There’s a new high-tech way to feed (and watch) birds.
An AI-powered bird feeder called Bird Buddy doesn’t just feed birds: it takes candid photos and identifies the species of each bird when it lands for a snack.
Franci Zidar, CEO of Bird Buddy, whose company is based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, told Fox News Digital that the product uses artificial intelligence technology to take clear and “interesting” snapshots of birds that come Eat.
Bird Buddy’s AI first detects when a bird lands and takes a clear photo.
The smart bird feeder then detects the type of bird species and sends a notification with the bird’s photo and information to its owner’s mobile device.
“For each bird we identify, we have a personalized profile that is a really nice mix of fun and educational information,” Zidar said.
“You learn the type of foods birds like and how they sing, so you can recognize them when you’re on the move – and [it is designed to] reduce the friction for people to enter this kind of birding world.
Bird Buddy also runs a live network that displays captured images in a real-time online feed.
Zidar and his team, including an in-house ornithologist, built the AI model by installing hundreds of global cameras to collect data on various bird species.
Based on this data, the model has since been developed to have a “very high recognition rate,” he said.
Bird Buddy’s learning model has generated a “huge dataset”, with more than a million detections taking place every day around the world.
Zidar, who is based in Slovenia, said he has a long history of creating products that “gamify the outdoors,” including collaborative work with Snapchat.
Now, with Bird Buddy, Zidar said his vision is to reconnect people with nature, given that feeding birds is the second-largest outdoor pastime in the United States.
“In the United States, about 70 million people feed birds around their homes,” he said. “It’s right behind gardening.”
Other sources indicate that bird watching is in the top 10 of Americans’ favorite outdoor activities.
Zidar broke down the multi-layered impact of Bird Buddy, including the use of bird detection data, which can analyze bird migration and other important research crucial to the animal’s protection.
The CEO revealed that the future of Bird Buddy’s technology could lead to the identification of specific birds that interact with the cameras, allowing observers and researchers to track individual birds without having to physically tag them.
“It also makes sense of entry into the Bird Buddy network,” he said.
“You’re not just a customer and user: you’re also contributing to this vast dataset and the cause behind it. »
And Bird Buddy’s network is set to expand with the launch of its new initiative, Bird Buddy Explore, which will allow anyone – with or without a smart feeder – to access feeders in 30 remote locations across the world.
These include exotic destinations such as Ghana, Hawaii, Chile and Kenya, where the cameras can be accessed for free via the Bird Buddy app.
The 150,000 community feeders will also be able to share content.
“It’s one of those notifications that’s not going to be stressful or anxiety-inducing or annoying because it’s going to be a nice bird photo,” he said.
“Everyone will now be able to connect to this vast network of Bird Buddies from these beautiful locations and effectively enjoy content beyond their backyard.”
While Bird Buddy began with the mission of adding birds to a collection, Zidar said its mission grew into fostering a connection with nature and promoting mental health.
Research shows that people “more connected to nature are generally happier in life,” according to the British Mental Health Foundation.
“Connectedness with nature is also associated with lower levels of poor mental health, particularly reduced depression and anxiety,” the foundation wrote on its website.
Feeding birds is one way to help protect the environment, Zidar said.
Feeding birds as an activity is a simple way to “give something back to nature,” he noted.
Bird Buddy recently announced two new accessories for its feeders, including the Bird Buddy Perch Extender and the Bird Buddy 3-in-1 Nutrition Set.
The latter includes a water fountain, jelly tray and fruit picker, according to a press release.
New York Post