How to Shop for a Birder

7:07 PM

Tis’ the season, and with a week left before the shopping is finished for another year, it’s crunch time!  As a birder I typically get a lot of “birdy” gifts which I love (I guess my friends and family know me well); but for some shopping for a birder can be difficult.  So many things to choose from, what does a birder actually want?  Well I thought I would make some suggestions to help out anyone with shopping left to do.  Here is a list of bird and wildlife related gift ideas... 

I am one of those lucky people with a birthday close to Christmas, so I tend to get some early gifts.  This year a dear friend bought me a bird mug to add to my collection.  The bird themed mugs from CJ Wildlife are a favourite of mine and thanks to her I just added the Ruby-throated Hummingbird to my collection.  They are available online and from some specialized retailers, including some Wild Birds Unlimited stores.

Bird Mugs (Photo from the

It’s hard to go wrong with a calendar.  Everyone needs one, they come in all sizes and prices  and you can buy one just about anywhere!  If you can wait until after the holidays are over you can generally get some really good deals as well.  This year I received the Audubon Birds Page-A-Day Gallery Calendar 2012 calendar as a birthday gift and I love it.  There is new fantastic photo of a different bird every day and it comes with a handy stand.  In the past I have received 12 month calendars which are great as well

Page-A-Day Calendar (Photo from

Depending on the person and how well you know their taste, art can be a great gift.  My personal favourite bird artist is Charley Harper.  Many of my family and friends know this and in the past I have received all kinds of cool Charley Harper art and other gifts (such as calendars).  A great place to look for original pieces is EtsyEtsy is a website where you can buy and sell handmade items.  In the search key type in “bird” and hundreds of items will come up.  You can also filter the type of item you are looking for, such as art, accessories and clothing.  I also enjoy the art of Diana Sudyka who sells her prints via Etsy and on her website

Amorously Airborne (Print from

Birch Bark and Birds (Print from

Mystery of the Missing Migrants (Print from

Click on the above picture to see many more prints!
Charley Harper Prints (Print from

Narwhals (Print from

Cedar Waxwings (Print from

Field Guides and Books
Most birders love field guides and bird related books.  Even if they are not soon traveling to a specific destination field guides allow birders to dream about exotic places and learn more about birds!  Princeton produces some of my favourite field guides.  Kaufman Field Guides are also terrific and are available for birds, butterflies, mammals and insects.  There are also a wide variety of non-field guide bird themed books available.  The book The Big Year makes a fabulous addition to any birder library and with the success of the movie in 2011 you will be keeping up with this years birding trends!   

Birds of Europe (Photo from

Birds of Peru (Photo from

Birds of North America (Photo from

The Big Year (Photo from

Feeders and Seed
Winter is the most popular time for feeding birds and most birders are happy to add another feeder to their collection.  Wild Birds Unlimited stores have some of the best feeders around!  Sure, you can get bird feeders from many of the home-related big box stores; but those products will chip, fade and break!  Wild Birds Unlimited feeders are durable and many come with a lifetime warranty and you can’t beat that.  I recently purchased “The Eliminator”, their squirrel proof sunflower seed feeder and now I’m looking at the new squirrel proof peanut feeder!  If you know someone who feeds the birds already buying seed for their feeders can also be a great gift. 

The Eliminator (Photo from

Critter Boxes
Bird boxes are always a nice gift for a birder; however there are now many more options as far as nest boxes go.  You can get nest boxes for Carpenter Bees and roosting boxes for bats to name a few.  While you can purchase bird, bee and bat boxes from a number of stores, you can also make them yourself.  They make great homemade gifts!   Instructions for making bird, bee and bat boxes can be found online from a number of sources and you can also buy “do-it-yourself” kits.  Below is a style of Carpenter Bee box that I like, made with bamboo. 

Carpenter Bee Box (Photo from

Bat Box (Photo from
iTunes Store Gift Cards
Birding with an iPhone in hand is now a common sight.  There are birding apps for just about everything from lists, to field guides and bird songs, the iTunes store has it all.  Gift cards for the iTunes store are available just about everywhere and in a variety of denominations.  These gift cards allow birders to choose the birding apps they like, including that addicting game "Angry Birds".  The National Geographic Handheld Birds is one of the more popular apps available for birders. 

National Geographic Handheld Birds App (Photo from

Donation to a Birdy Cause
Lastly, birders work hard to protect the stars of their hobby for themselves and future generations to enjoy.  A donation in the name of someone to a bird or wildlife organization is a great gift idea and will be much appreciated.  Below are a list of some wonderful organizations that devote themselves to bird and wildlife conservation. 

Happy Holidays!

~ Kristen Martyn

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  1. The very truth is they are available online and from some specialized retailers.

  2. Hello!

    Thank-you for visiting our blog and for leaving your comments! The above article was meant to be a guideline and sample of items that birders might like as gifts. I have provided some items which I am particularly fond of. Some of the items that were listed, such as mugs, art and calendars, can be found in all shapes, sizes and prices in a variety of stores. While you may not find the exact items I mentioned there are plenty other great ones to choose from. Also, items including field guides, books, bird feeders and iTunes gift cards are widely available from a variety of retailers across North America. Lastly, I have also provided an idea for a gift that can be hand made from materials also available from a variety of retailers. Happy Holidays and best wishes for 2012 :)

    ~ Kristen Martyn


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