Paragon Project: Feeding Birds with a Raspberry Pi

Smart Bird Feeder Title Image

Birders (and birds) rejoice! With this smart bird feeder, you can now feed birds and inconspicuously watch them, while even learning about them – all with your Raspberry Pi!

On Reddit, hermy65 came up with this fantastic project – a smart bird feeder using WhosAtMyFeeder, a popular app that uses images from Frigate, an open-source Network Video Recorder (NVR), to identify birds.


According to hermy65, the project is an alternative to expensive bird feeders that offer AI-power cameras that also notify you when a bird stops by your feeder.

Smart Bird Feeder
Image courtesy of hermy65

Not only that, hermy65 was kind enough to share the specifications of the project free at Printables. So if you’re interested in 3D printing your own feeder, you can get started immediately!

If you don’t have access to a 3D printer, however, you can always construct one the old-fashioned way – just add a hole for the camera.

Wooden bird feeder
You know, like with a screwdriver and wood and stuff.

As is explained on the Printables page, hermy65 used a Raspberry Pi 3B, a Raspberry Pi camera, a power source, and a cover for the lens. If you’re interested in finding different Raspberry Pi cameras, you can find an assortment here and get the one that meets your needs.

You’ll also want a case that will protect both the birds and the Pi!

Just as you can be creative about how you construct your feeder, you can likely be creative about which Raspberry Pi model you choose and how you decide to keep it running.


On the Printables page, hermy65 suggests running MediaMTX as an RTSP (Real-Time Streaming Protocol) server on the Pi to stream to Frigate using a media player (like VLC).

Then you need to link up your Pi to another device so that the Pi can process that data through Frigate and WhosAtMyFeeder, whose configuration you’ll have to update to work with Frigate.

If you’re interested in the detailed set-up instructions, head over to that Printables page.

On Reddit, others suggested adding BirdNET-Pi, which is built on the BirdNET framework, to identify birds from their sounds through a microphone.

So you can follow hermy65’s awesome project for visual identification and rig up some modification to add audio identification!

If you want to see other Paragon Projects, you can check them all out here.

And don’t forget to comment below if you build a smart bird feeder yourself or have any ideas of projects that we should highlight in this series!

Which birds do you have in your yard? Comment below!

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