Gifts for Birders
Birders are not the easiest people to shop for. We know.
This list is based on years of experience shopping for birders. Please let me know if you have additional suggestions!
Gifts Under $10
Every birder loves hummingbirds, and hummingbird feeders are one of the best parts of garden birding. Perky-Pet makes some of the best hummingbird feeders. Hummingbirds love them, and they’re easy to clean and fill. This model takes it to the next level by putting the hummingbird feeder directly on the window!
While birding, sunglasses come on and off all the time – going in and out of the woods, putting the camera eyepiece up to your eyes, and looking through binoculars. An eyewear strap keeps glasses and sunglasses safe.
Everyone knows that they’re not supposed to clean their expensive optics with their shirt, but we all do it. The Nikon LensPen is small enough to fit in a pocket, and it includes both wet and dry lens cleaning tools. On one end, the cap covers a cleaning pad with a cleaning agent, and the other end has a retractable brush. It’s a great way to keep lenses clean without worry about scratching them.
My books are all about the study and discovery of birds. This approach to birding requires looking carefully at a bird’s personality and appearance. This field notebook has paired pages with a space for sketching on the left and notes on the right. I believe that all the best field birders in the world took field notes at some time. Try learning to fill in all the pieces of the jig-saw puzzle that birds offer. You will learn to see more than you ever imagined – it’s a lot of fun!
Almost any birding trip involves water whether its birding near a small stream, getting rained on, or pelagic birding miles from shore. A dry bag is the best place to keep your electronics and spare clothes dry when needed. I lost a camera in the rain because I didn’t have one of these.
Poison Ivy never affected me until a few years ago. Poison Oak and Poison Ivy can quickly turn a great birding trip into an itchy week. I use Tecnu for removing urushiol, the oily allergen that causes the rash from poisonous plants. These wipes will help a birder to wipe the urushiol off their skin right after crashing through the bushes so it doesn’t turn into a rash.
Birds crashing into windows isn’t inevitable, it can be prevented with simple stickers on your windows. These faint stickers are only barely noticeable, but birds can easily see them. When they see the decal on the window, they realize that the windows is there before they fly into it. Save some birds!
Gift Ideas Under $30
A smartphone has become a critical part of birding. Whether you’re looking up bird plates on this website, playing bird calls, or logging birds, batteries drain fast. Especially when you have your brightness turned up in the sun, smartphone batteries often die before lunch. One of these lightweight, portable battery packs can keep a phone charged all day long – every day. Plug in this battery pack to charge each evening and throw it in your backpack in the morning. They are great for birding, travel, and even long days at the office.
When I travel, my hotel room is a mess of wires and chargers. These handy USB chargers greatly simplify the number of wall outlets I need and speed up charging all of my devices.
A long day of carrying a tripod, scope, and camera equipment can leave my shoulders pretty sore. These cushioned straps soften the weight of the tripod when carrying it.
I have always been a bad boy when it comes to taking care of my eyes and skin. I have learned that the hard way – but it’s too late. A good sun hat keeps the sun off your neck, the glare from your eyes, and the rain from your head. They’re a great gift for birders and anyone who loves the outdoors!
Birding doesn’t end when it gets cold outside. Heck it’s a great time to get out as the birds are all the more concentrated in warmer places. These hand warmers really make a difference when birding in cold conditions.
These aren’t your mom’s wool socks. Modern Smartwool socks are really comfortable hiking socks. They wick away moisture to keep feet dry, and they do a great job preventing blisters. They come in colors from khaki to the fun ones pictured here, and you can never have too many!
A binocular harness keeps a birder’s binoculars close at hand in the field and keeps them from jostling while they’re walking. I don’t wear a harness myself, but many of my friends wear one every day – and swear by them. I’m getting to the point where I will be soon!
Gifts Ideas Under $50
A “Lumbar Pack” is the modern fanny pack, and it has room for food, water bottles, and birding gear. This practical lumbar pack leaves shoulders free for straps and optics. Being called an ‘Oriole’ lumbar pack it just had to be made for us!
Woodpeckers only feel comfortable eating when they have a tail prop, a place to rest their tail while they eat. For small woodpeckers, they can prop their tail on the suet while they’re eating, but larger woodpeckers need a more substantial feeder. A friend of mine has been using this feeder for years, and woodpeckers love it. Whether a birder is trying to attract Pileated or Ivory-Billed woodpeckers, this is a great choice.
Feeding squirrels is a lot of fun. They have a lot of personality, and they love to perform. If you or birders you know have decided that they want to feed birds too, this feeder will make sure the birds get some of the seed. When heavy squirrels hit the feeder, the perch drops and a plate covers the seed. It’s a great choice for a hopper feeder when the squirrels think they are in charge.
Gift Ideas Under $75
Hoppers are a great, all around feeder that’s perfect for attracting lots of garden birds. Birds Choice feeders are a cut above the rest, and they seem to have thought of everything. They are more durable and maintainable than other feeders, and the little things like the mesh bottom and solid wood construction are better for the birds and for the birders.
CamelBaks are part backpack and part water bottle, and they’re pretty good at both. This backpack has enough room for a day of hiking and plenty of water for one too.