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 yard or enjoying them in the field.
Top 10 Gifts for Any Birder
No matter what a birder's experience level, favorite birds, or exact interest in birding, there are some gifts that are never a bad idea, no matter what the gift-giving occasion. The most popular gift ideas for birders include:
- Books and Magazines: Subscriptions to birding magazines are great gifts, as are new field guides or bird-themed books. 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, and birders of all levels may enjoy mysteries or other novels that incorporate birds. To make the gift even more special, add a bird-themed bookmark as a gift tag.
- Multimedia: Music and videos are always fun gift options. CDs of birdsongs 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 rare species and unique behavior are often beautifully directed, while more humorous bird-oriented movies such as Happy Feet or Rio can be a fun way to enjoy birds. Other popular titles include March of the Penguins and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds.
- Birding Artwork: 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 or an oversized checklist of species. For more unique artwork, opt for a one-of-a-kind piece "painted" by penguins or parrots from a local zoo, aviary, or aquarium.
- Birding Supplies: A good birder will always be interested in new birding supplies to help them explore their favorite hobby, both in the yard and in the field. From window clings to prevent bird collisions, a bird bath heater for winter water supplies, brushes to properly clean feeders, or packets of nesting material for spring breeding, any type of supply can be useful. Visit local birding supply stores or nature centers for dozens of options, as well as advice for choosing just the right option to suit specific birds.
- Birdseed: Any birder who enjoys watching birds in their yard or garden 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 no-waste seed mixes, molded novelty seed wreaths or other shapes, or specialized mixes for certain birds such as jays, finches, or woodpeckers. Suet cakes are another great choice, or for a more permanent gift, choose a new bird feeder.
- Decorative Birds: 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 bird and birding themes. To make the gift even more special, opt for gifts that feature their favorite species or spark bird.
- Garden Accents: Outdoor decorative items can be useful and fun as well for birders. 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, while items such as a colorful gazing ball or small outdoor fountain can help attract more birds.
- Conservation Gifts: A thoughtful gift for any birder is one that will help them practice bird conservation. Donations to birding organizations and wildlife conservation associations are always appreciated, and planting a tree or rescuing an acre of rain forest 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, bird-themed mindfulness coloring books, and birding shirts, hats, or mugs are enjoyable options. Holiday ornaments are perfect Christmas gifts, and bird stationery or a bird-themed journal can be great for recording observations or keeping in touch with fellow birders no matter what the occasion.
- Birding Experiences: A wonderful and memorable gift for any birder will be one that actually involves interacting with birds. While most birding travel is out of gift-giving budgets, many zoos, aviaries, and aquariums offer meet-and-greet or behind-the-scenes options that involve getting up close and personal with birds. A private visit to a wild bird rescue, a visit to a wildlife refuge, or even just some free time to go birding can be the best gift of all.
The most important thing to remember about giving any gift is to make it thoughtful for the recipient. Giving a birder a bird-themed gift is sure to make them smile, no matter what the gift or the occasion.