The holidays are a great time of year to celebrate, have fun and spend time with the family. But there’s always that little matter of presents. I’ve never been the best giver of gifts, but if you need to get a gift for a bird lover, I can definitely help on that end.
Here are some of the best gifts you could get a bird enthusiast. Feel free to add your own in the comments.
These days, everybody has a smartphone. While some complain that being tethered to an electronic device is a curse, it’s also very advantageous to birders. Instead of having to lug around a giant field guide (or two depending on your location), an array of apps can now help you easily identify and log the birds you see.
Other apps help you find rare birds instead of having to hear about it through word-of-mouth. If the bird lover you’re trying to get a gift for has a smartphone, an app like the Audubon Guide or even Larkwire will definitely do the trick. iTunes even has a “gift this app” option.
We would be remiss to not mention the classic bird feeder. By getting someone a bird feeder, you can share the connection with the outdoors you achieve every day. Not only does the person get to give back to nature but they will also get to enjoy the company of birds. Don’t worry if the person your getting the gift for already has a bird feeder, because there are many different types of feeders. And you can never have too many!
Fewer things are better than heading outside, resting on a chair near your feeder and reading a good book about birds. Fortunately, there are tons of great bird books out there, excluding reference books. A few great must-have books for bird lovers include Kenn Kaufman’s “Kingbird Highway,” the compelling “Life List: A Woman’s Quest for the World’s Most Amazing Birds” and Mark Obmascik’s “Big Year.”
Bird lovers tend to be people of nature who aren’t big materialists. If you think your bird enthusiast would scoff at the idea of getting anything physical, you can actually adopt a bird for them. Don’t worry, they won’t actually have to house and take care of the bird. Audubon has a promotion going on where you can adopt a bird for someone else, which helps protect the species. The adoption includes a holiday card, a picture, the 2013 Audubon Calendar and a year’s subscription to Audubon Magazine. For $30, you could adopt a Burrowing Owl for someone—something many people would cherish.
If you were to sum up the year in birds (as Cornell conveniently did), one of the main stories would be the explosion of bird cams. We watched the Bald Eagles in Iowa, Red-tailed Hawks in New York, Condors in California and more up close.
The advent of technology makes having your own bird cam installed at home, which would make a great gift for a bird lover. Giving someone a bird cam gives them the opportunity to get closer with birds on their property. The Wingscapes BirdCam 2.0 is probably one of the best out there.
Finally, there’s Birdorable. After my interview with the founders of the cute site last week, I learned that they actually have a ton of things for sale with those adorable renderings of birds. You can get everything for sweatshirts to infant outfits and mugs to stickers. I highly recommend checking out the gifts section of Birdorable to see if anything catches your eye.