Bird Buddy is a bird feeding station with a difference. It was created by a start-up company in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. As I understand it, the co-founders are Franci Zidar and Ziga Vrtacic.
This is a bird feeding station which has numerous advantages so I list them:
- It has a camera which takes still and video images of the birds feeding together with audio recordings. These images and sounds are relayed back to the owner of the device via their cellphone using Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and the Internet. They could be thousands of miles away and still see what’s going on at their birdfeeder.
- The device can identify bird species by their markings and colours.
- The device has conservation benefits because it enables people anywhere to monitor the bird species coming to their birdfeeder which helps to keep track of population numbers and locations.
- The vision for the project is to allow people to name individual birds through their individual markings. This will allow a network of people to see how one individual bird moves between homes and in an area generally. This will also benefit conservation.
- It allows people to better connect with nature. People are becoming more aware of the benefits of doing this in terms of mental wellbeing.
- Also, as the founders of Bird Buddy say, people like to collect things so they can collect data about birdlife. And there’s lots of amateur ornithologists and ‘twitchers’. There are 45 million birdwatchers in America and 3 million adult birdwatchers in Britain.
For us to be able to have small monitoring stations in people’s backyards is something that conservation groups see as a goldmine of useful information to assess environmental impact on bird populations – Mr Zidar.
Zidar says that birds have distinct patterns and therefore it is not difficult to distinguish one species from another. The company is raising funds online through Kickstarter and plans to ship the product to the first buyers at a price of £115.