Whether it is for a birthday, holiday or commemorating a new addition to the life list, there are many practical and fun gifts for birders in all budget ranges. Before choosing a gift, however, be sure your gift ideas match a birder’s specific interests, such as attracting birds to the backyard or enjoying them in the field.
Books and Magazines
Subscriptions to birding magazines are great gifts, as are new field guides or birding journals. For the well-equipped birder, consider a comprehensive bird profile desk reference book or a reflective book on the joys of birding. Ornithology books are a fine option for advanced birders as well. To make the gift even more special, add a bird-themed bookmark as a gift tag.
Aside from books and magazines, music and videos are fun gift options. CDs of birdsongs or the innovative birdJam portable song player can be used for identifying birds, while musical nature compilations can let birders enjoy birdsong along with jazz, classical or other instrumental arrangements.
DVDs can either be entertaining or educational, though for many avid birders they will be both. Documentary DVDs about the lives of birds, rare species and unique behavior are often beautifully directed, while more humorous bird-oriented movies such as Happy Feet can be a fun way to enjoy birds. Other popular titles include March of the Penguins and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds.
Birds are colorful and graceful, and the best birding artwork will also capture their intelligence and cunning. Artwork can range from ornithological drawings and vintage posters to professional photographic prints and exquisite paintings of bird life. For novice birders, educational posters may be the best choice, while any birder will enjoy a portrait of their favorite bird.
A good birder will also be interested in new birding supplies to help them explore their favorite hobby, both in the backyard and in the field. Popular equipment for birding gifts includes:
- Window clings to prevent bird collisions
- A bird bath heater for winter water supplies
- Water drippers or misters to attract more birds
- Brushes for properly cleaning feeders
- Packets of nesting material for spring breeding
- A new birdhouse or birdfeeder
- A field bag with suitable pockets and features
- Binoculars or other birding optics
Any birder who enjoys watching birds in their backyard will appreciate a gift of birdseed. There are many more unique options than just a bag of sunflower seed or wild bird mix, however. Great gift options include:
- Premium non-sprouting seed mixes
- Hummingbird nectar
- Specialized mixes for jays, songbirds or finches
- Molded birdseed bells or wreaths
Help your favorite birder bring birds into the house with bird figurines and other decorative objects. Stained glass hangings, salt and pepper shakers, songbird clocks, bird magnets, pillows, blankets and many other items are available with birding themes.
Outdoor decorative items can be useful and fun as well. Garden clocks and thermometers are frequently decorated with songbirds and hummingbirds, and large bird sculptures are beautiful garden accents. Highly decorative birdhouses and feeders can be both beautiful and practical.
A thoughtful gift for any birder is one that will help them practice wildlife conservation. Donations to birding organizations and wildlife conservation associations are always appreciated, and planting a tree or rescuing an acre of rainforest in a birder’s name is also meaningful. Many conservation organizations also allow individuals to sponsor or “adopt” wild birds for rehabilitation or environmental study, and zoos and aviaries may have sponsorship opportunities available for injured and captive birds.
Novelty Birding Gifts
Some of the most fun gifts for birders are novelty items. Plush bird toys that sing, a birdsong alarm clock and birding shirts, hats or mugs are enjoyable options. The Great North American Bird Watching Trivia Game from Outset Media is another fun and educational choice. Holiday ornaments are perfect Christmas gifts, and bird stationery can be great for recording observations or keeping in touch with fellow birders no matter what the occasion.