Bring On The Bird Chochkies

I'm having some (good natured) issues over a recent post by Birdchaser. He states that real birders hate the Audubon Singing Bird Clock--we never carried that one at the bird store I worked at, but we did carry this one, and I kind of liked it. The singing loon clock was even better--it would wail like a loon every hour on the hour. Whether "real birders" liked them or not, the clocks were insanely popular with people who feed birds and far out sold items targeted towards hardcore birders.

Birdchaser goes on to say "the same goes for bird mugs, dishrags, or pillowcases--real birders hate 'em. There's a wide divide between bird people and bird mug people."

Well, I'm here to say, "No it doesn't!" Now, I know there are many out there who don't consider themselves a birder, even though they have a field guide (or even more than one bird book), a pair of binoculars, a spotting scope, bird call CDs, a vest, travel at least once a year to a place specifically to watch birds and wildlife, etc (FYI, if two or more items on that list apply to you--you're a birder). I am comfortable in saying that I'm a real birder and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the bird chochkies. Let's take a look at my bird mugs:

These are probably about half of the bird mugs that I own and most of them were purchased by me--not given to me as gifts. That's my second mad bluebird travel mug--as soon as I cracked my first one, I went out and bought a second one. Also, note the glass on the left--that was part of a set that came with a pitcher.

How could I say no to some of these mugs? How often do you find juncos as a graphic on a mug--this was a must have!

And the rosy-finch mug--there's even a rosy-finch on the inside of the mug--that is such an obscure bird to put on a mainstream mug. Cardinals you would expect--but a rosy-finch? Again, how could I possibly resist it? I have so many mugs that Non Birding Bill has tried to put a moratorium on how many we have in the house at one time. However, I can't help it if people give them to me:

Which brings me to one of my newest and most favorite of mugs. During the North Coast Nature Festival, I was marveling at all the turkey vulture merchandise at the Cleveland Metroparks Gift Shops. They ended up giving us swag bag full of turkey vulture stuff: mugs, socks, pins, etc. The above mug looks like a big rainy cloud over the woods when cold.

But, fill it up with hot tea or coffee and the cloud disappears to reveal a flock of turkey vultures--SWEET! As I was setting up the shot, I found another turkey vulture mug and stuck that in.

One of my favorite mugs was given to me by a friend in college. She didn't know it was inaccurate, but that is what made me fall in love with it. It reads house sparrow but is clearly a chipping sparrow. I love it!

And while we're talking about bird chochkies, lets look at my socks. Again, these aren't even half of my socks, but a quick raid of my sock drawer reveals socks with gyrfalcons, sandhill cranes, tanagers, great gray owls...

...turkey vulture socks...

...pileated woodpecker socks--a favorite... ivory-billed woodpecker. Again, these are only half, but there are flamingos, another set of woodpecker socks, more owl socks, more cardinal socks--I'm a sucker for socks. Alas, I only wear them half the year.

Here is a heron/egret frame that I absolutely love. I was given this for pet sitting for a friend. Thanks, Barb.

Ah more gifts--my nondescript bird candle holders (part of a set of four) and who can forget my wren house with bunny wall paper on the outside? Now that was a gift with some thought--I'm a birder and I have rabbits--how could I not love that bird house.

I even have a beanie baby--a purple and blue condor/vulture. Again, this is just the tip of the iceberg. I'm sure if I dig a little deeper I could find more (oh, I forgot to post my yellow-rumped warbler throw cover--thank you thoughtful mother-in-law). But you get the idea. I'm Sharon. I'm a real birder. And I love the bird chochkies. Keep 'em coming manufacturers, keep 'em coming.

Perhaps this has more to do with male vs female shopping habits? I'm not sure I could picture Birdchaser wearing my pink flamingo socks. How about you? Anyone else out there got love for the bird paraphernalia?