Birds are remarkable – they transform entire landscapes, keep coral reefs alive, inspire scientific research and discoveries daily, and are an indispensable part of our ecosystem. As such, I don’t find it all that hard to believe that the already large number of birders, birdwatchers, and ornithology lovers is growing more and more every year.
And with that rising number of bird lovers, there’s a growing need for good gift ideas. Buying a gift for a birder can be difficult, to say the least. If you don’t know much about it yourself, and have little to no experience in bird watching, buying a gift that will actually be used won’t be easy.
To make your life easier, I’ve put together a list of some of the best gifts you can get for birders, bird lovers, and ornithologists. I hope it’ll help you in your search for the perfect gift.
1. What It’s Like to Be a Bird
What It’s Like to Be a Bird is one of my favorite books to get for newbie birdwatchers and anyone with a fresh interest in ornithology. It’s an exciting and intriguing book that’s geared towards answering the most commonly asked questions about birds.
It ranges from simple questions like “can birds smell?”, to more specific questions like “can Robins hear worms?”. One of the things I like most about it is it’s chock-full of illustrations and is non-technical, making it perfect for inexperienced bird lovers and children alike.
2. Sibley’s Birding Basics
If your giftee is a serious birder, or someone who’s looking to really get into birdwatching, I don’t think I could recommend a book more than Sibley’s Birding Basics. It’s a comprehensive, gorgeously illustrated guide to getting started as a birder, and specifically, the best techniques to use while identifying birds in the field.
It’s a cult favorite that’s revered by bird lovers around the globe, and while it’s by no means and identification guide, that’s not what it tries to be. Its purpose is to share techniques that will make you a better birder, and it succeeds in doing so.
3. National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America
Now, since we touched on the topic of identification guides, there is no better guide than National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America. Their seventh edition, in particular, is the best of the best. It includes entries for 1,023 bird species, contains nearly 700 hand-painted illustrations from world-renowned nature artists, and almost a hundred detailed maps.
It’s one of the best, if not the best, field guides to birds you can find, and is perfect for birdwatchers of all skill level.
4. The Genius of Birds
The Genius of Birds is a book I’d recommend to literally anyone. The book is written so well on such an interesting topic that I think people with initially zero interest in birds would finish it and love birds just as much as the next birder.
The book follows Jennifer Ackerman as she travels around the world revealing the recently discovered brilliance and remarkable intelligence of our avian friends. It also touches on the latest scientific findings about the bird brain itself, that are shifting our perceptions of what it means to actually be intelligent. 10/10 would recommend to anyone remotely interested in birds, or not.
5. PLB (Personal Location Beacon)
If the bird lover you’re buying a gift for doesn’t hike often or frequent areas without cell phone service, this product won’t be as applicable to you. If they do, read on.
In my eyes this is the best gift on this list, and the first one I would buy for anyone who frequently visits areas with unreliable cell phone service. I like to ensure that those I care for are as prepared as possible for worst-case scenarios and life-threatening situations, and getting them a PLB is one of the easiest and most reliable ways to do this.
PLB’s are handheld devices that work by transmitting distress signals in emergency situations to the global satellite system, who then send the distress signal to local emergency services. They transmit information such as the PLB’s ID, precise GPS coordinates, and a homing signal that makes it easier for search-and-rescue to find you in dense vegetation and near cliffs.
They can save your life, and I recommend anyone who frequently travels to remote areas (birders, hikers, kayakers, cavers, rock climbers, field scientists, and more) have a permanent place for one in their pack.
The ResQLink 400, made by ARC, one of the most well-known and highest rated PLB manufacturers, is the one that I recommend. Unlike many other PLB devices, it requires no subscription, can be used anywhere in the world, and operates on all three Cospas-Sarsat satellite systems ensuring near instantaneous signal detection. It also comes built in with infrared strobe lights, a 5-year battery life, and a buoyant body, making it friendly for use around water.
If you’re trying to find a gift for a bird watching newbie, this is a great one. While their more experienced peers will already have a nice pair of binoculars, beginners won’t, which makes it a useful gift.
This highly recommended pair of binoculars made by Zeiss are a favorite of many birders. They’re compact, lightweight, waterproof, and virtually indestructible. They also have a special coating on their scopes that enables a clear view in any weather condition, even the rainiest.
7. Hiking Shoes
If your giftee enjoys bird watching in the extreme outdoors, hiking boots are a helpful present. These Newton Ridge Plus II made by Columbia (one of my favorite brands) are waterproof, durable, high traction, and comfortable.
They’ll provide ankle support and traction that other types of footwear just can’t give you and help prevent you from slipping on the trail.
8. Foldable Chair
This is a gift that I personally use and recommend to anyone that frequently spends time outdoors – including birdwatchers. A folding chair can make even the most uncomfortable surfaces sitting friendly, and I cannot vouch for them enough. This one is made specifically for travel, and is lightweight and packable.
9. Comfortable Sandals
If you can’t visualize the person you’re getting a gift for willingly wearing hiking boots, these are great alternative. Made specifically for hiking, they built these sandals for comfort, durability, traction control, and are highly adjustable, ensuring they’ll fit on feet of all shapes and sizes.
10. Water Purifier Bottle
Water filtration is an amazing thing. It’s one of the greatest inventions of modern day history and has virtually eliminated waterborne diseases in many countries around the world.
Having a water filtration system on hand when you’re out and about is something I consider crucial. I’ve used many kinds – iodine tablets, filtration straws, sterilizing pens, and more. My favorite are water filter bottles. They allow you to carry water with you (which is important) and don’t leave a weird taste in your mouth like iodine tablets do. One of my favorites is the GRAYL Geopress. It holds 16 ounces of water, removes all types of pathogens, filters out pesticides, heavy metals ,microplastics, and chemicals, and does so in as little as eight seconds.
11. Day Bag
This is another great gift for active bird watchers. Having a reliable backpack is essential for anyone who consistently spends time outdoors. It’s important – your bag holds all of your equipment and supplies, so you’ve got to make sure you get a reliable one. This day pack from Osprey is just the right size for a day hike, is highly durable, and will last a long time.
12. Action Camera
While many birdwatchers will already have a traditional camera for snapping pictures of their finds, a lot of them won’t have an action camera, which is a real shame.
They’re an entirely different breed of camera, and I recommend anyone who hikes, camps, or frequents the outdoors a lot gets one. The most famous brand of action camera, called the GoPro, is built to be extremely durable while still maintaining superb image and video quality.
And they’re famous for a reason – their newest model, the GoPro HERO9 shoots in 5k video, are waterproof, extremely durable, and come with built in stabilization to ensure videos don’t appear shaky, even when riding a bike or running.
13. Binocular Tripod Mount
If you have a pair of binoculars, you’ve got to have a binocular tripod mount to go with it. Well, you don’t have to, but it’s a whole lot more comfortable to rest your binoculars on a stable stand then it is to hold them the whole time. This is an affordable one that is compatible with a wide range of binoculars, and comes packaged with everything you need.
If you decide to buy a binocular tripod mount for your giftee, make sure they already have a tripod. (or be willing to buy one as a second gift) A tripod mount will be useless without a tripod to mount it on. This is a basic, lightweight tripod with adjustable legs that extend from 25 to 60 inches.
15. Power Bank
A power bank is useful if you’re carrying electronic devices that require a charge. That’s pretty much every electronic device, so I can almost guarantee it’ll be a useful gift. This Anker PowerCore is one of the highest capacity power banks you can get.
16. UPF Hat
For anyone who is out in the sun a lot, clothes with UPF protection are a necessity. They are just as effective at preventing UV damage as traditional sunscreens, don’t have to be reapplied, and will last a long time if you buy durable products. Sunscreen is also a necessity, but is much less reliable because, let’s be honest, reapplying ain’t gonna happen near as often as it should.
Out of all the upf 50+ apparel I own, sun hats are the ones that I wear most. I wear them pretty much anytime I’m leaving my house, unless I need to be somewhere with neat hair. Going for a day hike or a seven day backpacking trip? Sun hat. Grocery store? Sun hat. Watering my plants? Sun hat.
Wearing them is an easy and effective way to prevent facial sun damage and premature aging, and I use them in combination with sunscreen daily. They also keep my head cool in even the sunniest weather, which is much appreciated during brutal summers.
This polyester hat is collapsible and packable, making them ideal for those with active lifestyles. It got a UPF of 50+ and comes with chin straps, which is very important to me – I’ve lost hats before from strong winds, and now exclusively buy sun hats with straps.
17. Rain Poncho
Active bird watchers should always have some sort of rain gear to prevent them and their equipment from getting wet in unexpected downpours. While a raincoat does a good job of keeping your torso dry, it won’t protect your legs or your bag, which is why I recommend getting a poncho. They’re big enough to cover your bag and often reach mid thigh. They’re also super lightweight and comfortable.
And, as a bonus, they can even be used as a makeshift tent if need be.
YARD & GARDEN
18. Bird Planter
This bird inspired hanging pot is adorable, and if your bird watching, garden loving gift recipient is anything like the gardeners I know, you cannot have too many planters.
19. Solar Yard Light
These solar yard lights add a nice pop of color to your lawn during day and night, and they’re flamingo and owl inspired too, making them perfect for any bird lover.
They’re made of durable stainless steel, are weather resistant, come with batteries included, and come equipped with an energy saving timer that automatically shuts off the lights after six hours.
There are two types of people in this world – people who love wind chimes, and people who hate them. I fall into the former.
This intricate bell wind chime is beautiful, and is designed to look like a bird nest with a mother bird feeding her two babies. It pulls it off without looking garish, tacky, or over complicated, which is a pretty big feat.
21. Bird Feeder
It’s no surprise this is on the list. If you love bird watching, you’re gonna love watching them at home, too. This one holds up to 1.3 pounds of seed, has a patented ventilation system that keeps seed fresh longer, and most importantly, is squirrel proof – no, seriously, they will eat all of your bird seed if you let them.
22. Hummingbird Feeder
Hummingbirds are an elusive animal that have captured the hearts of bird lovers everywhere. They’re delicate, are only found in the New World (North, South, and Central America), and range from sizes of 2 grams to 20 grams. They’ve got a unique flight pattern, are one of the few bird species that can hover, and are the only bird species that can fly backwards. It’s no wonder why so many people are enthralled by them.
Hummingbirds don’t eat seeds like other birds. They sustain themselves with tiny insects, spiders, tree sap, and nectar. As such, they require a completely different kind of bird feeder. This vibrant hand blown glass hummingbird feeder is colorful, not only to be pleasing on the eye, but to attract more hummingbirds. It’s easy to clean, easy to fill, and comes with a lifetime warranty.
One of the best ways to make your backyard more attractive to birds is to set up a birdbath, as they need a dependable supply of freshwater for drinking and bathing.
Not all bird baths are created equal, though. Opt for ones that are shallow, gently sloped, easy to clean, and made of a durable material. (Like this one.)
24. Birdbath Heater
If you want to ensure non-migratory birds and feathered friends caught up in an early frost have access to warm freshwater during winter, a bird bath de-icer is the product to get.
This one has a built-in thermometer that conserves energy when water doesn’t need to be heated, heats up to 15 gallons of water, is compatible with almost all bird baths, and has a stainless steel guard surrounding the heating element and an auto shut-off feature to prevent wildlife from getting burned.
25. Birdbath Water Mover
Another great feature to add to your bird bath is a water agitator. If you what the largest amount of birds to visit your property, find a way to create running water in your backyard. Whether that’s through buying a waterfall or getting a water agitator, it doesn’t matter – birds love running water, and they flock to it like crazy.
Another reason they’re awesome (and the reason I really, really like them) is that they discourage the propagation of mosquitoes. I live in the south, and from mid spring too late fall I can’t even open my front door without having a mosquito slip inside, and then spend the whole night swatting and hearing their torturous buzzing.
The less mosquitoes breed in my yard, the less there are in my house – that’s reason enough to buy a water agitator for me.
26. Bird Friendly Coffee
If your giftee is as big of a coffee drinker as they are a bird lover, a certified bird friendly coffee would be a fitting gift. The large majority of coffee brands do not grow their product in avian friendly environments, and in fact often destroyed birds’ natural habitats to make way for coffee growing.
In order for a brand to get the bird friendly certified seal, they have to meet Smithsonian conservation guidelines that include using a combination foliage cover, tree height and biodiversity to provide a quality habitat for birds and other wildlife.
This ensures that companies, instead of relying on deforestation, provide a quality habitat to wildlife in need. If you yourself are a coffee lover, I highly recommend that you look for a bird friendly cup of Joe.
This bird friendly coffee made by Allegro is a medium roast with mellow, chocolaty, nutty undertones.
27. Bird Mug
29. Tea Kettle
31. Wall Clock
32. Cuckoo Clock
33. Hummingbird Hat
34. Minimalist T-Shirt
35. Decorative T-Shirt
36. Bird Watch
37. Hummingbird Necklace
FUN & GAMES
38. Wingspan (Bird Collecting Board Game)
39. Bird Trivia Game
40. Bird Monopoly
41. Jigsaw Puzzle
42. Crossword Puzzle Book
43. Coloring Book
Those are all the good gifts ideas I could think up for bird watchers, birders, and bird lovers. I hope this list has been useful, and has helped you find the perfect gift! I’m sure I’ve missed some, so if you think of one I haven’t included, feel free to let me know about it in the comments below.
Please note that this article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of them, I earn a commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I 100% stand behind.
Hi, I’m Ash!
I’m a laid back traveler who loves experiencing new things and spontaneity. My favorite hobbies are hiking, gardening, skincare, and all things tea.
My biggest goal is to spread the word about sustainable travel and show everyone how easy it is to partake in. If you wanna learn more about that or get to know me better, feel free to click here.