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.
After waiting patiently from January until now for a new solar panel for my Bird Buddy AI bird feeder with a camera, I made the executive decision to take it out of storage, charge it up and use it without the solar panel roof.
I emailed the company and they said I should receive it this month. Until then, I’m enjoying Bird Buddy and have to charge the camera every four or five days.
I’ve written about Bird Buddy before. You can read those posts HERE and HERE if you missed them.
My son works for a crowdfunding company that helped raise money and marketed Bird Buddy. I think it was one of their more successful campaigns.
In one of my prior stories I wrote about my trouble setting up Bird Buddy. There was an awkward small space to plug in the charger or solar panel. I found it frustrating and I had to get my husband to help me. However, when I set up my 91-year-old dad’s Bird Buddy, he cleverly showed me you can plug in the camera before you put it inside the feeder! Duh!
This is a House Finch who can eat a lot of sunflower seeds!
Bird Buddy takes “postcards” (these two photos are examples.) There was an update to the software and now there are videos, too. It works with an app on your smartphone, identifies birds, gives details and you can play their songs and calls.
Here’s a video of a House Sparrow and Cardinal competing for the bird feeder:
What birds do you have in your neck of the woods? Which are your favorites?