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5 Best Bird Box Cameras for Incredible Wildlife Closeups (2021 Review)

In this guide we’ll take a look at the best bird box cameras for UK gardens.
I’ve compared image quality, technology, reliability and cost
to give you my top recommendations.

What is the Best Bird Box Camera?

In a rush? Here's my top choice...

Green Feathers Mobile & iPad View HD Bird Box Camera Kit

A bird box camera kit that can do it all; audio, HD video, and night vision!

This Green Feathers Bird Box Camera Kit is the perfect way to watch wildlife in the garden. The camera kit can be set up in any standard bird box, producing HD video that can be streamed straight to your phone, tablet, or computer. The wide-angle lens and audio-record function ensures you won't miss anything. It's easy to fit, plugs into Power over Ethernet, and has excellent night vision.

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Everything I Recommend

IMAGE RECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCT FEATURES
  • HD camera
  • Video to your phone
  • Night vision
  • 110° view
  • Perfect for small boxes
  • High-detail images
  • Combined bird box and camera
  • Suitable for most garden birds
  • Integrated sliding camera drawer
  • Wide-angle lens
  • Windows for better image
  • Deters squirrels
  • Reduced glare
  • Well designed for small spaces
  • Great value for money

More Detailed Bird Box Camera Reviews

Green Feathers Mobile & iPad View HD Bird Box Camera Kit

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • HD camera
  • Video to your phone
  • Night vision
OUR RATING
97
PRICE
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Green Feathers Mobile & iPad View HD Bird Box Camera Kit Review

If you already have a bird box in your garden that the birds are comfortable using, this Green Feathers Bird Box Camera Kit is a good option to go for. It can be installed in any standard-size nest box, so you don’t have to start using a new box just to get a camera.

Plus, if you want to buy a species-specific box, having a camera kit enables you to buy whichever style you’re interested in, and set up this camera inside, without trying to find that specific camera/box combo already in existence.

The wide-angle lens gives a good view of what’s going on inside the bird box, and the microphone also pick up on any little noises which can be quite interesting.

Once set up, it’s easy to use, and there is an option to view the footage of the camera on either a smart phone or tablet. You can’t do this when you’re away from the house, as you need to be using the same Wi-Fi network as the camera, but it’s a good wireless option to make use of in the house.

It records in colour during the day, and makes use of Infrared night cameras when it’s dark.

The main difficulty can come from setting up the camera, as a lead needs to connect the camera itself to your wireless router. A 20 m cable is provided, which might be long enough for some households, but if not you’ll have to buy a separate extension.

There’s no separate power cable, at least, so nothing needs to be plugged into a standard mains socket, but you will need to have a Power over Ethernet switch in the house.

Pros

  • The included Power over Ethernet converter means you only need to run a single cable to the camera
  • Offers a quality picture day and night
  • The waterproof enclosure surrounding the network cable is reliable and good quality
  • The integrated mini microphone outside of the housing allows you to hear the birds as well as see them

Cons

  • Not suitable for very small bird boxes
  • It’s slightly difficult to get the mounting bracket into a stable position
  • Does not run off a wireless connection - needs to be plugged into the router
  • Set up may be tricky for those who haven’t set up a camera before
  • The 20 m cable may be too short for some gardens, but 40 m cables are available separately

Green Feathers Wireless Bird Box Camera with Night Vision

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • 110° view
  • Perfect for small boxes
  • High-detail images
OUR RATING
96
PRICE
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Green Feathers Wireless Bird Box Camera with Night Vision Review

If ease of installation is something that concerns you, the Green Feathers Wireless Bird Box Camera with Night Vision only needs to be plugged in to a standard mains socket. There’s no messing around with connecting any Power over Ethernet cables or plugging it into the WiFi router.

This makes it particularly suitable for those who don’t have a Power over Ethernet socket, but also generally makes setting up the camera much more straight forward.

A 20 m cable comes with the mains supply, which will likely be long enough to connect to a mains socket in your house, garage, or shed, depending on where you position your bird box.

The camera itself can be put into any standard box, and captures images at 700 ‘TV Lines’ of resolution – this gives crisp, detailed images which can be received on your television. If you’re interested in recording images at night too, the invisible infrared LEDs allow for clear night vision without disturbing the birds.

One particularly useful thing about this camera is how the focus can be adjusted; you can change it to produce a clear image in your specific set up, so you don’t have to rely on the factory settings.

But there is one downside to this camera too, and the layout of your home will likely depend on how effectively it works for you: it comes with a wireless receiver which needs to be plugged into a television to see the images. Naturally, this isn’t a problem in itself, but the receiver needs to be positioned pretty close to the bird box to get signal – ideally within around 10 m.

The further you move the receiver away from the camera, the worse the picture gets.

For some, achieving the right set up might not be a problem, but for others, having a cable rather than this kind of wireless device might be more suitable.

Pros

  • The wireless system means there’s no need to run a cable from the television to the garden, the camera simply needs to be connected to the mains
  • The invisible infrared lights won’t distract the birds at night
  • Small microphone lets you hear the birds

Cons

  • Although wireless, the wireless receiver has to be directly in line with the camera
  • The picture quality deteriorates the further the camera is moved away from the receiver
  • The 20 m extension cable may not be long enough for some users

Gardenature Bird Box Camera System

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Combined bird box and camera
  • Suitable for most garden birds
  • Integrated sliding camera drawer
OUR RATING
94
PRICE
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Gardenature Bird Box Camera System Review

Fitting a camera into an existing bird box isn’t always the easiest task, so there’s definitely no harm in cutting out those challenging middle steps by buying a box with a camera already installed.

Just a brief look at Gardenature’s website shows how much they know about wildlife surveillance, and their attractive Bird Box Camera System is simple to use and intuitive.

The camera itself sits in a specially-made drawer within the birdbox making it incredibly easy to get to if needed. The main difference here is that you can take the camera out if you want, without disturbing any birds, whereas with a camera fitted into a standard box you wouldn’t be able to.

If you’re concerned about the appearance of the bird box – especially as buying one with a camera installed gives you less choice – this pretty cedar-wood structure is subtle, yet attractive.

The design of the box also makes it suitable for a large variety of birds including Sparrows, Tits, Robins and Wrens, so just because you’re buying a combined box-and-camera it doesn’t mean you’re limited your options much.

It also comes with a metal panel around the entrance to prevent woodpeckers and other predators from entering and disturbing the birds.

Turning to the camera itself, it has a 3.6 m lens which produces a 92° viewing angle, capturing most of the box in its gaze. The camera transmits in colour during the day, recording audio as well, and then switches to infrared light to record black-and-white images at night.

Whilst not benefitting from wireless connectivity, this camera box is still relatively straight forward to connect – one 3-strand 20 m cable is supplied, which needs to be run to the television. A DC power supply plugs in to one of the strands, and the others plug into the corresponding ‘video’ and ‘audio’ ports on the TV.

Pros

  • Comes with all you need to get started - no additional purchases necessary
  • The camera delivers a clear and reliable picture
  • The bird box has an attractive design that looks good in most gardens
  • The metal surrounding the entrance hole prevents woodpeckers and predators from entering

Cons

  • No Wi-Fi compatibility - you’ll need to run a cable into your home
  • Some customers find the bird box a little fiddly to install

Cedar Bird Nest Box & Colour Camera with Audio

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Wide-angle lens
  • Windows for better image
  • Deters squirrels
OUR RATING
93
PRICE
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Cedar Bird Nest Box & Colour Camera with Audio Review

If your bird box is situated slightly further from the house, the 30 m power cable of this Cedar Bird Nest Box & Colour Camera offers an extra 10 m compared to other models on this list.

If you’ve been thinking about logistics, and wondering if the standard 20 m would be sufficient, this 30 m option gives a bit more flexibility in terms of television/camera placement.

The camera comes with a well-built cedar-wood bird box and easily clips onto the inside of the hinged roof. Then, there’s one cable that needs to run from the camera to your television, separating into three: one strand to plug into mains power, and two strands to connect to the television.

For this reason, having a slightly longer cable is a real plus, as running a 20 m cable in from the garden can result in not having much length to spare.

In terms of the camera itself, the wide-angle lens faces downwards into the box, capturing any activity that goes on: you can spot birds entering and building their nests, as well as any eggs if you’re lucky enough to get some!

To protect your new garden friends from predators, there is a copper-surround to the entrance, which deters squirrels and large birds from trying to enter or mess with the box. A clear window on the side which allows light in during the day, and then at night the camera films with the use of infrared lights, resulting in black-and-white night vision.

Whilst the camera can film in colour, it’s not always the most vibrant display, and the colours can appear muted; however, this generally doesn’t detract from getting a good view of the subjects in their home! You can also hear any sounds the birds make, thanks to the built-in microphone.

Pros

  • The construction is strong and durable
  • The cable is 30 m long so is suitable for boxes situated slightly further from the house
  • The metal around the entrance hole protects birds inside from woodpeckers and predators
  • Most customers find this bird box very easy to install and set up

Cons

  • Customers feel the instructions lack information
  • The slot at the back for the cable doesn’t allow you to place the bird box flat against the wall
  • The colour image isn't very vibrant and sometimes appears more like black and white

SpyCameraCCTV Wired Bird Box Camera with Night Vision

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Reduced glare
  • Well designed for small spaces
  • Great value for money
OUR RATING
91
PRICE
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SpyCameraCCTV Wired Bird Box Camera with Night Vision Review

Inexpensive wildlife cameras can struggle to deliver clear pictures – it’s more common that you might think to be left trying to work out if you’re looking at a head, tail, or egg on the screen…

Fortunately, the SpyCameraCCTV Wired Bird Box Camera offers a much clearer image than a lot of cameras in this price range, filming with 700 ‘TV line’ resolution, which means you’re not left working out ‘which blob is what’ on the display.

As long as your bird box has sufficient light during the day, it will produce quality images. Then, when it gets dark, the camera changes over to infrared LEDs for night-time filming. As well as video, the in-built microphone also provides sound, so you can listen to the birds – including any recent hatchlings – from your living room TV.

This isn’t a wireless model, so it needs to be connected to both the television and a power supply. However, you only have to contend with one wire coming out the back of the camera, as it then divides only once inside the house. The 20 m cable is a standard length, but it’s not the longest available, so you might have to think about the position of your television and bird box in relation to each-other.

For those working on a budget, this is a good option. It’s inexpensive yet functional, giving a good view into your bird box without having to fork out on pricier equipment.

Pros

  • The very compact design makes it suitable for smaller bird boxes
  • Both the picture and sound quality are very good
  • Installation and set up is straight forward

Cons

  • This set only comes with the camera so additional purchases are needed
  • The LEDs bring a pink tinge to the picture which is very noticeable in night time mode
  • A long cable will need to be purchased separately

Things to Know Before Buying a Bird Box Camera

A bird box camera offers the perfect way to become a wildlife expert in your very own garden. They’re also sure to captivate the interest of old and young family members alike as you monitor the activity of your garden visitors.

These cameras attach to the lid or roof of your bird box, offering fantastic insight into the life of your nesting birds.

There’s a huge range of bird box cameras on the market, of varying quality and design.

If you’re looking for the best bird box camera for your garden, you might not know how to start your search. The following tips will help you to make an informed decision:

The first decision you’ll have to make is whether to opt for just a camera kit, or a bird box + camera combo.

Bird Box + Camera Combo

These are easy to set up and ideal if you don’t already have birds nesting in your garden.

The biggest advantage of buying both the bird box and camera as a combo is that the box will be specifically designed to work with the camera. These boxes usually have certain features that work to improve the set up and video quality of the camera. For example:

  • A separate compartment to fit the camera into – you’ll be able to take the camera out without disturbing the birds.
  • A quick-release camera – the camera will be easy to remove from its secured position, again limiting disruption to the nesting birds.
  • A window – this will provide light and improve the quality of the daytime footage.

The main disadvantage of these box/camera combos is that you don’t  always have as much choice when choosing a box as you otherwise would. Your choice has to be based on what boxes are available with the cameras.

Camera Kit

A  camera kit, consisting of just a camera and its cables/fittings (with no bird box included) may be a better choice if you already have birds nesting in your garden.

You can install these cameras in bird boxes that you already own, which is great if you know that birds are already comfortable with them.

Of course, a camera kit is also a good option if you’ve recently bought a bird box and don’t want to buy another one, or if you’re looking to buy a specific type of bird box and the design isn’t available as a combo with a camera.

They can be a bit more fiddly to set up, which is to be expected, especially as the bird box you’ll be fitting it into wasn’t necessarily designed for use with a camera.

You might need to be a little bit more adept at DIY to install a camera like this, especially compared to the bird box + camera combos. But, they’re still relatively straight forward so don’t be too put off.

Bird box cameras are either wireless or need to be connected to the television using cables.

Wireless units often need to be plugged in for power, but don’t require wires to transmit the camera images to a display inside. ‘Cabled’ systems need to be plugged in for power, as well as connected into the TV.

A quick note on power source: standard bird-box cameras are mains powered, but there are also solar-powered and battery-powered cameras available, as well as units powered by Power-over-Ethernet ports.

‘Cabled’ Systems

Cabled systems tend to offer better image quality because there is a direct connection to the camera. However, it does mean that you will need to find a way to run the cables from the garden into your house.

This may require drilling a hole for the cable, or running it through an open window when you want to watch the camera.

There’s generally only one cable to contend with, which splits into three cables at the end of its length. These connect to the ‘video’ and ‘audio’ jacks on your TV, as well as to a power socket.

Cables tend to be either 20 m or 30 m in length, so getting one of these models might depend on the location of your camera in relation to your television – if a cable won’t reach, you might need a wireless model.

Wireless Systems

Wireless systems don’t require a cable to connect them to your television, tablet or computer.

That said, they still require access to a power supply.

Different cameras connect to different power sources, so you may still need to run a power cable from the camera to a mains socket or Power over Ethernet connection.

Other options, like solar-powered or battery-powered cameras are wireless in every sense of the word.

There are two main types of wireless camera:

  1. Some cameras transmit video to a wireless signal convertor. These will come with an additional receiver unit which gets connected to the TV. You’ll then be able to watch the live-stream from your television.
    • The benefit of this is that you don’t need to run a cable to your television. The drawback to these receivers is that they often get quite weak reception, so your bird-box camera and television should ideally be within 20 m of each other.
  2. Other cameras transfer video via your wireless internet by using a Power over Ethernet connection. They can then stream the video to devices connected to your Wi-Fi network, such as laptops, tablets and phones.
    • The benefit of this connection is that you can get a strong reception as long as your internet is good. Plus, you’ll be able to view the video on different devices. The drawback is you will need a Power over Ethernet connection in your house, within a cable’s reach of the bird box.

If you have a larger garden, or an ‘inconveniently’ placed bird box, you’ll probably find that the best bird box camera will be a wireless model. At least then there’s only the power supply to worry about – sometimes there’s a limit to how much wire you can trail to your TV, no matter how determined you are.

Look for a high resolution camera to make sure you’re getting the sort of picture quality that you’re hoping for. Some bird box cameras are HD, which is definitely a buzzword to look out for.

It’s quite common to find cameras that offer ‘700 TVL’ resolution, which is also quite high quality, yet not as expensive as HD. Anything under 700 TVL may not give you the clear image you’re hoping for.

When it comes to viewing width, ideally you want it to be as large an angle possible. Something around 100° will make sure you really get a good view inside the nest. The bigger the angle, the more you’ll be able to see of the bird box’s interior.

When it comes to improving the viewing experience further, a built-in microphone can add another level of interest. As you might expect, it will allow you to hear, as well as see, what’s going on, which can be really fascinating.

Many bird box cameras come with infrared LEDs that allow you to monitor what’s going on, even at night.

The discreet infrared LEDs won’t disturb the birds while they nest, so you don’t need to worry about these cameras causing them any problems birds aren’t able to see infrared light.

If you’re hoping to frequently watch the birds at night, the importance of a decent-quality camera (HD or 700 TVL, as mentioned above) becomes even more significant. Distinguishing between shapes when using night vision can be a lot harder when the picture quality isn’t good to begin with.

Bird Box Camera FAQs

Bird box cameras are often no bigger than a matchbox. They come with a bracket that screws inside the top of the bird box that the camera attaches to.

They don’t always record video, but live stream it to either your television, computer, or tablet.

The style that you buy will dictate how you can view the live stream. Some cameras connect via cable or wireless receiver to the television. Others plug into a Power over Ethernet cable which allows you to view live streams on any device connected to the same WiFi network.

Use bird feeders

Attract birds to your garden by placing bird feeders near your bird box. Feed will encourage birds to explore your garden, and you can choose the feed based on the type of bird you are hoping to attract!

When the birds have discovered your bird box, move the feeders away so that you don’t disturb the nesting process.

Put out a variety of food

Just like humans, different birds have different tastes! Blue tits enjoy peanuts and sunflower seeds, while robins and thrushes like mealworms. Put out a variety of feed and you’re more likely to attract a range of birds.

Use the right type of bird box

Different birds prefer different types of bird boxes. Tits like bird boxes with small entryways, while robins like more space. So if you want to attract a variety of birds, invest in a few different types of bird box!

Remember to clean out and repair your bird boxes in the winter, ready for the birds to arrive back in the spring.

Put your bird box in the right place

Ensure your bird box is in the right location in your garden. Most birds prefer to nest relatively close to the ground in bushes, so don’t place the bird box too high up. You’ve got to make sure however, that the bird box is still be out of reach of predators.

Getting birds to nest in your garden is a matter of covering all of their needs – that includes a good supply of food and water, shelter, security, and some cosy nesting spots. If you can provide these things, birds will be much more likely to set up home in your garden.

Bird box cameras are very small, often no bigger than a matchbox, so it’s very probable that one will fit in a small bird box.

If you’re worried, check the product specification for more details on its size, and contact the manufacturer to ask if necessary.

The cameras come with a bracket which you screw to the roof of the bird box, or high up on the inside wall, where it is out of harm’s way. You then simply attach the camera to the bracket and you are ready to go.

When setting up your bird box camera, place an item, such as a stone, that is slightly larger than the bird you are expecting and adjust the camera so that this is in focus.

Alternatively, choose a bird box that provides access to the camera through the roof so that you can adjust the camera focus without disturbing the birds.

Sources
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