It’s December and that means one thing: the annual Christmas Bird Count! Well, maybe to birders that’s what it means, but for everyone else, it is a time for celebrating the holidays. Here are some gift ideas for the budding naturalist and nature lover in your life:
The Sibley Guide to Birds has long been my favorite field guide. David Allen Sibley’s paintings are amazingly lifelike and represent almost all identifiable forms (male, female, juvenile, subspecies, in flight, etc) for each species. The second edition that came out earlier this year builds on that masterpiece.
Harper’s artwork approaches the natural world with a minimalistic and whimsical view. You don’t even need to be a naturalist to appreciate his art and what better a gift than a calendar to allow someone to appreciate his art all year long!
Give the gift of birds! You can help connect someone with birds by bringing them (and other wildlife) to their front yard. There are lots of different feeders on the market with different purposes so think about who you are giving one to and where they live. Personally, I’d recommend the Squirrel Buster Plus – we just added one to our set up at Gilsland Farm and haven’t had a squirrel on it yet!
These singing toys are great for all ages and so many species are available. Who wouldn’t want an adorable Piping Plover chick for the holidays?
This Robert F. Sibert Informational Honor winner is a great book to introduce young people to birding. Recommended for ages 8-12, this book provides an ‘in’ for kids to get hooked on nature at an age where it is easy to be distracted from it. It reads like a ‘how to’ but takes a very funny and entertaining approach to getting started.
A Maine native, Doug grew up in Hollis and graduated from the University of Maine in 2011. Throughout college Doug worked at Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center and was hired as Maine Audubon’s staff naturalist in the summer of 2013, a long time “dream job.” In his free time, Doug volunteers as one of Maine’s eBird reviewers, is the owner and moderator of the ‘Maine-birds’ listserv and serves as York County Audubon board member and Secretary of the Maine Bird Records Committee.