Bird watching may not be everybody's cup of tea, but we all know someone who loves their feathered friends. To find the best bird watching gifts, you have to think like a bird -- watcher, that is. To do that, you need to think about where they go and what they carry when birdwatching.
No matter the occasion, choosing the right gift can be a difficult task, even if you're in the right headspace. Thankfully, the key to shopping for bird watching gifts is easy to remember.
What Is Bird Watching, Anyway?
Bird watching gifts you with a sense of peace when you take the time to watch the birds above. Bird watching is simply observing wild birds in their natural habitat and serves as a nice, simple hobby for lots of people!
And as every hobby does, it has its requirements. All you really need is a love for nature, but others like to bring along a camera, pair of binoculars, or a field guide.
You may wonder, "Well, if birdwatching is simply a matter of observing birds, and they already have enough gear, how do I give them good bird watching gifts?" And the answer is simple.
How To Pick The Best Bird Watching Gifts
Long ago, I heard a simple saying to remember when giving gifts. The saying was to give something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.
This is a lovely rhyme to keep in mind if you're throwing together a little gift basket of sorts. However, if you're looking to give a single gift, you can combine those things. For example, give them something that will be both cute and functional.
A birdwatcher will most likely want to travel light -- that means that a gift of a super expensive camera with the stand would be nice, but not practical for casual hikes and strolls. Unless they're a budding photographer, that is.
Now, you'll want to keep the personality of the person receiving your gift in mind. Every person is unique, and each gift should be given with thought.
Here are some prime examples of excellent bird watching gifts -- and most won't break the bank.
Binoculars are a no-brainer. And it's likely that whoever will receive your gift already has a pair. Unless they're either new to the hobby or in need of an upgrade.
These are especially great to have with you when traveling to a new area or when seeking out an elusive species.
These will end up being more of a high-end gift, as they don't exactly come cheap. But keep in mind that a good pair of binoculars can go a long way. Choosing the right pair might not be easy, but they'll undoubtedly be worth it.
Books, Birds, Battlestar Galactica
There's nothing better than a field guide to take with you on your latest expedition. Or maybe you're just looking to brush up on your knowledge before heading out to a new area to observe the native birds? Either way, a new book on birds is always a great gift.
Books can range from bird care right down to the locations of their habitats. And there is certainly no shortage of knowledge to gather on the avian world.
For field guides, you can search for a book that focuses on your native area. North American guides can be found split into two: the eastern region, and the western region.
You can also find some great books by National Geographic, which will be sure to entertain and enlighten for years to come.
Blooming For Birds
Maybe they're not too crazy about gardening, but plants are a huge part of nature. Birds thrive in a healthy environment. Numerous plant species can attract birds to your yard, and there's nothing better than waking up to lots of birds hopping and flying about the yard first thing in the morning.
We begin our list with the popular sunflower. This should come as no surprise because sunflower seeds can be extremely important to birds in the wintertime due to the oil and fat they get from them. And most birds just love the seeds, no matter the time of year. Another is cardinal flowers. Known for their striking red color, hummingbirds flock to feast on the nectar.
If flowers don't strike your fancy, maybe gifting a flowering bush like the buttonbush is more your style. Not to mention the wonderful alternative of elderberry. It's best to acquire plants at a local nursery.
Because there are so many different types of birds, there are many types of birdfeeders. Complete your not so feathered friend's collection of feeders by filling in the gaps!
Hummingbird feeders are filled with a high-energy syrup, and they're bound to entice these adorable birds to any yard.
Another much-loved classic is a tray or platform feeder. It's a simple bird feeder, and the name pretty much says it all. Simply fill up the tray and watch the birds flock! These are best for attracting pigeons, starlings, northern cardinals, and the like.
However, these feeders leave the seed exposed to the elements. If it rains often or they have a lot of other wildlife in their yard, it may be best to avoid this gift.
A window feeder might be your best bet. They attach to the outside of a window by their suction cups, or they hook onto the sill. These typically attract finches, chickadees, and certain types of sparrows.
Feather You Like It Or Not
If someone watches birds, they most likely have a collection of feathers. But how are they to admire their findings if they're tucked away? They can't, and that defeats the purpose of collecting those feathers in the first place.
But with a few simple displays from you, they'll be able to admire their collection whenever they like.
It's a simple feat, to display feathers. All you really need to do is determine how large of a collection will be displayed. Will they need frames, shadow boxes, or to simply stick them in a piece of driftwood?
Try to imagine how their feather collection would fit into their decor. It should be easy enough, considering less is more when it comes to home decor. A few simple frames should do the trick. And if you're stumped, Pinterest is once again everyone's best friend.
Making A Birdhouse A Bird Home
Now, this one is a no-brainer. Sure, they might already have a birdhouse or two, but the more, the merrier! Birdhouses come in all shapes and sizes, making them great bird watching gifts.
And because there are so many different birds that could nest in a yard, there are tons of options. Those include:
And while yes, those are birds, they're also birdhouse styles. Birdhouses are made with a specific type of bird in mind. Therefore each house should be carefully considered. Be sure to check and see what birds are native to the area the gift receiver lives in for the best results!
This is also a great gift because you can build it yourself. Or you can get them a sort of silly, fun birdhouse that both they and their birds will enjoy.
Fly, My Pretties, Fly
Hopefully, we've given you the gist of what you should look for in terms of bird watching gifts. Remember that our earlier tips about how to choose a suitable gift can apply universally, no matter the subject or person! All you have to do is keep that rhyme in mind, and you'll never have trouble with gift-giving again.
But one of the best gifts you could give a birdwatcher is entirely free. Learn a little about their hobby and head out on their next hike with them. They'll enjoy the company, and there's nothing like sharing a hobby you enjoy with someone you care about.
Do you enjoy birdwatching? What kinds of bird watching gifts would you like to receive? Tell us about it in the comments below!