Bird Watching Gifts: Here Are 45 Ideas For Bird Lovers 

bird watching gifts

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!

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Birdwatching Binoculars & Spotting Scopes

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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

Celestron UpClose G2 8×40 Binoculars

Celestron – UpClose G2 8x40 Binocular – Multi-Coated Optics for Bird Watching, Wildlife, Scenery...
  • TOP QUALITY AND BUDGET-FRIENDLY BINOCULARS: A great pair of binoculars that combines top engineering features with an economical price....
  • EVERYTHING YOU NEED IS INCLUDED: Start your adventures today with this durable pair of water-resistant full-size binoculars. Accessories...
  • TOP AMERICAN OPTICS ENGINEERING: These 8x40 powerful binoculars provide you with multi-coated BK-7 prism glass that increases light...
  • A DURABLE AND COMFORTABLE BODY: The Celestron UpClose G2 8x40 water-resistant binocular will be your event, birding, or hunting buddy for...

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

Nikon ProStaff 8×42 Binoculars

Nikon PROSTAFF 3S 8x42
  • Multilayer-coated kenses for brighter images
  • High-reflectivity silver-alloy mirror coatings for a bright and clear view
  • Turn-and-slide rubber multi-click eyecups
  • Water Proof and Fogproof
 

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.


Gosky Titan 12X50 High Power Prism Monocular and Quick Smartphone Holder

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Gosky Titan 12X50 Monocular Telescope with Smartphone Holder - Waterproof Fog-Proof Shockproof Scope...
  • 12X50 High Power Magnification: 12x magnification, 18mm eyepiece and Light-Gathering 50mm objective lens, Gosky 12x50 high power monocular...
  • See True Colors: The BAK-4 prism and fully multi-coated (FMC) lens can increase light transmission and resolution, ensure true colors and...
  • Portable and Lightweight: Perfect size and compact design for users to hold or focus with a single hand. The monocular is lightweight for...
  • Universal Smartphone Adapter: With the included upgraded quick-alignment smartphone adapter, your mobile phone could be easily attached to...
  • IPX7 Waterproof: IPX7 Nitrogen-filled waterproof design and O-ring sealed optics provide waterproof, fog-proof, shockproof, and dustproof...

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 

Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Binoculars

Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Binoculars 10x42
  • 10x magnification & 42mm objective lenses, these Diamondback HD binos are optimized with select glass elements to deliver exceptional...
  • Fully multi-coated lenses increase light transmission with anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces. Dielectric coating...
  • Adjustable eyecups twist up and down for comfortable viewing with or without eyeglasses. Center focus wheel adjusts the focus of both...
  • Rubber armor provides a secure, non-slip grip, and durable external protection. Binoculars are tripod adaptable allowing use on a tripod or...
  • Argon purging and O-ring seals provide water and fog proof performance in all environments. Rugged construction withstands recoil and...

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 

Zeiss Terra HD Compact Binoculars

ZEISS Terra ED Binoculars 10x42 Waterproof, and Fast Focusing with Coated Glass for Optimal Clarity...
  • 88% LIGHT TRANSMISSION Schmidt-Pechan ED glass with a hydrophobic multi-coating provides optical clarity and precision in all situations.
  • COMFORTABLE & FAST FOCUSING The large and easy-to-grip focus wheel is quick to use on the ZEISS Terra ED binoculars. Your index finger...
  • COMPACT, LIGHT & ROBUST With its waterproof, fiberglass reinforced casing, the ZEISS Terra ED satisfies the high standards of nature lovers....
  • ZEISS ANTI-REFLECTIVE COATING Guaranteed brilliant, high-contrast images, particularly in adverse light conditions and twilight.
  • A CLEAR VIEW IN ANY WEATHER There are always exciting things to be seen in the world of nature, even in wet weather. ZEISS developed a...

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!


Swarovski CL Pocket Binoculars

Swarovski 10x25 CL Pocket Binoculars (Green, Wild Nature Field Bag)
  • Rugged and Compact Design: The Swarovski 10x25 CL Pocket Binoculars feature an outstanding optical quality in a compact folding design. They...
  • 10x Magnification: These binoculars offer 10x magnification in 25mm objective lens and 294 feet field of view at 1,000 yards
  • For Comfortable Viewing: The CL Pocket Binoculars offer maximum viewing comfort, even for long periods, and fits perfectly in your hand
  • Twist-In Eyecups: The twist-in eyecups can be individually adjusted, ensuring that eyeglass wearers can also make the most of its large...
  • Includes: Also included with these binoculars is a matching field bag that keeps your CL Pocket protected and accessible anytime

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.

Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 4K Digital Camera with DC VARIO 20-1200mm Lens

Panasonic LUMIX 4K Digital Camera, 18.1 Megapixel Video Camera, 60X Zoom DC VARIO 20-1200mm Lens,...
  • Point and Shoot Long Zoom Camera: 18.1 megapixel MOS sensor plus 60X zooms DC Vario lens (20 1220 millimeter and Power O.I.S. (Optical Image...
  • High Resolution View Finder and LCD Display: High resolution 1,170K dot view finder and rear touch enabled 3 inch LCD Display (1040 dots)...
  • 4K video Capture: 4K QFHD video recording (3840 x 2160) with three unique 4K ultra HD video pause and save 4K photo modes extracts...
  • Low Light Performance: Low light capture lets you enjoy photography during your nightlife again with impressive results; Note: Refer to user...
  • USB Charging and Wi-Fi Connectivity: Enjoy travel ready technologies like USB charging and Wi Fi connectivity to your mobile device; HDMI D...

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.


Canon EOS 80D with EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 Image Stabilization USM Lens

Canon Digital SLR Camera Body [EOS 80D] and EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 Image Stabilization USM Lens...
  • Merging power, precision, and operability, the EOS 80D is a dynamic SLR camera for anyone's creative vision
  • Providing a comprehensive view, the EOS 80D camera’s Intelligent Viewfinder helps bring the thrill of SLR photography with each use
  • The Intelligent Viewfinder displays AF points and AF mode, has a grid display, a horizontal electronic level, plus numerous other points of...
  • For AF operation, the EOS 80D camera has a wide area, 45 point, all cross type AF system with low luminance performance to EV 3 and 4 types...
  • Use the EOS Utility Webcam Beta Software (Mac and Windows) to turn your compatible Canon camera into a high-quality webcam

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.


Nikon D7500 20.9MP DSLR Camera with AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens

Nikon D7500 20.9MP DSLR Camera with AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens, Black
  • Class leading image quality, ISO range, image processing and metering equivalent to the award winning D500
  • Large 3.2” 922K dot, tilting LCD screen with touch functionality
  • 51 point AF system with 15 cross type sensors and group area AF paired with up to 8 fps continuous shooting capability
  • 4K Ultra HD and 1080p Full HD video with stereo sound, power aperture control, auto ISO, 4K UHD Time Lapse and more
  • Focal length in 35 mm [135] format equivalent to approx; 1.5x that of lenses with FX format angle of view

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 National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America

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National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, 7th Edition
  • Alderfer, Jonathan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 592 Pages - 09/12/2017 (Publication Date) - National Geographic (Publisher)

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

Last update on 2023-09-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API