Because our testing setup used a Ring camera, I also needed to subscribe to Ring Protect Basic to capture any video footage (about $4 per month or $40 per year for one camera). If you use the Blink or Wyze cameras, you can opt for free local storage using a flash drive or an SD card, or you can pay for a cloud subscription. In the case of Wyze, the camera can also identify whether the motion is caused by an animal, vehicle, person, or package, so you can filter motion recordings to just animals.
As a feeder, the Wasserstein case is sturdy and big enough that I often found more than one bird chowing down. It holds a little under 2 quarts of seed, so it’s slightly larger than the Bird Buddy. The seed can be easily loaded by removing the roof and pouring it in. (You can also opt to just fill the feeder tray, but you will find yourself refilling often, depending on the traffic.) If you want to give it a little wipe in between feedings, we recommend taking it apart and using bleach, but Wasserstein also says you can use a mixture of soap, water, and vinegar.
The Wasserstein case costs $70, plus the camera, accessories (such as a solar panel), and a video storage subscription if your camera requires one. Depending on the camera, that makes the price pretty similar to the cost of the Bird Buddy, though without the ability to ID your visitors, so you’ll have to keep a bird guide handy. (Without a storage plan, it’s about $170 total for a Blink or Ring setup, or $100 to $150 for Wyze.) It’s still a good option if you want to bird-watch or if you already own one of these existing cameras.