Now that you’re seriously considering purchasing a camera bird box, you need to attract birds to your garden. Our How to attract birds into your garden article gives advice on how to entice our feathered friends to appreciate your bird box with a camera.
Last update on 2020-10-22 at 19:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API