We're here to help. Whether you're having issues with Presence or you have a great idea for a new feature. We want to hear about it. Seriously.

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425 Broadway Street
Redwood City, CA 94063

Presence is the award-winning free app that turns old smartphones and tablets into Wi-Fi security cameras and you can download it today.

Presence Security is the addition of easy to install wireless sensors that notify you and your trusted circle when something important happens to fit with today's mobile lifestyle. No monthly fees are required! We want security to be affordable for everyone because we all have homes, loved ones and valuables that we want to protect.

Make a Bird Feeder Webcam with your Old Phone


A blog full of tips, creative ideas and how-to instructions for Presence App and Presence Security Pack. 

Make a Bird Feeder Webcam with your Old Phone

Brian Hinderberger

Birdwatching, or birding, is a fun activity to watch wildlife with your free Presence App with your old smartphone device. You can watch birds over the Internet, using mobile phones set up in remote your back yard. Presence Pro increases your encrypted cloud video storage by 100x, allows you to capture longer and better quality videos of wild birds or animals with less time between recordings.

Before you Start

We need to remember that our old smartphones we're about to convert into a bird or wildlife camera is a device that's sensitive to weather conditions. So, we need to prepare a weather and water resistant place to stage your old phone. You also need to plan to keep the camera out of direct sunlight and be sure the electrical connections for the charger are also protected from getting wet. 


Find Another Bird Feeder

An affordable bird feeder has all the right elements for your phone. It's made to keep the birdseed dry and provide a transparent casing so both you and the birds will see the birdseed.

We chose a plastic bird feeder that was cone shaped that cost $6. It has a hole in the bottom to stage on a small post so it's stable so it only captures movement from birds.

You can easily waterproof the bottom with plastic and tape. Be sure that the holes of the bird feeder are completely sealed. You don't want small insects or water to make its way into the seed container at all.

You'll also need a back of brown rice. This will help keep the interior of the bird feeder webcam dry while naturally looking like it's filled with birdseed! 

Download Presence App

Connect your old smartphone or tablet to the Internet with WiFi or over a cellular connection. Download the Presence app and register a new user account or sign up with an existing account. Like any WiFi camera, you should leave your device plugged into wall power. We use your email address to send motion detection video alerts from your camera.

Add a Local Camera
Once you're in the Mobile app, tap into "This Camera". Your smartphone or tablet transforms into a camera. View your camera from anywhere in the world when you sign into Presence with the same username and password on a different smartphone or tablet. The iOS camera supports landscape and portrait. The Android camera supports landscape mode only.

Do not turn off or lock your device!
If you lock your device, turn it off, or exit the Camera, then your device is no longer a WiFi video camera. If you want to make the screen go dark, press the Dim Screen button at the bottom of the camera screen. The camera will still be running, but the screen will appear dark (tap the screen to re-enable it). Since the device is always on, be sure to plug in power to keep it alive for a long time. Also, consider enabling "Do Not Disturb" mode in your device's iOS Settings. Presence will only transmit video when you connect to your camera remotely.

Enable motion detection
Motion detection is off by default, and you can turn it on in your camera’s Options, both locally and remotely. You can also use Modes to toggle motion detection on and off across all your cameras, based on your Rules. By default, your camera will enable motion detection when you go into Away mode and disable motion detection when you go into Home mode.

Make sure your Camera is Running Efficiently


Soft reset both devices:  << This is usually the most effective thing that you can do. It keeps all of your data but cleans out your device.


(Presence) Clear Data: << This is usually the most effective thing that you can do.

    Go to your Android Settings > Apps ( Applications ) > Presence>  Clear Data.
    Definitely on your camera device. A good idea to do this on all devices.
    Move device closer to the router.  
    If you are using wifi and if it is an option.  Sometimes just moving it a bit helps.
    Give the viewer some time to connect to the camera- It might take a little while?

Enable Dedicated Access

Help prevent unwanted exiting of Presence or access to other apps. Dedicated Camera is our enhancement of an iOS feature called Guided Access.

This require you to make and enter your PIN number to exit your camera.  Your camera will not crash or exit while it's running as a dedicated camera.  Nobody can tamper with your saved videos or settings.  This is highly recommended for every Presence camera.

Enable Dedicated Camera - Dedicated Camera helps protect your camera from crashes and tampering.

1. Tap into iOS Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access (at the bottom) > Turn on Guided Access

2. Open your Presence Camera

3. Triple-tap the Home Button on your iOS device to start Guided Access mode, transforming the device into a Dedicated Camera. You may need to teach your iOS device a PIN number the first time you open it.

4. Triple-tap the Home Button on your iOS device again and type in your PIN number to exit Dedicated Camera Mode

Final Tips

  • Remember to dim your screen with your remote
  • You can stream live to your other devices but you lose the ability to record from motion. So if you spot a bird while streaming just press the red record button.
  • Be aware that your neighbors may not appreciate a camera pointed to their own back yard. Position the camera so their property is out of view and put it near the bird feeder.
  • Remember to put the camera within range of your Wi-Fi signal so it can stream and upload video to the cloud.
  • You can make your new bird cam a Twitter cam! 

Happy Birdwatching!



The free version of Presence is great and Presence Pro Video is even better. See why so many people are upgrading, starting under $2! This premium version of Presence available as an in-app purchase on iOS only. It increases your encrypted cloud video storage by 100x, allows you to capture longer and better quality videos with less time between recordings and gives you RTMPS video security with priority customer support. Upgrade to Presence Pro Video now so you never miss any of those important moments when you are away. You can find Presence Pro Video under settings and upgrade today!