If you enjoy birdwatching, whether in your backyard or further afield, you know how enriching it can be for your life.  Because it takes little time, equipment or skill at the beginner level, birdwatching can also be a great gift to introduce a friend or another family member to, helping them to become engaged in the enjoyment and wonder of birds.  Consider giving a bird feeder (and some seed) to someone you know who may only have time on weekends to enjoy their yard, or to an elderly neighbor who can’t get out of the house much but enjoys looking out the window.  A helpful part of this gift would be to offer to help identify some of these backyard birds, or you can give or loan a bird book that covers their area (note that the broader the geography covered by a book, the more intimidating it is to novices).  You might even be able to coax them into participating in a “feeder watch” during their local Christmas Bird Count, which is a vital part of the study of wintering bird populations.  Then they can hone their identification and counting skills to assist with the next such official opportunity, the Great Backyard Bird Count in February!


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