The holiday season is fast approaching and, perhaps like us, you’re scrambling a bit to find the perfect bird-related gifts for your friends and family. We’ve compiled a short list of gift ideas for the birder in your life from shops along The BC Bird Trail. From books to backyard bird accessories, we hope you’ll find the perfect gift. We also included some more hands-on gifts such as birding tours and photography lessons from BC birders.
We did our best to keep this list BC-focused so we can all do our part to support our local shops this holiday season.
West Coast Seeds
Winter is coming! The birds in your area will appreciate the extra help in making sure they can get their essential calories to keep warm in these colder months. This Suet Cake Feeder from West Coast Seeds offers an easy solution to help out your backyard birds. Pair it with their Wild Bird Seed Suet Cakes to make the complete gift!
Order online through their website (shipping available) or pop by one of their many locations throughout BC.
It’s very important to clean your bird feeders to stop the spread of disease. Birds Canada has a short article to help you keep feeders clean and bird-healthy.
Volume One Bookstore
Around the Duncan area? Birds of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest (2nd edition) (written by Richard Cannings, Tom Aversa, and Hal Opperman) is a quintessential guide for serious birders or those who are ready to take their bird-watching to the next level. Discover more than four hundred bird species and learn about key identification traits, vocalizations, seasonal status, habitat preferences, and feeding behaviours.
Online ordering is available through their website with curbside or in-store pick-up.
You can also check your local bookstores to see if they carry a copy of this informative birding book.
Find unique gifts from children’s books to clothing to jewellery, and more, at the Indigenous-owned and operated Strong Nations. For the kids, check out their ‘Learn at Home’ themed bundles, like this bird-themed pack which includes a variety of fiction and non-fiction books and a hand puppet that can be used while reading.
Order online through their website and have your items delivered or opt-in for curbside pick-up if you live in the Nanaimo area.
The Mulberry Bush Bookstore
Get your young birders started early with Birding for Kids from The Mulberry Bush Bookstore. Filled with full-colour photos, fascinating facts, and fun projects that allow children to get up close and personal with nature while respecting the habitats of birds in the wild. Other great bird gifts for kids include The Little Book of Backyard Bird Songs and How to Feed Backyard Birds.
Order online through their website and pick up at their store in Qualicum Beach or have items delivered.
Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve Gift Shop
After exploring the trails of this nature reserve in Chilliwack, take a look at their Gift Shop which has a wide variety of bird-related gifts and goodies. Cute bird plushies, toys for kids, local art and jewelry, and more! You can also order online and browse their offerings on their website.
For those in the Delta area, Albany Books has many bird gifts and books to stuff any bird lovers’ stockings. This beautiful box of 50 postcards features original bird watercolour paintings by renowned ornithologist David Sibley. Lovely postcards to mail to friends and family or keep favourites framed at home.
Order online through their website and browse all their great bird gift ideas.
Wendel’s Bookstore & Cafe
An amazing memoir about becoming an avid birder, Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder tells the story of how Julia Zarankin found meaning in midlife through birds. Zarankin’s thoughtful and witty anecdotes illuminate the joyful experience of a new discovery and the surprising pleasure to be found while standing still on the edge of a lake at six a.m.
Available to order online through Wendel’s new online bookstore service, with options for delivery or contactless pickup from their Fort Langley location.
The Backyard Wild Bird & Nature Store
So many options for the birders in your life! This store is a one-stop shop for making your backyard a bird paradise. Houses for nesting, bird baths, a variety of seeds and feeders, as well as window collision decals to protect birds from hitting windows.
The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America is the perfect book for the birder and anti-birder alike. This snarky illustrated handbook is unique and laugh-out-loud-funny, offering a good balance of fact and wit. Keep an eye out for Matt Kracht’s follow-up book, The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of the Whole Stupid World, available for pre-order and releasing on January 4th.
Order online and either pick it up in-store in Whistler or have your order delivered. Armchair Books also delivers books to Squamish residents at no charge.
Wild Birds Unlimited
Unique gifts for bird-loving friends and family. Wild Birds Unlimited carries a variety of bird feeders, bird food, and other nature gifts that can help make outdoor spaces perfect for birds to enjoy. Window Alert Decals make great stocking stuffers and help prevent birds from colliding with windows.
Order online with options for free pickup at the store in Surrey or get free shipping on orders over $99 that ship within 50 km.
Their Vancouver location carries Bird Friendly® Certified coffee from Birds & Beans Coffee. This means they are guaranteed to be shade grown in a diverse forest environment. They do not contribute to deforestation; they actually promote the preservation of forests and in a number of cases have contributed to reforestation. Wilds Birds Unlimited sells 340g whole bean bags in-store-only – go take a look!
This cozy bookshop in Cranbrook carries many bird-focused books. The Bird Way by Jennifer Ackerman or What It’s Like to Be a Bird by David Allen Sibley are both great for beginner birders or those who want to get a deeper understanding of how birds think and how they live, as well as answering many frequently asked questions about birds.
Extra Gift Ideas for Birders:
- Membership to WildResearch – For those in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley area, this a great way to learn about nature, contribute to conservation projects, and become involved in the local community. Members get hands-on experience with birding research programs, bird branding, and more!
- Membership to the British Columbia Field Ornithologists – A not-for-profit, charitable organization of birders and ornithologists, from novices to experts, that is committed to the study, preservation, and enjoyment of British Columbia’s wild birds.
- Birding Photography Workshops by Liron Gertsman – Accomplished nature photographer featured in Canadian Geographic magazine, The Guardian, GEO magazine, and more. For those in the Vancouver area, private lessons can be tailored to specific interests and are open to all levels of photographer.
- Bird Photography Prints And Calendars by Christina Schulz – A wildlife and nature photographer based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
- Adopt a Bird – Support the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre by adopting a rescued bird through their Animal Adoption Program! There are different tiered options for adoption packages that offer a variety of different perks.
- The Raptors – Purchase gift cards online for the bird-lovers in your life and gift them the opportunity to see amazing birds of prey up-close!
- OWL (Orphaned Wildlife) – Their Sponsor-a-Raptor program allows a person, family, or organization to sponsor one or more of their permanent residents. Sponsors receive a certificate that includes a picture of the raptor sponsored, their story, and a tax receipt. Email them for more info if you’d like to gift a raptor sponsor!
- Gift a Rocky Mountain Naturalists Membership – For birders in the Cranbrook and Kimberley area, a Rocky Mountain Naturalists Membership allows members to access numerous field trips, support current stewardship projects, conduct bird surveys and automatically become a part of BC Nature.
- Want to give a gift to the birding community itself? You can donate to the Rocky Mountain Naturalists – Mildred White Scholarship at the College of The Rockies to help the next generation of naturalists.