Great Christmas Gifts For The Bird Watcher On Your List

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Nov 192012

Are you hunting a Christmas present for that hard-to-buy-for person? Here are a few great gift ideas for either the casual backyard bird watcher or the avid birdwatcher on your list.

For the casual backyard birders there are feeders, binoculars, bird seed, bird seed wreaths and ornaments, decorative banners with bird themes. And, for those avid birdwatchers there are binoculars, birding scopes, cameras and all kinds of accessories. A membership in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology or your local Audubon Society are other neat Christmas gifts that last all year for the bird watcher.

A pair of binoculars makes a wonderful gift. They will give that special person on your Christmas list hours and hours of entertainment watching birds. Binoculars can start anywhere from under $30 into the thousands of dollars. The choice and price of the binoculars will depend on how and under what conditions the bird watcher will be using the binoculars. For tips on choosing the right binoculars visit: Easy Steps to Choosing the Right Bird Watching Binoculars. An avid birdwatcher may even want a field scope and tripod.

A new bird feeder is a wonderful present for both the birdwatcher as well as the birds. Winter feeding is important for the birds, too. There are many different new-fangled bird feeders that attract different birds to the yard. Your present will provide lots of enjoyment while watching birds coming to the new feeder.

There are bird seed ornaments, gadgets and many decorations which make cute presents. And, a birder will never turn away a big bag of black oil sunflower seeds.

Cameras make a nice and useful Christmas present. Just like binoculars, the type of camera needed is determined by how and where the birdwatcher uses the camera. The casual backyard birdwatcher may only want a minimal zoom lens and everything automatic on the camera. While the avid birder will want a camera that has all the bells and whistles on it.

There are so many neat, fun and useful presents that can be given to the birdwatchers on your list. I’m sure they will love the present, get much joy out of it and say, “This is just what I wanted”.

Visit Your Bird Feeder Store for a few ideas.

Sep 092010

Bird watching is called birding. The first term birding was used for the practice of fowling or hunting with firearms. Bird watchers are also called twitchers in some parts of the world.

More and more people are travelling long distances to spot rare species of birds. Bird watchers and twitchers usually have goals of spotting different species on their own life list. Some bird watchers look at bird watching as a healthy competition. They aim to get or accumulate the longest species list. The act of pursuing a rare specie is called a “twitch” or a “chase”.

Interest in observing birds can be traced back to the early 1700’s in the works of Gilbert White, Thomas Bewick, George Montagu and John Clare. In Britain, during the Victorian Era, it was fashionable to collect eggs and later skins as artifacts of interest. Wealthy collectors even had contacts in colonies that would collect and ship the artifacts for them.

By the 1800’s, many thought that collectors went too far. Bird hats were all the rage. But, Harriet Hemenway took the lead in fighting the millinery trade or feather industry. She went on to shut down the interstate bird skin trade. She later founded the Massachusetts Audubon Society.
Rosalie Edge, another bird watcher and naturalist, went as far as to buy Hawk Mountain, in Pennsylvania, and turn it into the first sanctuary for birds of prey.

The call for bird protection began in the late 1800’s. Observation of living birds became more popular. The Audubon Society was started to protect the birds from the growing bird trade. The term bird watching was first written in the title of the book “Bird Watching” by Edmund Selous in 1901.

The rising popularity of bird watching and the use of cars increased the mobility of birdwatchers. New locations were made more accessible to those interested in birds. Networks of birdwatchers in the UK began to form in the late 1930’s under the British Trust for Ornithology. The BTO saw the potential to produce scientific results through the networks, unlike the Royal Society for the Preservation of Birds (RSPB) which like the Audubon Society originated from the bird protection movement.

With the falling cost of air travel in the 1980’s, many interested and avid bird watchers were flying to remote birding destinations to spot many different and unique species of birds. There are an estimated 80 million Americans into bird watching. More and more people are showing an interest in taking part in this recreational activity.