With thousands of bird feeders, bird houses, bird baths and accessories to choose from, finding the perfect gift for someone who likes to attract birds to their backyard garden or patio can be a daunting task. Here is a top 5 list of gift ideas that are sure to be a hit with your backyard birder.
Unique Gift Idea #5: Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders
Squirrels can be a huge nuisance to a backyard birder. They can quickly destroy an average bird feeder as they gorge themselves on premium bird seed. Luckily, there are bird feeders designed especially to prevent squirrels from feeding from them, while also providing hours of entertainment as the spurned squirrels stubbornly try to get to the seed (see squirrel obstacle course video).
Our best-selling squirrel proof bird feeder is the Yankee Flipper. It has a motor driven, battery powered, weight activated perch ring that allows the birds to eat and twirls squirrels off. It holds 5 lbs of seed, and is durably constructed of stainless steel and non-yellowing polycarbonate. The Yankee Flipper link above includes a video of it in action.
Also, a squirrel proof baffle can be added to a favorite bird feeder. For an automated spin, our Twirl-A-Squirrel baffle sits above an existing feeder and uses a squirrel’s weight on the feeder to activate a motor which gently spins the squirrel to the ground.
Unique Gift Idea #4: Heated Bird Baths
If the fall migration has left your backyard birder’s garden devoid of birds, adding a heated bird bath is the perfect solution to draw in an amazing variety of winter birds looking for a source of unfrozen water.
There are a number of heated bird bath options available, including deck mounted bird baths and pedestal style bird baths. Some backyard birders choose to protect the pumps of their favorite fountains by storing the fountains over the winter, and placing a separate heated bird bath or basin close to a window or vantage point.
Also, if your backyard birder already has a fountain in their backyard, heating elements (some thermostatically controlled) can be added to deice the bird bath during the coldest winter months.
Unique Gift Idea #3: Bird Song Audio Learning Devices
The enjoyment of watching birds in your backyard is dramatically increased, when you can identify bird songs and bird calls. Being able to identify a bird based on its song is now attainable through technology.
Devices such as the Identiflyer store and playback a recording of wild birds’ calls and songs, and can even be used sparingly to attract birds to the area. Bird song scanning wands use bar codes that can be placed in bird watching field guides to scan and playback recordings of bird songs in the field. There is even a singing alarm clock that wakes a sleeping birder with the call of their favorite bird. The convenience and simplicity of these devices, make them a terrific resource for kids interested in backyard birding.
Unique Gift Idea #2: Solar Bird Baths
More than any other birding feature, a bird bath will attract a greater variety of birds to a backyard garden. Adding motion and movement to the water improves the effectiveness of the attraction and cleanliness of the bird bath. Placement of a fountain has been limited in the past by proximity to an outlet plug to power the fountain pump – until now.
Solar Fountains can be placed anywhere there is a direct view of the sun, and don’t require complicated wiring or extension cords. They can easily be moved or relocated to an area that birds frequent, and are as decorative as they are practical. Some versions, such as the Weathered Stone Solar Fountain, feature a pump and solar panel that can be easily lifted from the bird bath and taken inside during the winter. If your backyard birder already has a favorite fountain, replacement solar panels and pumps are also available to replace traditional electric pumps.
Unique Gift Idea #1: Bird House Nest Cameras
This is one of the coolest innovations to come to backyard birding in years – an infrared camera mounted inside a birdhouse. The Hawk Eye Nature Cam comes installed inside a durable “one size fits all” bird house, and plugs into RCA jacks on any television, VCR, DVR, or DVD player. It provides a front row view of the birds’ nesting activity – including nest building, egg laying, hatching and caring for nestlings. The Hawk Eye Nature Cam link above features amazing video from inside a birdhouse.
The birdhouse nest box camera is a great resource for teaching kids about birds. As part of the Project Feeder Watch program, we’ve installed a nest box camera system in the Byam Outdoor Learning Center. Elementary school age children have the opportunity to see inside the birdhouse, and are currently studying the winter roosting habits of a house sparrow. Everyone is excited about observing the nest in the spring, when eggs will be laid and chicks will be hatched.