As with every one of our Guides, all of the items in this guide are: things we looked at, or things we reviewed and liked, or brand new things we haven’t reviewed yet but we think you would like. These suggestions should make the spending your free time at home even more enjoyable in the coming year.
Hobbies At Home – Birding
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we work and play. While not having to commute has given some free time back to a lot of people, the downside is that the options for spending the extra time are COVID-limited right now.
Birding—yes, birding—has and an unexpected uptick in interest, in spite of the pandemic. In hindsight, the increase shouldn’t have been unexpected. After all, the activity requires no special training, anyone can participate, and encourages people to get outside but not congregate. It is just about perfect for a quarantine-weary-but-still-pandemic-aware public.
To help encourage even more people to give this activity a go, we have assembled a collection of gear for all kinds of “birders.” It doesn’t matter whether they just want to look out their kitchen window at the birds at the feeder or would travel (when it’s safe) far distances to get a glimpse of a rare specimen, there is something in this collection for everyone.
In this age of the internet, digital books, and iPads, Lynx Edicions has forged a successful paper path. They are able to do that by being the world’s go-to source for wildlife guides and references, one of which is the Handbook of The Birds of The World (HBW) series.
For the first time ever, anyone interested in birds can contemplate All the Birds of the World together in a single easy-to-use, fully illustrated volume. Created for a broad public, from novice birders to expert ornithologists to anyone interested in the spectacular diversity of birds, this book has something for everyone.
For more advanced birders, the two-volume Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World is an excellent reference. This set is really two works in one. It is a complete checklist whose taxonomy incorporates the most up-to-date information, and an exhaustive methodology in an entirely systematic and consistent way. It contains illustrations and distribution maps for every bird species in the world, and includes the original artwork from the HBW series as well as hundreds of new illustrations.
For the times when a birder just want a story about birds, The Enigma of the Owl is the perfect read. It is a rare invitation into the mysterious lives of owls around the world, with spectacularly revealing photographs and fascinating details. A great read for when staying inside is better than standing out in a field 🙂
This lavishly illustrated book celebrates owls from every corner of the world and offers abundant details on fifty-three of the most striking and interesting species, from the tiny Elf Owl of southwestern American deserts to the formidable Blakiston’s Fish Owl, the largest of all owls.
Why trek to the birds when you can entice them to come to you? Here are two great feeder options for those who would like to make feathered friends without having to put on shoes.
A tubular feeder is great for birds that like to perch on “branches” when eating. This Cole’s feeder has a large metal loop at the top that makes it easy to hang. We particularly like the “antiqued” finish on the cap, perches, and base.
The Cole’s Terrific Tube Feeder is 100% Made in the USA with state-of-the-art materials to prevent warping and discoloration. The perch comes with covers that mimic the feel of real branches to make the birds feel right at home.
The feeder also has a Quick Clean removable base. The side buttons release the bottom for fast and easy cleaning. Just wash it and pop it back on. No fussing with screws so no tools needed!
The Wingscapes AutoFeeder makes bird feeding easy. Unlike conventional feeders, the AutoFeeder allows you to set how much seed to offer and when. The feeder stays filled much longer, and birds learn to visit the feeder at the times of day that you choose.
The AutoFeeder is constructed of metal and heavy ABS plastic to withstand years of outdoor enjoyment. A squirrel-resistant metal cap locks into place with metal hanging wire. Vents keep seed fresh.
The most advanced binoculars we have in-house is the Vanguard Endeavor ED IV 8×42. The Endeavor ED IV has been upgraded with advanced MultiGuard Coatings that provide even better light transmission for viewing in low light conditions. Endeavor ED IV’s magnesium construction and housing is engineered to provide great balance and light-weight protection. The ergonomic open-hinge design and large focus wheel provides easy handling and precise focusing. This is a great piece of gear that performs in all weather conditions!
The Fujinon KF binoculars is another excellent piece of birding gear. The body has an ergonomic curved “grippy” design. Its airtight, waterproof construction means it can be used safely near water. Nitrogen-filled optical tubes mean it is fog-free in all conditions.
The KF Series binoculars also have multi-coated lenses for bright and clear views. The roof and auxiliary prisms of the objective lens diameter for the 32mm and 42mm models have a phase coating to prevent flare and increase contrast.
Innovative yet surprisingly easy to use, The high-resolution bird-watching BirdCam Pro camera is equipped with time lapse, adjustable-sensitivity motion detection and a variable focus starting at 6 inches, so you can capture crisp, close-range images and video day or night.
The Wingscapes Power Panel ensures a continued power source for the BirdCam and other similar devices. This Power Panel combines a solar panel and a built-in rechargeable 12-volt battery, extending camera life indefinitely in the field. It can be angle-mounted to tree, pole, or other convenient supports.
Before there were bird cams, birders would record their observations in a journal. For enthusiasts who want to go “old school,” the Birder’s Journal is designed for them. The Birder’s Journal includes helpful reference information and a page pattern designed for sketching and field notes. While a pencil will work well on the All-Weather journal, the included All-Weather pens write on wet paper and upside down in temperatures from -30F to 250F. A great combo for the field!