It is a common, well known and absolutely established fact that bird watchers are always wonderful and loveable human beings, and as such it is no wonder that people are always wanting to buy us gifts!
For a birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah, Earth Day or any other day – or just because – you may be looking for perfect gifts for that bird lover in your life, and so I’ve put together a list of the best birding gifts on the market today. I know I myself would be totally thrilled to get any one of these, and I’m sure the birder in your life would be too!
Table of Contents
- Related Articles:
- Birdwatching Binoculars & Spotting Scopes
- Cameras for Bird Watching and Bird Photography
- Books and Field Guides for Bird Watchers
- Bird Feeders, Bird Baths and Bird Houses
- Miscellaneous Presents for Bird Lovers
- Bird Watching Gifts for Children
- 10 Best Binoculars For Birding: In-depth Buyers Guide
- Hummingbird Gifts: 15 Ideas For Gifts For Hummingbird Lovers
- Best Hanging Bird Baths: Birdwatchers Review 2022
Birdwatching Binoculars & Spotting Scopes
A pair of high quality binoculars is the quintessential gift for bird lovers, and yet high quality does not necessarily mean high price.
Even for a birder who already had their own binoculars, any of the choices below – ranging from super-affordable to, well, a bit more pricey, would be a wonderful present and deeply appreciated.
And they can’t help but be impressed by the choice you made – each of these picks is not just the ideal size and type for bird watching, but the best choice imaginable at its respective price level.
Birdwatching Gifts Under 50 Dollars
Ridiculously inexpensive, given their image quality, construction quality and durability, the Celestron UpClose are easily one of the best values today in bird watching gear.
They are also, despite their low price, truly superb binoculars, with a clear and undistorted picture right to the edges and great color accuracy – just what a birder wants.
For somebody just starting out, a young bird watcher, anybody whose binoculars may be getting a bit crusty and dusty, or even a serious bird enthusiast, as a backup or travel pair, the Celestron UpClose are a great gift.
Birdwatching Gifts Under 100 Dollars
People are surprised that you can get Nikon binoculars for under a hundred dollars, but in fact the ProStaff aren’t even the least expensive pair Nikon makes.
They are, though, significantly better than their opening-level portable binoculars, and significantly better than anything else I’ve tried in this price range – nearly perfect performance, in fact, in terms of brightness, clarity and color fidelity.
True Nikon optics, real Nikon material and build quality – the Nikon ProStaff are a great present for any bird watcher on any level.
A wonderful and clever product from one of the top optics companies, and for a very low price, the Gosky Titan is an excellent monoscope, or spotting scope, for bird watching, which in itself makes it well worth the low price.
But it also includes a cell phone adaptor, allowing you to physically/optically connect the scope to your phone and take amazingly high quality pictures.
Much more powerful than your normal bird watching binoculars, the Gosky Titan brings the birds right up close, and the clarity and colors are just outstanding – a really great and unexpected gift!
Mid-Priced Birdwatching Gifts
In less than twenty years Vortex Optics has established itself as one of the true industry leaders in top-grade optics and optical products at reasonable prices.
They have also become one of the favorite companies among bird watchers, who rave about their binoculars – bright, solid, low distortion, great color fidelity and incredible detail.
It says something that in this highly competitive middle-priced category my first choice is not a Nikon or Pentax, nor a lower-line Zeiss or Leica, but the beautiful Vortex Diamondback – a true inside recommendation that will show you care enough to have really done the research, and a gift that can’t help but thrill the recipient.
Premium Birdwatching Gifts
Ok, for Zeiss these are actually more mid-priced than premium, at least in terms of what they cost.
They are also, for just under five hundred dollars, the only binoculars in this range that offer a significant improvement over the wonderful Vortex Diamondback above – and in fact a pretty dramatic improvement at that.
A truly luxurious gift in every way, the Zeiss Terra have superior optics, a beautiful design, a new level of fit and finish and the real caché of the Zeiss name – whomever receives these beautiful binoculars will be mightily impressed before they even try them, and then they’ll be blown away!
While the Swarovski NL Pure Binoculars, at just a shade over 3000 dollars (!), are widely considered the best birding binoculars on the planet, you can actually get a pair of first-rate Swarovski binoculars for well under a grand – and they are without question the finest binoculars for birdwatching – or for anything – anywhere near this price, easily outperforming even much, much more expensive products.
If the person you’re buying for is really serious about birds, there is nothing I can think of that would serve them better, or thrill them more, than the superb compact Swarovski CL binoculars.
Cameras for Bird Watching and Bird Photography
No doubt about it – a camera is an expensive gift, and to get the wrong one can be a colossal waste of money.
To get the right camera, though – with real sophistication in exposure control and auto-focus, a long and sharp zoom lens, ease and quickness of use as well as highly flexible and powerful manual control – is to get something that will please and serve a birder more than maybe any other present.
And this sophistication, resolution and usability are all there in spades in these three perfect choices for bird watchers and bird photographers, ranging from the least expensive serious camera I’ve ever used to a fairly expensive high-end camera that is, despite its price, one of the best values available today.
An incredible value, the Panasonic Lumix looks, feels and performs like it should cost two or three times what it does, and ends up being a better bird photography camera than many models that are far more expensive.
With a fast, extreme zoom lens that can capture even distant birds up close, with high resolution, low distortion and beautiful color fidelity, the Panasonic Lumix FZ80 seems made for nature photography, and in particular for the birds.
This is the least expensive camera I would consider a serious choice for bird watchers, and while I know it’s not cheap, the FZ80 is a supreme value, and it’s hard to imagine anybody who wouldn’t be totally jazzed to have and use it.
With a lens that is fast and sharp, and zooms smoothly from a great wide angle to a nice telephoto, the Canon EOS 80D makes finding and photographing even shy birds a breeze.
But more than that, this ultra-popular, award winning and highly rated camera takes the best quality pictures of any camera in its price range, and is built like a tank.
Superb pictures, an ideal lens for birding, simple automatic use combined with the most advanced manual features – it is hard to imagine a better camera for a bird lover, or a better value in advanced digital photography.
Without spending thousands of dollars (which you can easily do!), this Nikon D7500 is the best camera overall I know, and definitely the best for bird photography.
With a nice long lens, that’s super-sharp and has excellent color fidelity and low distortion, and a highly advanced auto-focus system, this Nikon is a birder’s dream come true, and it can also take full HD videos!
Unless the person you’re buying for is a National Geographic photographer, the Nikon D7500 is definitely a huge upgrade on what they’re currently using, and a professional level camera at an affordable price.
Books and Field Guides for Bird Watchers
In terms of actual value and usefulness for the average birdwatcher – not saying that the birdwatcher in your life is average! – there is probably no better inexpensive gift you could get than a nice field guide.
And so I’m including here not just the best general guide I know, but the best new area-specific guides as well.
The third book I’m including is, well, just for fun – a bit strange and a bit delightful, and sure to capture the heart of any bird lover.
The best general coverage field guide to birds you can get, National Geographic’s Birds of North America has superb, highly accurate and helpful illustrations, well made and fully up to date range maps and genuinely helpful information about over a thousand birds.
One of the most amazingly thoughtful and usable bird watching gift ideas, this field guide is also a beautiful book just to peruse, and – depending on how much you love them 😉 – it’s available in a super-affordable paperback or a super-premium hardback!
Available for 23 states – so far, at least – these beautifully illustrated, warm and useful guides make bird watching more successful and more fun, and you can get them in both Kindle and paperback format – a wonderful bird lover gift!
Full of valuable and fully up to date information, and laid out to make both finding birds and identifying birds you’ve already found as easy as possible, this is a great series, from a man – Stan Tekiela – who really knows and loves birds.
A close look at 150 birds the bird watcher in your life may never actually get close to, Dominic Couzens’ Extreme Birds is a photographic tour de force and an enormously entertaining – and at times quite shocking – book.
In an age when you can find endless lists of just this type on the internet, it is so nice to remember, and see first hand, how much more impactful a well printed physical book can be, especially when it contains so much fascinating information on each of these odd and provocative birds.
Bird Feeders, Bird Baths and Bird Houses
Bird feeders, baths and houses can be great mid-priced presents that can have a real impact on the person receiving them – beautiful, thoughtful and very valuable to a birder – and the amount and variety of birds the right ones can attract will be sure to delight your bird lover every single day.
But they can also be as difficult and intimidating to choose as a pair of binoculars or a camera, with questions about personal style, quality and actual effectiveness all big and important things to consider.
So I tried to make it a lot easier, with products that are not only great values at their prospective price levels, but effective and valuable ones as well, and with classic and timeless styles that will appeal to a wide variety of bird enthusiasts.
Well, maybe not the Plow and Hearth bird baths – they are less “classic and timeless” and more “fun and silly!”
A simple and effective birdbath that is quite inexpensive and yet really elegant and beautifully finished, the Gray Bunny is light but strong, and meant for years of outdoor use and enjoyment.
Fun Plow and Hearth Birdbaths – Forest Critters!
- Plow and Hearth Woodland Beaver Birdbath
- Plow and Hearth White Bunny Rabbit Birdbath
- Plow and Hearth Bear and Tree Stump Birdbath
- Plow and Hearth Northwoods Moose Birdbath
A really fun and really different gift, the Plow and Hearth bird baths are beautifully made and hand painted, and will last, and attract all kinds of birds, pretty much forever.
Alpine makes some of the finest inexpensive bird baths (and bird feeders) I’ve ever seen, and they are all worth considering – you can see their whole line HERE.
But they also make a more expensive galvanized metal bath which is so gracefully beautiful, so well made and has such premium fit and finish that it’s sure to please and impress anybody – when they receive it and for a long time to come.
This distinctive bird feeder is a lovely thing to look at day and night, with its beautifully finished mosaic glass tube capturing the sun and its just-right solar light glowing after dark. This is also a well-designed feeder, easy to fill and suitable for all sizes and types of birds.
The most ingenious products are quite often the most simple ones, and this is definitely the case with the Nature Anywhere clear window-mount bird feeder, which lets the bird lover in your life see birds close up without disturbing them or their feeding. Well made and durable, this feeder is very easy to mount, to fill and to clean, is squirrel-safe and keeps seeds clean and dry – a really ideal design,and a great gift!
A delightful hanging bird feeder for birds of all sizes, the Perky-Pet Squirrel-Be-Gone II is a very well made and well thought out product, with all metal construction and a weight-sensitive perch that will shut down the food if a squirrel or other plump pest tries to feed. Easy to clean and to fill, it can also be pole-mounted, and is made for many years of use in any conditions.
A very basic “fly-through” bird feeder that is very easy to fill and clean, JC Wildlife’s wildly popular large feeder makes feeding safe, unthreatening and very easy for birds of all shapes, sizes and habits. Available in six colors, this feeder is made in the US, and can be hung or pole mounted – you can even get a squirrel-proof pole when you buy it.
Bird houses are a bit harder to recommend – there are thousands and thousands of them and they are available in such a wide range of styles, from silly to fancy to plain and simple, so selecting the right one is a bit of a personal matter.
So what I’ve done here is direct our dear readers to three companies which offer incredibly well made and well designed birdhouses in a variety of styles, with the idea that you can peruse their product pages and find just the right look.
Whichever you choose, you can be assured that you’ll get a really premium – if not premium-priced – bird house that will attract lots of birds and provide wonderful accommodations for cavity-nesting species.
- Songbird Valley Birdhouses – Whimsical, nostalgic and beautifully made
- Nature’s Way Bird Houses – Simple, highly effective cedar bird houses
- JCs Wildlife Birdhouses – Basic, high quality eco-aware designs
Miscellaneous Presents for Bird Lovers
So many bird watching journals seem to be designed by people who haven’t ever really been out there watching birds, with poorly designed pages that provide too little space for the important information and don’t ask many of the right questions.
So for my two choices I’m offering two choices – the first a really well-designed birding book that allows a birder to create a meaningful log of their hobby, and the second a beautiful blank lined book sure to appeal to any bird lover, and which lets them fill in the details they find most important.
- Bird Journal Notebook – Bird Watchers Log and Diary by Thomas Fligt
- SohoSpark Vegan Faux Leather Lined Blank Bird Journal
Personal Items – T-Shirts, Coffee Mugs, Bird Jewelry
Great inexpensive gift ideas for the birder who has everything (else).
- Easily Distracted by Birds T-Shirt
- Bird Nerd by Le Yogi T-Shirt
- I Like Birds Minimalist T-Shirt
- Excuse Me, Your Bird Feeder is Empty T-Shirt
- Ornithologist Definition T-Shirt
- Dean Crouser Watercolor 16 Ounce Glossy Ceramic Stoneware Bird Mug
- High Tide Mugs Bird Nerd Ceramic Coffee Mug
- Birds on a Wire Magic Heat Change Coffee Mug
- Karma Gifts Black and White Hummingbird Mug
- Easily Distracted By Birds Ceramic Coffee Mug
- Boma Jewelry Sterling Silver Bird Necklace
- Dtja Sterling Silver Bird Stud Earrings
- Inviktus Silver Birds Tree Jewelry Stand
- Winnicaca Sterling Silver Hummingbird Necklace
- Woteer Cardinal Dangle Earrings with Gift Box
Bird Watching Gifts for Children
To close my 2022 guide to the best gifts for bird lovers, I thought it would be fun to look at a few select presents for younger bird enthusiasts – perfect bird watching gifts for kids who are just starting out or have already shown some interest.
I’m going to include a great bird watching book for kids, a pair of inexpensive but very high quality starter binoculars and a fun window-mount bird feeder that kids can decorate themselves.
And though there are tons and tons of each of these types of products available, I’ve selected ones that are particularly good choices, well designed and well made, and sure to spark any child’s interest!