I admit to feeling a bit smug. My Christmas shopping is done, the gifts are wrapped and delivered, and I can relax with a cup of tea and simply enjoy the season. However, I realize a lot of people are still wracking their brains for the perfect present for someone. I can’t help you with Aunt Milley who has everything, but I do have some ideas for any birders on your list. Happily, birders are easy to shop for. Pretty much anything bird-related is bound to be a hit.
Fun & Games
We’re all familiar with Angry Birds (and the inevitable board game derived from the app), but how about Bird-opoly? Yes, you can play Monopoly with a bird theme. The “deeds” are birds, and there are fun facts on every card so you can learn about the birds as you play.
Another boxed game is Birds on a Wire, published by Gryphon Games. I haven’t played this one, but the reviews were pretty enthusiastic. The blurb on the back of the box says,
You’ve heard the old saying: “Birds of a feather flock together”? Well, the same is true when they gather on wires—that is, before they get zapped and fly away! On their own power lines, players arrange birds into sets of three, trying to match the same color, the same size, all different colors, or all different sizes. Birds on a Wire includes two sets of rules: one for families with children 7 and up and another for more advanced play.”
Then there’s the Birdwatching Trivia Game. As a Trivial Pursuit addict, I was pretty excited to discover this game. The birds are all from North America, great for local birders, but not so appropriate for recipients overseas. The different levels of difficulty keep players from getting too frustrated. This would be a great way to learn more about birds and have fun doing it. You might create an entire birdwatching family!
I don’t wear a lot of jewelry, but I have a weakness for earrings. If those earrings happen to depict birds, so much the better. My family and friends know this—I have toucans, Brown Pelicans, trogons, Gambel’s Quail, a meadowlark and nest, and many other species all living in my jewelry box. Not sure where to look? Besides shopping online, try a local wild bird store, museum shop, or nature center.
My birds don’t stop at my ears. My belt buckle sports an owl. You can buy socks decorated with all sorts of birds (I really liked the selection at Wheel House Designs). And I haven’t even started on the huge assortment of fun t-shirts available!
Decorate Your Bower
You can get almost anything with a bird on it. There are mouse pads, rugs, clocks, dish towels, tote bags, key chains, aprons, coasters, salt and pepper shakers (why are these cardinals both males?), keepsake boxes, decorative dishes, Christmas ornaments… you name it, someone has made it. I have a bumper sticker on my car warning other drivers that I brake for birds; my friend’s license plate holder states that she’d “rather be pishing.”
If you have a bigger budget, how about getting your favorite birder a parks pass for the coming year? Colorado State Parks cost around $6 per visit, or you can get a year of visits for $70 ($60 for those over 64, $14 for those qualifying with low income, and free for disabled vets). Other states have similar prices. I’m much more willing to drop in for a short visit if I don’t have to pay each time. Other refuges and sanctuaries have similar offers.
I’ve made lots of other suggestions over the years, so if none of this appeals to you, type “gift” into the search box at the top of the page for more ideas. Then, sit back, enjoy a visit with friends, have a cookie, and wish Jesus a very happy birthday!