Good news! The solar panel roof of my AI bird feeder with a camera arrived. I ordered it in January after a covey of quail leaped onto the bird feeder and it fell off the fence into the wash behind our house.
The tiny metal piece that plugged into the camera from the cord to the solar panel broke. It seemed like it would be an easy fix, but the Bird Buddy folks said my only option was to order a new solar panel roof and they’d give me a discount. I waited until June for it to arrive! In the meantime, I charged the camera every few days in the house.
I’ve been disappointed with my birds because two species are bullies and take over. White winged doves and mourning doves. They literally sit at the feeder and eat until it’s empty. So all my photos and videos for the past few weeks have been of big gray birds. I would get the occasional house sparrow which was a welcome treat.
Sunday morning I was shocked and thrilled to see a Cardinal! YAY! Here’s a video:
I’m also enjoying a few families of quail, even though our nest of eggs never hatched.
Here’s a video of quail mom, dad and babies visiting our yard:
Here’s a House Sparrow getting a turn at our Bird Buddy
What do you have planned this week to enjoy the world around you?
I have seen several articles the past few days about how listening to bird songs or watching birds is good for mental health. There’s been a number of studies from the US to Finland that back this up.
Maybe that’s why I’ve been in a good mood lately? It certainly doesn’t hurt to enjoy my Bird Buddy feeder with a camera or sit in the backyard and listen to birds.
My phone alerted me to a story about studies connecting better mental health to birds in the Washington Post. It’s behind a paywall so I didn’t read it. But I did read one by Desert News called “Being around birds can boost mental health, studies say” by Britney Heimuli.
The Washington Post said, “In one study, researchers asked about 1,300 participants to collect information about their environment and well-being three times a day using a smartphone app called Urban Mind.”
The Post said the data collected, which included other variants like sleep and air quality, showed seeing or hearing birds had a positive association with improved mental well-being in participants.
“Everyday encounters with birdlife were associated with time-lasting improvements in mental well-being. These improvements were evident not only in healthy people but also in those with a diagnosis of depression,” according to that report.
Another study the Post reported showed that, out of 295 online participants who were asked to self-assess their emotional state, those who were randomly assigned to listen to different kinds of bird songs reported reduced depressive symptoms and a decrease in feelings like anxiety and paranoia.
Not the most attractive bird but a frequent visitor — a curve-bill thrasher. I wonder how he got his name? /s
It does make sense that connecting with birds helps our mental health. I think being outside in nature does that with or without birds.
In an article from Time Magazine called “Birdwatching Has Big Mental-Health Benefits” by Angela Haupt said:
Researchers have long sought to understand the perks of observing birds. A study published in October in Scientific Reports found that seeing or hearing birds improved people’s mental wellbeing for up to eight hours. Nearly 1,300 people used a smartphone app to log their mood several times a day, noting whether they could see or hear birds. People with depression, as well as those without a mental-health condition, experienced significant improvements in wellbeing when they had these encounters. The benefits weren’t explained by other environmental factors, like seeing trees, plants, or water, all of which the study controlled for.
I’ll keep this short. We have a planned power outage today for an upgrade to our electrical panel. It’s four to five hours without electricity. Who knows? That’s why I’m powerless today. I’m using my iphone as a hotspot to write this post. I want to conserve my iphone and laptop battery until the power is back on — so I won’t ramble on too much. FYI the upgrade has to do with solar panels.
As far as my Bird Buddy goes, I haven’t been posting any photos lately because a covey of quail jumped on it all at once and the bird feeder flew off the fence into the wash. The solar panel roof hit hard on the ground, popped off and the usb-c connection broke in half.
I contacted Bird Buddy to see if I could get a new cord, but they said I needed to order a new solar panel roof. They sent me a code for a discount, but the solar panel roof isn’t expected to ship until late February or early March. Also, we need to find a better place for the Bird Buddy so it’s stable and can’t be knocked over by wind or greedy feeding birds.
If your power is out, what’s do you miss using the most?
When you don’t have electricity, do you find yourself forgetting the power is out and try to use something like the microwave? I found myself hitting the lights in the dark bathroom.
I brought the Bird Buddy AI feeder inside until after Christmas. I found it on the ground one morning after our GIla Woodpeckers were hanging on it upside down and got it to slide with their weight. It’s strapped on the fence with a velcro strap that came with it, but it’s not secure — obviously!
We decided to cement a pole into the ground and do away with the velcro sliding strap. That was the project for last weekend, but I got sick. I think we’ll wait until after Christmas when we return home after spending a few days with family.
In the meantime, I bought some “critter crunch” bird seed and tossed a scoop on the ground. The quail went nuts!
You can visit my Instagram @e.a.wickham to view quail dancing to Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” I didn’t know how to add music to the video on WordPress or I would have.
I’m not decorating for Christmas this year, so I’m looking to wildlife to make it festive!
Does anyone know how to add music to photos or videos on WordPress? If so, can you share?
If you have an Instagram account, would you share it in the comments so I can follow you?
A Gilded Flicker who visited my Bird Buddy feeder.
I received a notification to update my Bird Buddy AI feeder. That’s when the trouble began. The update stopped halfway through the process. I read the instructions on the app. It said to press the on button until you got a flashing green light. I pressed and got a red flashing light.
Then the app said my bird feeder was offline. I spent the better part of a day fiddling with it. In order to do the update, the helpful notes said to fully charge the camera unit.
I brought the Bird Buddy inside, unscrewed the camera and plugged it in for hours.
I won’t go through all the things I tried repeatedly. But I finally decided I should do a factory reset. I was quite upset, because the Bird Buddy has given me lots of joy the past few weeks. I’d be frustrated to have it break already.
I wrote about Bird Buddy HERE and posted bird photos on Thanksgiving.
The Bird Buddy has to pair with Bluetooth on your phone. It also has to be connected to WiFI. I couldn’t get either to work. It worked until I tried the update.
Fortunately, the app has a troubleshooting tab and I went through the steps. It turns out I had inadvertently done a factory reset by pressing the button too long — getting the red flashing light.
I had to unpair the Bird Buddy from my Bluetooth and remove my feeder from the App. Then I started over as if it was a new feeder and Voila! It works again.
I bought a Bird Buddy for my soon to be 91-year-old dad. I will set it up for him and hopefully he won’t have issues with updates!
With electronic devices, are you handy at figuring them out or do you let someone else in your family fix issues? What frustrates you about electronics?
Here are some bird photos from my Bird Buddy Gallery. The Bird Buddy is an AI bird feeder that my son was involved with bringing to market.
The first three photos are Gila Woodpeckers.
The Bird Buddy arrived last week and I’ve been having a blast with it. I am learning about the species of birds who hang out in our backyard. The app on my phone IDs the birds, gives me information about them and has recordings of the their songs and calls.
I decided not to cook this Thanksgiving, but we will go out for a simple meal. We’ve hosted Thanksgiving for most of the past 30 years and I don’t feel like doing the shopping, the prep, the cooking, inviting guests and cleaning up.
So instead of turkey, I’m sharing my Thanksgiving birds in my yard with my fellow bloggers and friends.
Happy Thanksgiving! What are your plans for Thanksgiving?