Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is one of the busiest shopping days of the year, but while toys and electronics are typically the hottest deals to be had, birders can find some great bargains on birding equipment if they know what to look for. While the exact items for sale each holiday season will vary, browsing store brochures and sales ads can often yield some great birding sales for savvy shoppers.
What Is Black Friday?
In the United States, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving (traditionally the fourth Thursday of the month) and is considered the “official” start of the holiday shopping season. While many stores may offer deals and display holiday merchandise for weeks prior to Black Friday, the best savings are often available in the wee hours of Friday morning and may be available only for a very limited time or in limited quantities. This can lead to shoppers waiting in line for hours before stores open or rushing from store to store before the best deals end. Birders who plan their shopping to find bird-related items and birding equipment can stock up on great supplies at a great price, whether they are shopping for their own birding tools or want to find birding gifts to give loved ones for the holidays.
Birding Equipment on Sale on Black Friday
Several types of birding supplies and equipment may be available at fantastic prices on Black Friday. When looking for great deals on Black Friday, look for these types of supplies:
- Electronics: Electronic items are hot items for many Black Friday sales, and birders can find great prices on a new digital camera to practice bird photography, or spare memory cards so they never miss a photo opportunity in the field. Mobile devices are another hot Black Friday item, and can be useful field tools for birders who prefer to use birding apps for identification and bird sightings.
- Books: Bookstores are not the most popular stores for Black Friday deals, but discounts can often be had on different books, and field guides and other birding books may be included in the savings, including bird-themed books that can inspire young birders. Also look for bird-themed items such as note cards, journals and bookmarks. These gifts can be great not only to enjoy yourself, but to share your love of birding with others during the holiday season.
- Sporting Goods: Where sporting goods are on sale during Black Friday, birders can flock to great deals. Field bags and hiking packs are perfect for intense birding, while sales on optics can be the ideal opportunity to find new birding binoculars or to choose a spare pair of binns to keep in a car, desk or drawer to always be handy when a bird is spotted. Also look for other hiking gear, flashlights for night birding or combination binocular cameras for easy digiscoping.
- Clothing: Deals on clothing can help birders stock up on clothing to wear out birding, including gloves, scarves, coats, warm socks, hiking boots and other warm items for winter birding. Choose neutral, camouflaged colors and outdoor materials for comfortable, cozy birding no matter how low the temperatures may dip.
- Toys: Toy stores are always crowded on Black Friday, but it can be worth the hustle and bustle to get great deals on bird-themed games, plush toys, puzzles and other novelty gifts. These are great gifts for birders or to give to help inspire young children to become birders themselves.
Of course, if you have a local wild bird store such as a Wild Bird Center or Wild Birds Unlimited, be sure to investigate if there will be any special Black Friday deals on birdseed, feeders and other items.
Using Your Black Friday Deals
Black Friday deals, bargains and sales can be a great time to stock up on birding equipment for yourself, or you can purchase items to give as gifts to other birders and bird-lovers on your holiday list. New field guides, basic optics or other field supplies can also be donated to local nature centers, schools or Audubon chapters to help them promote birding. Novelty items and books are great to donate to schools and youth programs as well.
By shopping wisely and looking for the right items, it is possible for any birder to take advantage of deals on Black Friday to stock up on birding equipment for themselves or to give as gifts or donations, adding a birdy touch to their holiday spirit.
Photo – Christmas at the Mall © Gilberto Stankiewicz