Are you stumped what to get the bird nut in your life? Here are some suggestions for the coming holiday season.
Books, CDs and Calendars
Voices of North American Owls CD - This two CD set has every known call from every owl in North America. The tracks are not narrated, but you can follow along with the playlist to learn the different calls. Most complete collection of owl calls for North America.
Fascinating Loons - A great gift book full of beautiful loon photos and informational captions. This book is full of great loon tid bits without being overwhelming. The information is thorough enough that even someone familiar with loons will find it enjoyable.
Fascinating Loons Audio CD - Sold separately from the book, this CD identifies the different calls of the loons and then the rest is just the calls of the loons mixed with other natural sounds. If you're longing for loon sounds in mid-winter this is the perfect fix. Great for relaxing.
Letters From Eden - This books is perfect for anyone interested in nature, birds and art. It's as if you've found Julie's journal and get to explore not only her writing, but her sketches as well. Perfect gift. If you order from the link above in a reasonable amount of time, you can get it autographed by Julie herself.
All Things Reconsidered - Books with Roger Tory Peterson are always a hit with birders. The essays, photographs, and illustrations in the book were selected by Bill of the Birds. He's the editor of Bird Watcher's Digest, which ran Peterson's column, "All Things Reconsidered," during the last twelve years of his life.
The Shorebird Guide - This book makes shorebirds sexy! It works to break down shorebird identification into an easy and fun way to learn. You won't be an expert overnight but it's the best tool out there for the job. The photos in this book are AMAZING and the book will give you a new apprecation for their beauty. Great for hardcore and intermediate birdres. It even includes quizes to help test your id skills.
Ornithology - Do you know a hardcore maxi geek birder who seems to have everything already? They don't have this yet--it's the new edition of Ornithology by Frank Gill.
Birdchick Calendars - Shameless self promotion I know but it's my blog and these calendars are part of how I make my living. They are available for the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Indiana. Each month has fabulous photos by Stan Tekiela, a list of common birds to expect, a list of tips for attracting birds and trivia about birds specific to each state. Available at most bird stores, book stores and online at Adventure Publications.
Hi Tech Birding
Handheld Birds - I think this is a great educational gift for anyone of all ages. You can purchase either the program for a Palm Pilot or you can purchase the unit all in one. It's a National Geographic Field Guide including bird calls all in one pocket sized package. Many of the terms are highlighted and when you click on that word, a definition will pop up. I think this is a great gift for a kid seriously into birds (some may argue the expense, but when you compare it to video gaming systems, it's competitively priced.
birdPod - This is a great gift for someone who already has the Stokes Birding CDs and an iPod. It's a program that organizes all the bird calls into different playlists, takes out the narration, and takes all the tracks that have two bird species on them and divides them into two separate tracks.
Outdoor Breezy Singers - These solar powered birds can be placed outside and sing when they sense motion. The cardinal and the bluebirds will make most people mildly interested in birds, but if you want to really impress a birder, get them the common yellowthroat.
Optics - If you are ordering optics, please consider using the link on the blog page with the Eagle Optics logo. Any purchases made using that link supports this site.
Eagle Optics Insight - Monoculars are great for kids if you're not sure if they are ready for the responsibility of binoculars. I also like them for adult birders--I call mine the emergency binocular. I can always keep it in my purse if I'm somewhere and don't expect to be birding but suddenly find myself outside during a warbler fallout. I know joggers and bikers like to keep them in their pockets too when they are out and about. I like the insights best, they're only $25 and have pretty good clarity for that price. If you're getting one of these for "purse binoculars" I recommend getting the yellow ones, they are easier to find in a dark purse!
Optics are tough because it is such an individual choice. What I like in a binocular is based on my small hands and how my eyes are set on my face. Just because I like something doesn't necessarily mean everyone will. Here are a couple of suggestions.
I think a great starter binocular is the Stokes Talon - one of the best that you can get for under $200. Has a great lifetime no fault warranty (even if you drive over it, send back the pieces and they will either repair it or send you a new bino) is waterproof, fog resistant, and can close focus within four to six feet.
Do you know of a good gift idea for a birder? Leave the suggestion in the comments section.