Calling all backyard bird-watchers

My parents, who live near Springfield, MO., really enjoy feeding and watching the birds in their back yard. I’m hoping to come up with a related gift for them.

They have a large feeder, a finch feeder, two hummingbird feeders and a bird bath. They have binoculars and reference books.

Any thoughts on a gift that might fit the bill … new products, etc??


A CD on identifying bird songs? Bird Song Ear Training Guide: Who Cooks for Poor Sam Peabody? Learn to Recognize the Songs of Birds from the Midwest and Northeast States.

How 'bout a Water Wiggler?

What about a peanut feeder? My dad has one and it attracts blue jays and all kinds of woodpeckers.

A bird bath heater. I’ve had this one for 8 or 9 years. The water stays just above freezing. Keeps the birds happy.


Um, this is a bit of a stretch, and I have no idea how large your budget is, but do either of them do photography? You might get them a lens. Merely a suggestion.

If there is a safe place to site them in the garden you could think about nesting boxes.

Maybe a fruit feeder like one of these? - we have the ivy feeder though I’m not too good about keeping it filled, and it’s not easily visible from the house, so I’ve never seen a bird there. The ants like it though :slight_smile:

We also really enjoy our suet cake feeder though, if you’ve got squirrels within a hundred miles, they will find it and empty it. Unless you go for a hot-pepper-laced suet, which we now do. Now the birds find it and empty it within 48 hours :wink:

Duncraft sells all manner of bird related gear. Wild Birds Unlimited seems to be a chain of stores for bird folks. I’ve been happy with Droll Yankee feeders; they’re sturdy and easy to load.

Duncraft sells transparent feeders and birdhouses that hang on window glass by suction cups. It’s pretty cool to see birds raising a family up close.

We were using wire suet cages until recently, when some creature broke the chain and ran off with one. I bought a new pair, and I hung them with stiff aluminum wire. One of those got yanked open and stripped; the other was torn loose from the wire mount. :eek: Squirrels can’t do that, and I think a raccoon came to call. Now, I’m pondering a raccoon-resistant mounting.

As good a place to post this as any…

This is my office in the house we recently bought. Note the fact that there is a roof just outside the large window.

This is that roof a short time ago. :slight_smile:

Those are great, Hal! I’d love to have a bird feeder by my window, but I’m on the second floor, so that would require quite the tall pole. Although, that might keep away the squirrels…

If you had made that post two minutes earlier, I’d be able to say that in a week of feedings we’ve not seen one squirrel out there.

As I look outside, I now see that idea all shot to hell.

Whoa! How cool is that?! I’m gonna order this for myself!

I’ve always been fascinated by the feeders that mount to the window so you can see the birdies up close. My nieghbors have the simple suction cup kind. There’s a much fancier version that has a one-way glass so the birdies can’t see you but you can see them.

Suction cups? Dude - it’s the electronic age. Presenting Red Robin Color CamThis tiny color camera mounts outdoors next to your bird feeder, bird bath, bat house, or any other outdoor area you like to watch. This weatherproof camera features a plastic lens cap to protect it from the elements, and operates best in a brightly lit area. A microphone built into the camera allows you to hear the birds, as well as see them. The camera can be zoomed in to see every detail of your avian friends, or zoomed out to see the activity surrounding your entire feeder.

I beg your pardon, sir! I demand that I be addressed as “dudess.”

And the aforementioned neighbors who used suction cups are well along in their years. (Hmm! Now there’s a sentence that is quite interesting out of context.)