When a feathery friend lands on your Bird Buddy, you will receive a notification on your phone thanks to an automated photo-taking flow. In the feed section of the app, you will be greeted with a postcard with a selection of bird photos that have been taken by Bird Buddy. Once a postcard is ready for you, you will also receive a native notification on your phone.
To find out more about collecting birds from a postcard, check out the article on Collections and unlocking bird species.
- The Postcards feature doesn’t work if the camera module is not placed into the feeder housing.
- Postcards can't be created while you're checking your live stream (and you won't be able to enter the stream either if Bird Buddy is in the postcard-creating mode).
- For the Postcards feature to work, the module needs at least a 12% battery.
- If you want to take a break from receiving the photos you can do so by switching on the “Go Off-Grid” option in the Feeder Settings,
Postcard creation process
The main goal of the postcard feature is for the app to deliver you awesome bird photos from your Bird Buddy. To ensure only the best shots are pushed to your feed, Bird Buddy's deep learning model uses two techniques.
Firstly, the visiting bird has to trigger the laser motion detector that projects like a cone from the center of the lens, so the bird has to hang out relatively near to the center of the perch to trigger it.
Secondly, once the motion sensor is triggered, the model decides whether the element in its view is “interesting” or not. Within its logic, it will generally consider a trigger event as interesting if it contains an in-focus view of a bird (if all the pictures in a given session are blurry, they will be considered "non-interesting" by the model). The model will then analyze the "interesting" pictures and identify the bird species.
For the optimal postcard flow, we suggest filling the seed tray up to the brim with seeds as this tends to contribute to the birds landing on the right spot for the model to recognize the images as interesting.
We’re happy to share that we’re currently testing a firmware update that shows significant improvements in being able to create postcard-worthy photos!
Because people’s expectations are different, we will also be adding a configuration inside the app that will allow you to decide how many postcards you want to receive on a daily basis. You can expect this in one of the future app updates. While the upcoming firmware update should improve this experience, there are still a few important things to note that can significantly impact your ability to get postcards.
- If your Bird Buddy is in a particularly poorly-lit area, the camera might have a hard time capturing enough detail to be able to identify the bird and create a postcard. Please see our article with some tips on how to optimize image quality.
- If your Wi-Fi signal is too weak, your Bird Buddy might have a hard time uploading the images it captures to our servers.
- It can take a while for birds to become comfortable with the new feeder. For the first few days, sometimes even weeks, birds can be somewhat suspicious of the new item and are not comfortable spending some time on the perch eating seeds. During this period, it is possible that birds are simply too quick to fly away, and Bird Buddy doesn’t get the opportunity to take a good photo.
- On the flip side, birds could also be all up in the feeder and blocking the camera, preventing it from getting a good shot.
- Especially after a rainy day, it is possible for some dirt to get stuck to the camera or the sensor by a visiting bird, so you might want to wipe it every once in a while.
- Moving objects close to the feeder could be triggering the sensor and creating false sessions when there are no birds around.