A shopping list for the Ornitheologist in your life...
The Birds Our Teachers (John Stott)
The theologian John Stott was perhaps the first official ornitheologist. This full-color book includes photos by the author and some thoughtful reflections on birds and the life of faith.
Perky-Pet 336-1SR Squirrel-Be-Gone Bird Feeder
When people ask about feeders, this is the one I recommend. Very inexpensive, and extremely effective at keeping out those demonic squirrels. The perches are good for birds cardinal-sized and smaller.
Wingspan Board Game by Stonemaier Games
My favorite game (and second place isn't even close). It's a card engine-building game with biology-accurate detail and beautiful artwork. Many of the birds behave in the game as they do in real life: hunting, flocking, mimicking—even that nasty cowbird. There are currently three expansion sets for Wingspan as well: Europe, Oceania, and Asia.
Crossley ID Guides
Crossley ID guides use loads of photos, repetition, and a sort of "Where's Waldo" approach to gaining confidence in your bird identification. I especially like their guide to raptors, but you'll also benefit from their books on waterfowl, and Eastern and Western songbirds.
What It's Like to Be a Bird (David Allen Sibley)
This is a favorite resource of mine; it's a richly illustrated book full of information about function, behavior, and much more. It's not a field guide, but something uniquely different.
Droll Yankees YF-M Yankee Flipper Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder
If you have a bigger budget, this feeder is worth the extra. It doesn't just stop squirrel activity; the weight-engaged motor turns it into a very satisfying game of Spin-the-Squirrel. Take that, demon-spawn.
Celebrating Birds: Featuring Art from Wingspan
All the North American birds from the Wingspan board game are featured in field-guide fashion; honestly, the game artwork was impressive enough to warrant its own book.. It's not really a field guide and won't help you in the woods, but it looks great on a coffee table.
Sisterbird Bird Nest Box
There are some dumb bird houses out there, people. First, your typical craft-show house often forgets to add a means of opening/cleaning between nesting seasons. What, exactly, were they thinking? Second, birds tend to avoid flashy houses; so good luck trying to attract wrens with your scale-model of the Taj Mahal. Third, the hole is often cut wrong (Too small injures the bird, too big invites unwanted predators). Can you tell I have opinions on this? So here's a simple house; birds will actually use it, and the 1 1/2" hole is home sweet home.
Look at the Birds of the Air (David Winter)
Winter is the founder of Even Sparrows, a U.K.-based bird-and-faith retreat experience. His book thoroughly catalogs all the bird references in the Bible.
Wagner Wild Bird Food, 20-Pound Bag
The officially sanctioned birdseed of ornitheology.com (if only I could get an endorsement deal). Choose the region and mix that suits you; the Eastern Regional Blend is a hit where I live. Reasonable price and delivered straight to the house.
Binocular Compression Harness Strap
Birders use harness straps to transfer the weight of binoculars from the neck to the shoulders. Did you know that the term "warble-necked" comes from birders who get neck pain from looking high in trees for warblers? These straps, in other words, save you from a real pain in the neck.
Woodpecker Wall Clock
It's a clock. With a woodpecker. It tells time. I got this for Christmas last year and I like it.
Not sure what else to say about that.
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In addition to the Amazon links, here's a few other recommendations. I don't get any residuals from these recommendations; I just like 'em.
David Arms Studio
I'm a fan of the bird-and-faith art of David Arms, a Nashville-based artist. www.davidarms.com
Suzanne Swing Thompson is an Atlanta-based photographer with a great eye for detail.
My personal choice (Eagle Optics Ranger 8x42) went out of business, but Audubon has a helpful guide to recommended binoculars for every price range. Click the photo to go to the site.
Honestly, if I was in the market, I would likely favor the Nikon Monarch M5 or (for a little more $) the Monarch M7.