If you have a wild bird enthusiast on your holiday gift list, gift giving has never been easier. The obsession with the various avian species is one that can be developed on a large scale like barn owl watching or hawk appreciation or on a tiny one with the patient world of hummingbird observance, but wild bird lovers have one thing in common; feather fascination. From die-hard bird hobbyists who adorn their front yards with every form of birdfeeder known to exist to the quiet bird watcher who likes to leisurely gaze at outdoor feathered companions, there are many bird themed items available for holiday purchase.
Serious bird watching was once a hobby reserved for elderly grandmothers and retired bachelors, but true bird hobbyists come in every age, personality, and occupation. One of the best gifts you can give to a bird enthusiast is the gift of food for their feathered friends. My grandmother used to put in a request every year for a fifty-pound bag of black oil sunflower seeds and millet (for treats.) There, on an old wood slab hammered hastily outside her window, she would pour two quarts of seeds daily and delight at the visitors that her offering drew. Now in Florida, I hope that her wild bird hobby continues, this time including orioles to her visiting roster. Here are ten additional gifts that wild bird enthusiasts will love:
A nice set of binoculars is a thoughtful gift for bird fans. Many older bird watchers rely on crumbling old models that are much to heavy for daily use. Compact, lightweight, high-powered binoculars from Binoculars.com are a great accessory for a leisurely walk through the park on a spring morning. With a simple design and sturdy construction, a nice set of binoculars is a bird enthusiast’s best friend.
The Birders Handbook, a Field Guide to the Natural History of North American Birds by Paul R. Ehrlich, David S. Dobkin, and Darryl Wheye is one of the most reader-friendly field guides available. Published by Fireside Simon and Schuster, this thick yellow book is packed with over 650 pages of descriptions and an index that is over 100 pages in itself. For an exciting CD-Rom bird guide, consider the National Audubon Society Interactive CD-Rom Guide to North American Birds, which includes 723 species of birds, 700 bird calls, 2100 pictures, videos, maps, and hours upon hours of bird information.
The 13″ Audubon Singing Bird Clock, available from The Northwest Nature Shop, is an incredible gift item that includes a dozen birds and their calls. Every hour, a different bird sings its lovely call. For a different set of beautiful singing wild birds, choose the 8″ clock, which features twelve different North American birds.
A bird watching journal is a lovely sentiment for your favorite bird enthusiast, because they can record daily bird observances. Your favorite bird enthusiast can record visits to the feeder or park sightings of rare species. Consider the Nomad Bird Watcher’s Journal from Ebags. It measures 6″ x 8″ and is printed on recyclable materials.
My grandmother once said, one can never have too many bird feeders. She had around a dozen or so of varying sizes and styles. A good rule of thumb is to get a feeder type that your bird enthusiast doesn’t already have, or choose a decorative or whimsical feeder that will entertain and beautify as much as it serves a purpose. Pinecone feeders, a popular craft project for kids, are also well-loved types of feeders. Take a large pinecone. Tie on a monofilament hanging loop. Cover it in honey or peanut butter, and then roll that in bird seeds. Allow your treat to dry and then wrap it in colorful cello. Voila, you have a beautiful bird feeder.
Seeds for bird attracting flowers are a great gift, especially when presented in an ornate basket with a small trowel and rake. Looking for flower ideas to attract hummingbirds? Whether you produce nectar flowers like corollas or sunflowers and raspberries for thrushes or grosbeaks, knowing which seeds to select has a lot to do with what kinds of birds are in the area. Here http://www.thegardenhelper.com/birdplants.html is a list of plants and flowers you might select.
Plush Songbirds from Online Nature Mall sing the bird’s famous call when squeezed. These are adorable birds and are very well made. You can purchase them as singles or in assorted lots.
A Miniature Bird Teapot like the one available from All Teapots is a beautiful work of art. It features a robin and has acorns for the lid handle. They also carry one with a partridge. $21.50. Other decorative bird items are also considered thoughtful gifts for birders.
Audubon Magazine, a publication of the National Audubon Society, or Wildbird magazine is a great way to give a bird enthusiast an entire year of gifts. Each issue of either magazine portrays exciting photos, documentaries, and bird news from around the globe. Bird hobbyists have held both magazines in high regard for many years. Both are quite simple to order a gift subscription
The Audubon 365 Birds Page-A-Day Calendar 2007 is a very thoughtful gift for bird lovers. What better gift can you give a bird lover than a daily dose of birds? The National Audubon Society is considered one of the foremost authorities on bird facts. This calendar proves it. A gift membership to the National Audubon Society is also a great thought.
Whatever you decide to give your favorite bird lover, have a safe and “Happy Holiday Season!”