the peep show birdhouse shark tank birdhouse 3

The Peep Show Birdhouse: Shark Tank for Bird Enthusiasts

The Peep Show Birdhouse is a sleek high-tech birdhouse that made it to Shark Tank Season 15 Episode 14. It is inspired by Apple’s clean design and functional angles, this wireless birdhouse is created to be a natural part of the bird’s natural habitat.

The Peep Show Birdhouse – The Numbers:

  • Amount and equity asked: $250,000 for 20% equity
  • Amount and equity received: none
  • Shark(s) in the deal: none
  • Valuation of the deal: none

The Peep Show Birdhouse Shark Tank Pitch

The birdhouse that we know hasn’t changed in centuries, and we have the same problem: you can’t see inside. […] The Peepshow seamlessly sends a signal from your birdhouse directly to your smartphone, the secret is a hidden camera inside the Peepshow. You get a literal bird-side view of the intricate nesting activities from building a nest to hatching eggs, new arrivals, and finally to the first flight […]

Steve Gray

Fun Fact: Steve’s initial pitch ended with a funny pun: “So Shark, I want you to join my flock, by opening your hearts, but mostly your wallets, and make an offer that is not chip-chip

The Peep Show Negotiation with the Sharks

The Peep Show Birdhouse Shark Tank Steve Gray Pitch
Image Courtesy of Disney/Christopher Willard

The product is $36 to make, plus expenses for the package and add-ons at around $11, so roughly $47 landed. Sales in 3.5 months are $28,000. As a reminder, with Steve’s ask, the valuation is calculated at $1,250,000.

Kevin mentioned that he is an ornithologist, and addresses the issues of privacy for the birds. But more interestingly, he started talking about a real story of a monkey that stole a camera and took a bunch of pictures. This was followed by a real litigation in the ornithological community about the monkey being able to preserve the rights of the pictures that were taken. So, since it is impossible for birds to sign a release agreement, Kevin was out of the negotiations.

Lori complimented both Steve’s intentions and work, but she mentioned that it was not the right investment for her. Robert too mentioned that he’s not the right partner. For that reason, both sharks were out. Mark too loved the product and loved Steve, but also was out. Lastly, Barbara was also very impressed by Steve and by his work; however, the business was too young for her. While she will buy a number of them, she was out of the negotiations too.

At this point, Steve’s reaction was quite unique and heartwarming. With a very gentle and appreciative tone, he said:

I thank you for these very kinds words. If I came on and maybe opened a few eyes to the amazing birding world […] this is the proof that good things happen in life, this was truly a life-changing experience.

Steve Gray

I have to admit it, Steve was probably one of the most well-spoken, sincerely kind, and heartwarming entrepreneurs that I saw at Shark Tank.

The Peep Show Birdhouse Origins

The Peep Show Birdhouse represents a fusion of technology and nature’s simplicity, shaped by the creative minds of Steve Gray and his father, Chuck Gray and their backyards in Fairbanks. This award-winning design reflects a modern aesthetic combined with a deep appreciation for wildlife.

Who is Steve Gray?

the peep show birdhouse shark tank steve gray founder
Steve Gray – Image courtesy of

Steve Gray was born and raised in Alaska. He completed the Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design where he graduated with a degree in Advertising. After graduation, Gray got into the advertising industry, working with high-end clients such as Eddie Bauer, T-Mobile, Hewlett-Packard, and Holland America Line through firms including DDB and Publicis.

Prior The Peep Show, Gray was featured already in publications such as Promotion Design That Work and Publication Design Annual. Thanks to his hard work and effort, he also made it as a finalist for the Vision Award National and Telly Award National.

Furthermore, Gray has also established himself as a published travel photographer and writer. He was successful here too, with industry publications, cruise brochures, and various consumer websites loving his travel photography and writing work. Overall, Gray is not a newbie when it comes to design and content creation.

Steve Gray and Chuck Gray’s idea

the peep show birdhouse shark tank chuck gray
Chuck Gray – Image courtesy of

Chuck Gray, Steve’s dad, had a vision already 30 years ago and started working with video birdhouses back in the 90’s. Their effort initially consisted of a basic camera setup, that over time evolved into The Peep Show Birdhouse. Now, this is a sophisticated habitat for birds with the added features of a smart camera device.

Our original prototype — created by Dad — included a sewer inspection camera, coaxial cable, a hole drilled through our kitchen wall, and black and white monitor on the kitchen counter. Watching baby birds hatch became a much-anticipated annual event.

Steve Gray – Interview with Geekwire

Gray capitalized on the surge of interest in home-based hobbies during the early COVID-19 pandemic. And step by step, The Peep Show made it into the list of participants on Shark Tank.

The Peep Show Birdhouse Design and Materials

The Peep Show birdhouse stands out for its innovative design and the use of eco-friendly materials. Its construction reflects a strong commitment to ornithological standards and aesthetic appeal.

The Red Dot 2023 Award

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The Peep Show Birdhouse Reddot Award – Image courtesy of

The Peep Show has earned international acclaim by winning the 2023 Red Dot Product Design Award, a testament to its outstanding design integrity. The birdhouse was evaluated not only for its visual appeal but also for its technical functionality and material quality by a panel of distinguished design experts.

The Red Dot Product Design Award is an internationally recognized design competition that has been honoring outstanding design quality since its inception in 1954. Organized by Red Dot GmbH & Co. KG, the award is given to products that exhibit good or excellent design qualities. The competition is divided into three main categories:

  1. Red Dot Award: Product Design – This is the oldest category. It covers a wide range of products, from computers to furniture, and more. Winners receive a certificate and can use the Red Dot label as a mark of quality for their products.
  2. Red Dot Award: Brands & Communication Design – This category focuses on brand and communication projects, for the brand with the best of both.
  3. Red Dot Award: Design Concept – Established in 2005, this category is for young and upcoming designers worldwide. It focuses on design concepts, ideas, and visions, and includes the Red Dot: Luminary as the highest award within this category.

Birdhouse Construction Materials

The materials used in The Peep Show birdhouse include regionally-sourced wood and bio-plastic, chosen for their environmental sustainability and compatibility with ornithological guidelines.

Each birdhouse is crafted with solid, vertical grain Western Red Cedar, which is naturally resistant to water and warping. The interior wood surfaces are intentionally left rough to facilitate fledgling birds’ climb toward their initial flight.

For the exterior shell, PolyTerra®, a bio-plastic made from corn and other bio-compounds, provides a durable, all-weather protection without the use of petroleum. This innovative material not only supports the structure but also contributes to reforestation efforts, with a tree planted for each spool of filament used in production. The Peep Show optimizes material use and reduces waste through an additive manufacturing process, making it a leader in eco-conscious birdhouse production.

How Much Does The Peep Show Birdhouse Cost?

The Peep Show Birdhouse products – Image courtesy of

The Peep Show Birdhouse is sold on Steve’s website for $199, but it does not include a camera. This is perfect if you already have a camera from Ring or Nest, or similar, that you can use to monitor the bird’s activity.

The $299 version already comes with a camera included, and you are all set to enjoy your live streams without additional accessories.

Why Bioplastic?

Bioplastics is a significant step forward in sustainable manufacturing. Unlike conventional plastics derived from fossil fuels, bioplastics are produced from renewable resources, including cornstarch, sugarcane, and potatoes. This shift lessens the reliance on finite resources, and introduces materials that can break down more naturally in the environment.

Environmental Benefits:

  • Renewable Sources: Bioplastics originate from plant-based materials, which absorb carbon dioxide as they grow, helping to offset the carbon footprint associated with production.
  • Biodegradability: Many bioplastics are designed to decompose through microbial actions into natural components, which significantly reduces their impact on wildlife and ecosystems.
  • Reduced Carbon Impact: The manufacturing of bioplastics often results in lower emissions of greenhouse gases compared to traditional plastic production processes.

Manufacturing Advantages:

  • Less Waste: The 3D printing process used for creating items like The Peep Show utilizes bioplastics to precisely build objects layer by layer, reducing raw material waste.
  • Design Flexibility: Bioplastics enable the fabrication of complex shapes and structures unachievable through traditional methods like CNC machining or injection molding.
  • Efficiency: Additive manufacturing requires no expensive molding tools, which translates to less setup time and material waste.

By integrating Polyterra PLA, a type of bioplastic, into the design of The Peep Show birdhouses, the product not only upholds environmental responsibility but also embodies resilience, as evidenced by its endurance in extreme climates. The collaboration with organizations like OneTreePlanted further illustrates the commitment to offset any environmental costs by planting trees to sequester carbon dioxide, encapsulating a holistic approach to sustainable production.

High-Tech Inside The Peep Show

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Live footage from The Peep Show Birdhouse – Image courtesy of

At the heart of The Peep Show birdhouse lies an innovative camera mounting technology. This design accommodates various market-leading Smart Home camera systems such as Blink, Wyze, Arlo, Ring, and Eufy. The adaptable quick camera mount allows for ongoing compatibility with emerging smart-home advancements, ensuring the birdhouse remains relevant and avoids early obsolescence.

Camera Integration and Adaptability

  • Multiple Brand Compatibility: The quick camera mount universally fits leading camera brands.
  • Future-proofing: An open-source approach allows for easy updates to new camera technology.
  • Provisional Patents: Mounting hardware offers patented adjustability for optimal camera positioning.

Battery Life and Usage

  • Extended Battery: The Peep Show operates efficiently to prolong battery life across seasons.
  • Smart Power Management: Users access 60-second ‘live view’ intervals without exhausting the battery.
  • Cold Weather Resilience: Tested to function flawlessly even in subzero temperatures.

Remote and Night Vision Capability

  • No Dedicated Monitors: Streams HD video and high-quality images directly to smartphones.
  • Global Accessibility: The Peep Show offers remote monitoring from anywhere with internet access.
  • Advanced Night Vision: Utilizes infrared LED light to capture clear video in complete darkness.
  • Evolution of Technology: Modern sensors allow the camera to operate in low-light environments successfully.

The technology within The Peep Show supports modern conservation efforts by providing non-intrusive ways to monitor bird populations and behaviors.

The combination of high-definition video and smart power management elevates bird watching to a new level of convenience and engagement, bridging the gap between natural observation and technological innovation.

The Peep Show Business Model

The Peep Show pushes the envelope in artisan birdhouse creation, transforming a commonly cheap commodity into a high-end design piece. They have strategically positioned themselves in the market not merely as a birdhouse provider but as purveyors of objets d’art.

The mentorship from Herman Miller shifted the pricing strategy, advocating for a value reflective of art rather than a utilitarian object. Pricing is set not only to cover the costs of sustainable materials and quality craftsmanship but also to honor the well-being of the avian clients.

We are no longer making birdhouses, we are making objects of art. You do not price this as a birdhouse.

[…] I wanted to be very environmentally conscious, and I have found that this price point is what it actually takes to produce an object like this. I can trim costs but I can’t drop them in half, because I think I would be doing my customers — I consider birds my customers as well — a disservice.”

Steve Gray about Herman Miller – geekwire interview

The Peep Show plexiglass structure offers a robust, all-weather housing, ensuring durability and bird safety. This deliberate pricing model aims to distance the product from less-expensive alternatives, which may not prioritize environmental sustainability or the longevity of bird life.

Moreover, the integration of camera technology allows a unique nature observation experience, driving value for consumers. They offer options with or without a camera system, catering to varied consumer technology preferences and budgets. Comparable products like Birdfy Nest also tout similar price points, validating The Peep Show’s market assessment.

They have committed to a model that does not compromise on cost-cutting at the expense of their quality promise—to both human and bird customers. Their approach is clear: a blend of function, design, and ethical responsibility that justifies their positioning as a premium product in their segment.

How to Find the Best Location and Install The Peep Show

Before beginning, identify a spot that minimizes disturbances to birds and ensures the birdhouse is securely mounted at a height of 8 to 10 feet.

Choosing the Correct Location

Select a tranquil area away from heavy foot traffic and noisy disturbances to encourage nesting. Areas with excessive movement from doors or human activities can deter birds from settling in the birdhouse.

Installation on a Tree


  • Ladder
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver


  1. Ascend the ladder and choose a sturdy branch away from potential predators.
  2. Secure the birdhouse facing east to shield the entrance from rain and to catch the morning sun, providing warmth to the birds at the start of the day.

Installation on a Pole


  • No-mix concrete or expansion foam
  • Shovel
  • Water source


  1. Dig an 18-inch hole using a post-hole digger for stable support.
  2. Position the metal pole or wooden post.
  3. For no-mix concrete, pour the dry mixture around the post, then add water until saturated. Alternatively, use expansion foam around the pole for a quicker, cleaner method.
  4. Check the alignment, ensuring the pole is perfectly vertical.
  5. Allow time for the material to set before mounting the birdhouse.

Must Know Info About Bird Nesting

When setting up a birdhouse, it’s crucial to ensure the habitat is conducive to bird nesting. Factors like the comfort of the nesting bed and the sizing of the entrance hole play pivotal roles in attracting birds to nest.

The entrance hole of the birdhouse should follow ornithological guidelines to accommodate specific bird species. For instance, an entrance hole measuring approximately 1.5 inches in diameter will attract birds like Eastern Bluebirds and Carolina Wrens.

The hole size not only determines which bird species will use the house but also protects the nestlings from larger predators.

Seasonal Care

Proper seasonal care ensures birdhouses remain attractive and safe havens for birds throughout the year. Maintenance varies with the seasons, addressing the specific needs of bird occupants and the condition of the birdhouse.

Spring and Summer Usage

In spring and summer, birdhouses serve as vital nesting and breeding grounds for avian wildlife. During these seasons, the primary concern is to keep the birdhouses clean and ready for occupants.

Regular monitoring is recommended to check for signs of wear, predator threats, or repair needs. Cleaning out the birdhouse is often needed before the breeding season begins.

You can use a solution that is safe for birds, like a weak bleach solution mentioned in Perky-Pet’s cleaning guide, then completely rinsed and dried.

Autumn and Winter Upkeep

As birds migrate or change their nesting habits in autumn and winter, birdhouses require different care.

Perform thorough cleaning to prevent pests and diseases as recommended in My Backyard Life. This could involve the removal of old nesting materials and sanitization against parasites.

For winterization, make sure that the birdhouse is adequately ventilated and insulated against cold weather. Additionally, check the birdhouse for stability and damage, as severe weather can take a toll on the structure.


The Peep Show Birdhouse is a novel, aesthetically unique product build with respect for mother nature and, of course, for the birds. Steve Gray built a business that originated from his grandpa’s backyard in Alaska.

An investment from a Shark would bring this business to a whole new level, thanks to which, bird lovers everywhere can enjoy stylish livestreaming of their favorite species.

Seb is a PhD scientist by training, and an entrepreneur by heart. He started his first business while in elementary school, and he got in trouble for it! He then moved onto various online ventures, including consulting and e-commerce. Seb loved Shark Tank since he saw the first episode of Season one on TV. The rest is history.

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