Your Bird Buddy has arrived! Hooray! 🎉
We are so excited for you to get started and use your Bird Buddy. Lots of curious and hungry birds are eagerly waiting, so let’s get you set up for success! Follow along below for an easy, step-by-step guide to everything you need to know, and start thinking about the perfect spot to place your feeder in the meantime. Remember, you want this to be set where you’ll get some nice pictures (think a flowery backdrop or one with greenery or a cool angle of your house) but, most importantly, where birds will feel comfortable paying a visit.
First download our Bird Buddy: Smart Bird Feeder app, which is designed to help you get started. We also have tons of tips, and we’re always here to be your “wing buddy” every step of the way.
For a better understanding of the overall setup process, check out our short video tutorial.
If you’re a visual learner, see more of our set-up tutorial videos on YouTube.
Let’s get birding! 🐦
Step 1: Charge First (and then unplug before continuing)
Start by charging the camera module for 2-4 hours using the included USB-C cable. Remove the cap from the USB charging port located on the top to reveal the USB port.
Begin charging the device. Note that the charging indicator light may not illuminate immediately. Please allow some time for the device to start charging. The device will start blinking blue (faintly) in most cases, indicating that it has entered Bluetooth pairing mode.
During the initial charging phase, you may also observe a brief green light followed immediately by a faint blinking blue light. This indicates that the device has immediately entered Bluetooth pairing mode. Regardless of this, continue to let the device charge. Allow the device to charge uninterrupted for at least 2 hours. This duration is necessary to ensure the device is adequately charged for other parts of the pairing process (the firmware update).
Please note that on the initial charge, the LED might not illuminate right away, let it charge for a while. You should then soon notice a faint blue blinking LED, especially if you cup the area between the button and the charging port with your hands. The blue light will turn on automatically after a few hours of charging, which also means you can download the app, create an account, and proceed with the pairing process.
If your camera blinks red every few seconds on the first charge, a factory reset will be necessary for it to enter the blue light pairing mode.
👉 LED Light Guide
Step 2: Download the App
If you haven't yet, download the Bird Buddy: Smart Bird Feeder app from your app store, or scan the QR code provided in the box for a quicker download shortcut.
Step 3: Pair your Camera Module with Bluetooth and Create an Account
Now, you’ll want to pair your camera module with the app on your mobile device via Bluetooth and connect it to your Wi-Fi network. Please note that the first pairing is done entirely through the Bird Buddy app and not directly through Bluetooth settings on your mobile device.
If you have your own Bird Buddy device, select the "Pair via Bluetooth" option. Before you can continue to pair your camera or collect postcards from Explore, you'll need to set up an account if you don't already have one. You have the option to create a unique Bird Buddy account using your email address (tap the Create an account button on the bottom of the screen), or, for convenience, you may use available third-party sign-in options (Apple, Google, and Facebook, depending on your device) and create an account that way.
👉Account Creation Guide
Remember how you created your account; the next time you sign in, you'll have to pick the appropriate option: The "Sign in" option is for unique Bird Buddy accounts and the "Continue with" option is for third-party log-in options.
Once you sign in, the app will guide you through the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi pairing process (you can always access the pairing flow also by clicking "Add a Bird Buddy" in Settings, if you're adding a second camera or if you want to resume later).
Once the camera module is connected to the internet, it uses that connection to send pictures and videos to your mobile device. So double-check your Wi-Fi settings and let the app take you through the steps. For more guidance, you can watch the pairing video guide above or read through our step-by-step pairing guide.
On certain devices, the Bluetooth setup might prompt you to input a pairing code; this is not needed so you can just click "Pair".
The Bluetooth connection is only needed for the initial exchange of information, and you can disable Bluetooth on your mobile device once your Bird Buddy is securely connected to your Wi-Fi network.
👉 Connectivity and Connection Requirements
👉 The In-App Pairing Process Step-by-Step Guide
Step 5: Firmware Update
After Wi-Fi pairing is complete, the pairing process will direct you automatically to complete a firmware update of the camera module (which is different from software updates for the app). This step will skip on its own if the firmware is up to date already.
Step 6: Place The Camera into the Housing and Take it Outside
Once the camera module is paired and updated, you can place the camera into the feeder. The app will help you to find a spot with a good internet signal so your live stream connection is good once you mount your feeder outside. You can test the live stream in the Feeder Settings to see if you're happy with the view.
Step 7: Fill Your Feeder!
Fill your feeder with seed. There are plenty of different varieties of seeds you can use, but we have some recommendations you can check out, too.
Step 8: Feeding Time!
Now it’s time to wait for some bird friends to arrive! It can take a few days for birds to get used to a new feeder, so remember to be patient. See below for more information on the postcard collection process! 🙂
If you have any questions or set up trouble at any time, feel free to look at our Troubleshooting &FAQ article or get in touch with our Support Team here. We’re always happy to help a fellow birder! 🕊️