Birdchick Gift Guide 2008

It's time for some of my picks for gift ideas for the birder in your life. Here is a link to all my other past gift suggestions. The gift ideas range for birders of all ages and all abilities. I'm not paid by anyone to endorse any of these products, although a few you may recognize as sponsors of this site. These are all products that I totally dig.

If you have any birder gift ideas that you don't see listed, please feel free to add them in the comments.

Gifts & A Good Cause

The Duck Stamp (or The Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, ya happy, Paul?) Birders of all levels and is okay to give more than once in a year. I'd be honored if I ended up getting five this Holiday Season.

I've said it before and I'll say it again--this is an EXCELLENT gift for anyone into birds, especially for the birder who appears to have everything. The money from purchase of the stamps is used to acquire habitat for waterfowl but that benefits many species of birds including warblers, sparrows, herons, grebes, and shorebirds. The stamp costs $15 and 98% of that $15 goes to purchase habitat for ducks and other wildlife. People and birds benefit from this purchase.

Burning Hawk Wine (great for birders over 21 years of age)

This company was the hit of the show at the Rio Grande Valley Bird Festival. They hosted the Kiskadee Cordial where festival attendees could sample the wine and socialize. This past May a hawk was electrocuted and caught fire and set a vineyard ablaze. That awful incident sparked several people, like founder Nick Papadopoulos to create a line of wines that are not only tasty but help birds. They company devotes 10% of all sales to bird conservation projects. There's a red and a white and I purchase a red that is very robust, a little bit on the sweet side, but a great wine. Non Birding Bill really enjoyed it. This is a great gift even for the non birding people in you life. You'll note that I have a button ad for this company on my site. If you click on that to order the wine, I get a tiny percentage, but honestly, this company mission is so good, I don't care if you order it through my site or go directly to them from google. It's a great wine and even better cause.

Cornell Lab Of Ornithology Gifts

I was going to post some cool gifts from Cornell Lab or Ornithology, but they have their own gift guide this year. Please check it out. Some of my favorites include the Year Long Membership to Project Feeder Watch (great for backyard birders and kids), Birds of North America Online Membership (perfect for hardcore or intermediate birder--have a question about some bird in North America, you'll find the answer there. Especially with the growing popularity of iPhones and iTouches, this is a great online birding resource.


The Young Birder's Guide (kids and new birders)

BEST BIRDING BOOK TO COME OUT ALL YEAR. Bill Thompson worked with kids to find out what kind of a birding guide they would like. I have reviewed this book already, but this would be an ideal gift for any kid you'd like to get a little more into birding. It's in an approachable format, has cool birding facts, habitat tips, just about everything. I've even met a few adult birders working on honing their skills appreciate the book. I'd even buy one of these and donate it to Toys For Tots.

City Birds/Country Birds (backyard birder, especially in urban areas)

This is my second and it came out this spring. It's how to attract birds no matter where you live, even if it's in an urban area. The information is based on my 8 years working in a bird feeding retail store and from my personal backyard birding experience. Lots of photos (some from blog readers) and fun to read information. You can get it in a number of places, but if you would like a personalized copy, get it from the Birdchic Boutique.

The New Peterson Field Guide (birders of all levels, although if you know a hardcore birder, chances are good that they already have it).

This is a revamped version of the classic illustrated guide by Roger Tory Peterson. If you have always been a fan of Peterson, you will love this updated version--larger pictures and text, small maps on the species page with larger maps in back, added species, updated maps, and a url to video podcasts. A good classic birder gift. Should be available at most bird stores and book stores.

The Smithsonian Field Guide to Birds (birders of all levels)

This is a more comprehensive take on a photographic field guide. The photos are very good and unlike other photographic guides, there are several photos for each species. This is a newer guide that is not getting the attention it deserves, but would be a welcome addition to most bird watcher's shelves. This might be a bit overwhelming for a new birder or young birder, but for the gung-ho birder, this is a must.

The Boreal Owl Murder (birders of all levels)

This is a cute book. I read it on a flight, and I've loaned my copy to a few other birding friends (some hardcore) and I think one summed it up best: "It was good and it's a book you don't have to be 99% present to read." It's a murder mystery set in Minnesota involving birders. It's cutesy (the main character's name is Bob White--ha ha get it, cause he's a birder) but there all sorts of birding references and Minnesota references--I think she killed off Bill Lane in the book. Again, it's a fun, easy read and just about everything in it bird-wise is accurate (although I disagree with the character who said boreals don't respond to tapes, they sure do). I only found one glaring inaccuracy. She made a Minnesota Ornithologists' Union Board Meeting sound way too friendly and fun.

For The Birds (the backyard birder)

Sisters who own Wild Birds Unlimited franchises combined their birding feeding knowledge and created this book/calendar. It goes through the calendar year and lets you know what birds to expect, what feeds work best for the time of year, kids projects, and personal tips from the authors. The book is good for the entire US, both eastern and western. Available at a Wild Birds Unlimited near you.


Hand Painted Coins (birders of all levels)

I found these when I was at Civic Fest this summer. He paints coins and makes them into pendents for necklaces, cuff links, money clips, etc. I bought a Slovakian coin with a honey bee on it that's absolutely beautiful. He does the US Quarters and coins from other countries, so you can find any manner of birds or wildlife. If you are looking for unique, this is it.

Feather Brain (the flashy birder)

I just thought these were cute headbands.

The Mincing Mockingbird (the birder with a good sense of humor).

Off the wall bird art, what more do you need to know?

Go Go Birding Gadgets

Snapshot Adventures: The Secrets of Bird Island (kids)

This is an awesome little computer game. My only beef is that it is currently only for PCs and not Macs at the moment. But essentially, you use your grandfather's journal to find out where he disappeared to. You meet some of his friends along the way and they ask you to take photos of birds. The birds move and you get points for birds in different poses. Also, if you don't know what a bird is that they want you to find, you have a guide. The birds are fairly accurate and it's a fun way to do some nature photography on a rainy day as well as learn some mad birding skills. Awesome and fun computer game. Heck, some adults will even enjoy this.

Remembird (intermediate to hardcore birders)

This is an awesome little device! It's a digital audio recorder that you can either wear on your neck or attach to your binoculars. When it's on your binos, the buttons for recording fall where your fingers fall and it's very intuitive to use. It's great for taking audio notes of birds. Your looking at the bird and the card takes in all you info. You then can listen later and compare in your field guide. The microphone has 2 settings, one for up close recording for taking notes and one that will grab audio from further away. Can't id that bird song? Grab it on your Remembird and compare it to your birdJam when you get home. Remembird also comes with software and it will keep track of all your audio recordings and you can even make your own list of birds recorded. Very sweet and a useful tool for taking notes and learning your bird calls.

birdJam (great for birders of all levels)

This is as always a great gift idea, one I've mentioned several times. Also, I just noticed that they currently are having bundled special of an iPod Touch, iMaingo portable speaker, software, & songs. It's a really great deal.

The Gift Of Time

Another thing to consider is that if you want to give someone a really nice gift, maybe chip in with other family members, why not buy someone a registration to a bird festival? I go to a lot of bird festivals and they are fun, but the cost can add up between registering, flight, and hotel. If you can help a birder ease some of that travel burden, registration to a bird festival is a great way to go. Some festivals coming up in the near future that would be idea include The Space Coast Birding and Nature Festival (Florida in January) or the San Diego Bird Festival (southern California in March).

Again, these are some ideas that have caught my eye this year. Please feel free to add suggestions and links in the comments (although, I will delete things I find unsuitable for this list like World of Warcraft, Viagra, and Botox).