Bird watching is a fantastic hobby that you can enjoy in your backyard. Bird feeders, birdbaths, and even birdhouses can bring a variety of interesting birds to your own home, but you’re restricted to what you can see from your windows or through binoculars. Bird box cameras give you a sneak peek on the bird action. Mounted inside birdhouses or nest boxes, these small cameras give you a 24/7 live feed of the resident birds. You can watch them build nests, see the babies hatch, or just enjoy their daily routines. For this article, we’ve rounded up the best bird box cameras available on the market. These cameras have all the features you need to record intriguing nature videos in your own backyard. Check out our comparison chart, buyer’s guide, and then the reviews in the next section.
Bird Box Cameras Comparison Chart
Check out our comparison chart for bird box cameras. If you want to read our in-depth review of each camera model, scroll down to the next section.
|Hawk Eye HD||Night vision, microphone, 100' cable|
|HawkEye Wireless||Wireless video, night vision, microphone|
|Green Feathers Wifi||Wireless, MicroSD slot, wide angle lens, smartphone app, motion detector|
|Green Backyard IP PoE Camera||1080p HD video, digital microphone, smartphone live feed|
Features to Consider for Birdhouse Cameras
If you’re new to shopping for nest cameras, you may feel overwhelmed by all of the features and options available. When you’re shopping for a bird box camera, there are some key features that you should pay attention to so that you purchase the right model for your needs.
I think one of the most important features to look for in bird box cameras is night vision. Without it, you’ll only see what’s happening in the box during the day, when sunlight happens to shine through the hole. A lot of activity will happen at night or in dim light, so night vision is going to allow your camera to capture that.
Space is tight in a birdhouse, so you want to look for a compact camera that you can unobtrusively hang inside the nest box without disturbing the birds. Usually, cameras that are marketed for use in bird boxes will be smaller in size. You may also want to consider other “spy cameras” that are small and discrete.
The location of your birdhouse will determine what kind of camera you need. If it’s far away from your house, running wires for electricity or the video feed could be a major pain. There are no 100% wireless bird nest cameras available as they all need a plug-in power source, but there are models that can provide wireless video and audio fees when a wired connection is impractical. Often these wireless cameras have lower video quality, so that is a trade-off.
Make sure whatever camera you buy has some kind of wide angle lens. Because bird boxes are so small and the camera is very close to the subjects, a wide angle lens will give you a full view of everything in the box. Cameras sold specifically for birdhouses will usually have a wide-angle lens as a default, but if you’re considering buying a spy camera to repurpose, make sure the lens is wide angle.
Best Bird Box Cameras
Birdhouse Spy Cam Hawk Eye HD Camera
This spy camera isn’t for international intrigue, but for peeping on tiny peepers. Designed specifically for use in bird houses and nest boxes, this camera is compact and has most of the features you need. This miniature camera is the perfect size to mount in most bird boxes and includes a focus and lock lens, which allows you to adjust the focus and get a clear picture no matter where you mount it in the box or how large the box is. The built-in night vision helps you get a clear picture no matter the time of day.
As a bonus, this camera has a built-in microphone so you can listen to baby birds cry and other bird sounds. This camera is not wireless: it comes with a cable that is used to both power the camera and provide video and audio output. The cable is 100 feet long, which is long enough for most uses, but they also sell an extender cable if you need it. One downside with the Hawk Eye HD is the camera doesn’t have any internal memory, it provides a live feed via the RCA composite cable. You can easily record the video using your TV or computer, though you may need an HDMI adapter or USB adapter. The Hawk Eye HD is a great option if you’re looking for compact bird box cameras with good video quality.
780p video quality
Night Vision via 10 Infrared LEDs
Includes Detachable 100′ AV and Power Cable
Connect to TV or Computer
Focus and Lock Lens for Clear Picture
Camera does not record video, just provides live feed
Composite video and audio only (RCA cable)
Hawk-Eye Wireless Spy Camera for Nest Boxes
If you like the features of the Hawk Eye HD but really need a wireless option, they’ve got you covered. Birdhouse Spy Cam makes this wireless camera that is compactly sized for birdhouses. The audio and video from the camera is sent wirelessly to your computer, but you do need to plug in the electrical cable to power the camera. This video quality is not as good as some wireless versions, but it’s great for watching birdhouse activity from a computer or TV. It also gives you the option of connecting audio and video cables.
As far as the camera goes, it has all the features you need to monitor birds. The 70-degree wide angle lens can record night vision and the built-in microphone allows you to enjoy any beautiful bird chirps. The small size of the camera makes it perfect to mount in most birdhouses or nest boxes. This wireless version of the Hawk-Eye is great for school teachers, homes, or any other situation where video cables are impossible to use.
Wireless video connection
70 degree 2.8mm wide angle lens
Video quality not as good as wired version (380 TVL)
Camera and power adapter are not waterproof
Green Feathers Wifi Bird Box Camera
If wires aren’t an option for your bird house, Spy Camera CCTV offers a wireless model perfect for many types of nest boxes. One of the biggest challenges with bird box cameras is connecting cables to receive the video. The Green Feathers camera does required you to plug it in to power the camera, but thanks to the wifi antenna and the microSD card slot, you can either connect the camera to your home wifi network and record it directly to the computer or watch live via computer or smartphone. You can even set it up with your phone if you don’t have a computer
The camera is compact and fits in most birdhouses, but it still features a wide-angle 2.8mm lens so you get a great view of everything happening in the box. You don’t have to worry about low light conditions as the IR filter records crisp and clear night vision footage. If you don’t want to deal with hours of boring or empty footage, you can use the motion detector to only record when there’s activity in the nest.
One important thing to note: the Green Feathers wifi camera is from the UK and comes with a European plug, so you will need to use an adaptor in the USA.
Built in wifi antenna
Free computer software to record from the camera via wifi
Watch live from smartphone app anywhere
2.8 mm wide angle lens
Motion detection mode
MicroSD card slot
Double the price of wired bird box cameras
Manufactured in the UK so you need to use a plug adaptor in the US
Green-Backyard IP PoE Bird Box Camera
The PoE Bird Box Cameras from Green-Backyard are like a blend between traditional cameras and wireless cameras. While the camera is wired with a network cable that needs to be plugged into your home network to broadcast the footage. What you’ll get is the highest definition video of the cameras we’ve reviewed (1080p), streamable anywhere online or via your smartphone. The kit includes all the cables you’ll need for power and video, including a 60ft ethernet cable. The IP camera also comes with free software you can use to record the live feed on your computer.
This camera is compact and has built-in infrared for night vision video. The built-in digital microphone is crystal clear, so it’s like you’re right there. This camera is perfect to mount in birdhouses, chicken coops, rabbit hutches, or any other small, dark spaces.
Streams 1080p high definition video
Free computer software to record video
Smartphone app to stream live feed anywhere
Built in digital microphone
Have to plug-in to home network
More complicated to set-up compared to other cameras