Christmas is for the Birds

Of the innumerable and untold advantages of having a birder in your family, a big one is just how easy they are to buy for at Christmas. Birders are happy with anything that supports their habit. Me, I’d welcome a forty pound bag of black-oil sunflower seed. Or a carton of suet with a bow on top. Or any book about birds of any kind to add to my already ridiculously large collection.

Since becoming enamoured of birds about seven years ago, I’ve received bird-related gifts for Christmas, birthdays, and ‘just because’. I now own (and cherish) all kinds of jewelry and clothing and stationery and dishes of all kinds decorated with birds of all kinds. To be honest, I can’t go anywhere in my house or yard without noticing ‘a bird gift’ that someone has bestowed upon me. (This is NOT a complaint!)

One of my all-time favourite bird-related gifts is a nestcam that my husband gave me for my birthday several years ago. It has since been home to several nests of violet-green swallows.

Nestcam (aka spycam) from the outside

Nestcam (aka spycam) from the outside

Nestcam from the inside

Nestcam from the inside

I also treasure this gorgeous bird house (here, seen with Q) that we got as a housewarming gift from good friends.

Q, our resident Red Squirrel, on top of the lovely birdhouse we received as a housewarming gift years ago.

Q, our resident Red Squirrel, on top of the lovely birdhouse we received as a housewarming gift years ago.

And this driftwood birdbath sculpture, made by our friend, Raymond.

Driftwood sculpture bird bath, made by Raymond

Driftwood sculpture bird bath, made by Raymond

When Dennis and I closed our bookstore storefront, Margaret, a staff member and friend, gave us this lovely wooden birdhouse handmade and inscribed with “The Island Book Shoppe: The Next Chapter”. It was made by Shaun the Birdman, a local craftsman and now sits in our living room bookcase surrounded by bird books.

Hand-crafted and inscribed nestbox by Shaun on Gabriola Island.

Hand-crafted and inscribed nestbox by Shaun on Gabriola Island.

Some gifts cost little but are priceless. This framed picture of two European bullfinches, for example, was made from a picture cut from a magazine then inserted into a frame picked at our local recycling store for one dollar by my creative husband.

European Bullfinches

European Bullfinches

We have other art on our walls made from last years’ bird calendars and this year’s frame discards. And two Christmases ago, I got a crow. Not just any crow, but “Crazy Joe Gallo”, a convict crow from Gabriola artist Jeff Molloy’s ‘A Murder of Crows’ collection. He now sits in a place of honour on the top of our living room bookcase. Meet Joe:

Crazy Joe Gallo, by Jeff Molloy

Crazy Joe Gallo, by Jeff Molloy

Some gifts, of course, are just there, waiting to be put to good use. This one, from the forest, is a favourite feeder of our chickadees and juncos.

My favourite feeder was a gift from the forest.

My favourite feeder was a gift from the forest.

I am writing this column a week before Christmas so have no idea, at this point, what bird-related gifts will be under the tree. But what about you? What bird-related gifts did you give or receive this year? Any favourites over the years?

This entry was posted in Bird Canada and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Christmas is for the Birds

  1. Thanks Garry & Donna. The best of the season to you too!

  2. Garry Davey says:

    Hi Sharon,
    I enjoyed your Christmas blog! We hope you’re both having a great Christmas holiday time and wish you all the best for a very Happy New Year! Cheers!!
    Garry & Donna