The Christmas Bird Count is almost upon us, which means that the holiday season is also in full swing. So what do you get for the birders in your life? We've compiled a list of fun, innovative, and downright birdy gifts that will make the bird lover in your life blush.
FOR YOUR BASIC BIRDER
AVES Bicycle playing cards ($12)
Beautifully illustrated and exceptionally detailed, the new "AVES" deck of cards features some gorgeous bird art. Aves, the scientific name for birds, is a fitting title for a deck of cards featuring art so precise. It's a perfect gift for birders and card collectors alike--they'd look as good on your wall as they do in your hand.
The Mincing Mockingbird Guide to Troubled Birds ($15.95)
Not your typical guidebook. Instead, this Guide to Troubled Birds is devoted to the "psychotic, violent or mentally unstable bird species." The book contains an eclectic roundup of somewhat crazy bird thoughts on the plights of migration, the hazards of windows, and the evilness of cats. Geared towards a "more mature" audience, The Mincing Mockingbird Guide to Troubled Birds is for a birder who will delight in the perils of avian obesity ("This is a bird feeder, not a Chinese buffet").
Audubon Songbirds 2015 Wall Calendar ($13.99)
The 15th edition of Audubon's beloved (if we don't say so ourselves) songbird calendar highlights the world's most melodious birds in stunning detail and full color. Featuring a Black-capped Chickadee perched on a snow-covered branch and a Buff-bellied Hummingbird drinking nectar from a flower, the Audubon Songbirds & Other Backyard Birds Wall Calendar 2015 showcases some of the best bird photography around.
BirdCam mounting arm ($19.95)
Photography and birding often go hand in hand. Many enjoy the waiting game--setting up photo blinds and sitting outside, waiting for that elusive species to appear. The BirdCam Mounting arm provides an alternative: Simply mount on any bird feeder pole, wall, or tree, set up a motion-activated camera (like the one we've suggested below), and carry on with your day. Photos will be waiting for you when you get back.
FOR BIRD LOVERS
A History of Birdwatching in 100 Objects ($26.25)
All 100 items--entirely different in size, shape, and function--in this book have had a profound effect on how we watch, study, and engage with birds. Ranging from an ancient Egyptian field guide to the dodo specimen held at the Horniman museum, each item is accompanied by 500 words on a double-page spread, complete with illustrations. It's a coffee table book you actually want to read.
One-way-mirror bird feeder ($32.95)
Watch your winged visitors enjoy their dinner from the comfort of your own home. The bird feeder features a mirror film on the wall that allows you (or your cat) to watch birds without frightening them away. Suction cups hold the bird feeder (and its approximately pound of bird seed) to the side of your house. And don't worry--it's safe just as long as it's attached to the house, not hanging a few feet away.
The Lost Bird Project ($24.95)
This photo-heavy book, out this year, documents sculptor Todd McGrain's work on the Lost Bird Project. To commemorate five now extinct birds--the Passenger Pigeon, the Great Auk, the Labrador Duck, the Carolina Parakeet, and the Health Hen--McGrain created five sculptures, and erected them as memorials in the birds' former habitats. The book captures the process of making and placing each sculpture, along with plenty of details about the birds themselves.
FOR THAT SPECIAL BIRDER
Birding art (Varied)
This online Birding Art Gallery contains a stunning array of paintings depicting birds. Prices aren't listed on the website, but you can reach out to an artist via email if you see something you know would delight loved one--or something that simply delights you.
Wingscapes BirdCam PRO Motion-Activated Digital Wildlife Camera ($140)
Remember that BirdCam mounting arm we mentioned earlier? Well, you're going to need a motion-activated camera to take the pictures of those flitting birds. The BirdCam PRO motion-activated digital wildlife camera is equipped with a motion sensor for detecting animals, which then activates the camera. Also, it's housed in a lockable weatherproof case so it can be safely left outside for extended periods of time.
Build-your-own Maven binoculars ($500 and up)
Birders are always on the lookout for the best binoculars on the market. These Maven binoculars are not only pretty exceptional, they're customizable--in everything from design to intensity. For the birder who has been extra good this year.