NYC Bird Alliance's Birdy Holiday Gift Guide

The NYC Bird Alliance Staff has gathered our best and birdiest gift guide recommendations to ensure a happy holiday! Graphic by NYC Bird Alliance.

NYC Bird Alliance Staff
| 4 December 2023

The holiday season is here and the NYC Bird Alliance staff has put together our best and birdiest list of gift recommendations! Whether you’re shopping for tchotchke-lovers, craft-doers, fashion divas, or bookworms, we have 15 amazing recommendations that are sure to win over the cheery cardinals, weird ducks, and even the grumpy grackles of your life. Happy holidays and happy birding! 

Home is Where the Birds Are

Graphic by NYC Bird Alliance. Photos courtesy of Bird Collective, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Etsy.

Bird Collective Mugs | Matthew Coody, Director of Development 
Bird Collective is truly a one-stop shop for all of your holiday gifting needs. You can’t go wrong with anything they offer, but I’m especially partial to this 70s-inspired enamelware ducks mug (probably because it reminds me of my grandfather!). But they also have the coolest tees, sweatshirts, and stocking stuffers. And it always feels great to support Bird Collective, which was co-founded by NYC Bird Alliance board member Angie Co and has donated over $100,000 to bird conservation organizations. 

Support bird conservation and shop at

Glass Bird Ornaments | Andrew Maas, Associate Director of Communications 
Everyone loves a cute ornament. And what’s a more fitting ornament to hang on a tree than one featuring a bird, nature’s predominant tree-dwellers? These whimsical glass bird ornaments from the Metropolitan Museum of Art will feel right at home perched on your tree each holiday season! While their Cardinal may be the most natural fit for the season, I find myself drawn to the adorable robin and the mischievous-looking woodpecker designs. Other options include a Blue Jay and even a hummingbird, which, although not a species associated with winter, is quite gorgeous! 

Stop by The Met gift store or shop online at

Antique Duck Decoys | Dustin Partridge, Director of Conservation and Science 
What is more sustainable than decorating with something vintage? Antique decoys are hand-carved and crafted sculptures made of wood by waterfowl hunters long ago. These pieces of folk art, often created by people untrained in art, can incredibly capture the essence of the ducks they’re emulating. There are some modern replicas, but if you’re a collector like me, antique is the way to go! 

Be sustainable this season and peruse Antique Duck Decoys on Etsy

Arts, Crafts, and Games 

Graphic by NYC Bird Alliance. Photos courtesy of Etsy, Bird Collective, and Pigeon Posted.

Bird Garland Kit | Hillarie O’Toole, NYC Bird Alliance Publications Committee Member 
With just a needle and pair of scissors, create your own garland gift or gift the step-by-step kit to those who enjoy a birdy craft. This kit makes a full set of eight birds—Robin, Blue Tit, Goldfinch, Nuthatch, Magpie, Bullfinch, Mallard, Kingfisher—which can be strung into a garland or placed throughout the house as festive decoration.  

Purchase your garland kit and support a local artist here on Etsy.

Wingspan Board Game | Roslyn Rivas, Public Programs Manager  
It’s been out for a few years now, but I’ll never stop recommending Wingspan; I absolutely love this game! If you like birds, nature, or board games in general, this is the game for you. 

It may seem complicated at first, but once you get the rules down, you’ll be hooked. My old coworkers at the National Audubon Society and I wouldn’t even notice the hours go by as we strove to build the best habitats, lay the most eggs, and collect the best bird cards. I’m definitely competitive and this game has the best mix of chance and strategy.

Support bird conservation and buy Wingspan from

Pigeon Pack Stationery | Olivia Liang, Communications Associate 
There is nothing more precious to me than receiving a note in the mail, which means I’m always on the lookout for unique stationery. And while I would love an actual carrier pigeon to deliver my letters, Pigeon packs are the next best thing, each with six pages of stationary that can be folded up and mailed in one piece. Shop from 15 different designs, plus feel good about supporting a carbon-neutral company! 

Learn more at, then shop locally at Lofty Pigeon Books in Kensington, Brooklyn. 

For the Feather-Fashion Forward

Graphic by NYC Bird Alliance. Photos courtesy of Darn Tough Vermont and Jabebo Studio.

Darn Tough’s Wool Bird Socks | Anne Schwartz, Institutional Giving Manager
For people who love fun socks and birds, you can't go wrong with Darn Tough's made-in-Vermont lifestyle socks featuring birds local to Vermont. They’re true to their word—these lightweight merino wool everyday socks are tough. Mine have lasted for years! 

Shop "Duck Duck Moose,” Chickadee patterns, and more online at

Jabebo Studio Bird Earrings | Katherine Chen, Community Science and Outreach Manager 
Express your love for your favorite birds with these cute and unique bird earrings! With over 100 species to choose from—from warblers, owls, ducks, and titmice—there's an option for everyone. Even better, they're made from locally sourced recycled cereal boxes and surgical steel—great for the birds they resemble and for sensitive ears. 

Chat with a park ranger and shop locally at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center.

Back to the Birding Basics

Graphic by NYC Bird Alliance. Photos courtesy of Birdbuddy, NOCS, and Laterzees.

Birdbuddy Smart Bird Feeder | Carol Peace Robins, NYC Bird Alliance Publications Committee Member 
There are so many options when it comes to bird feeders, but Birdbuddy’s Smart Bird Feeder stands out for its ingenious tech. Fitted with an AI-powered camera, this feeder will capture photos of your bird visitors and then send photo postcards directly to your phone. You’ll even be notified when new visitors come to snack so you won’t miss a thing. What more could a birder ask for?  

Buy online at

NOCS Binoculars | Karen Benfield, NYC Bird Alliance Board of Directors President 
I love the portability and grip of my NOCS 8x32 Field Issue bins. These compact bins are waterproof and fog-proof, and with their lightness and small size—they stash nicely in a glove compartment for an impromptu twitch—they’re perfect for every outing. You’ll find my pair in my purse because you never know when a good bird is going to pop up in midtown! And the colors—vibrant options like coral, glacial green, cobalt blue, even a fuchsia pink, and olive—these are the Painted Bunting of binoculars. 

Shop online at

Cork Binocular Strap | Jesse McLaughlin, Advocacy and Engagement Associate 
Tired of your boring old binocular strap? Check out these fun straps made from cork! Cork is soft, comfortable, and durable, plus naturally water and stain-resistant. It’s also an eco-friendly alternative to leather or vinyl. There’s a multitude of bird patterns to choose from—Piping Plover, American Kestrel, Barred Owl, Pileated Woodpecker, the list goes on! Rep your favorite NYC bird wherever birding takes you!

Support independent artisans and buy cork binocular straps from

For the Birding Bookworms

Graphic by NYC Bird Alliance. Photos courtesy of and Barnes & Noble.

David Sibley’s What It’s Like to Be a Bird | The Conservation Team
With What It’s Like to Be a Bird, David Sibley, author of arguably the best all-around field guide to North American birds, has created a way to delve deeper into birds in a digestible, entertaining format. This attractive coffee-table-sized book has updated information on many familiar species, and as you skip around the book, you may find that what you thought you knew about your favorite birds is not quite right! 

Support independent bookstores and purchase from

Children’s Bird Books | Jessica Wilson, Executive Director 
When my kids were toddlers, these two board books were on heavy rotation for reading aloud. They’re great ways to teach the basics of ABCs and colors. The color book also helps little kids pay attention to details to spot differences in common backyard and city birds. It’s very impressive for a two-year-old to be able to identify an Umbrella Bird, and who doesn’t love a good Z (Zebra Finch) example? 

Buy ABC Birds by the American Museum of Natural History from Barnes & Noble and Baby’s First Book of Birds & Colors by Phyllis Limbacher Tildes from our virtual Storefront.

Birds of a Feather Flock Together!

Graphic by NYC Bird Alliance. Logo courtesy of The Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Birds of the World | Tod Winston, Birding Guide and Urban Biodiversity Specialist 
Need a gift for the passionate birder in your life? A personal subscription to Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Birds of the World platform opens a door to the most in-depth ornithology resource ever created, including information on ID, molts, ecology, and conservation history for the over 10,000 bird species on earth. Whenever I have a question that field guides and other resources don’t answer, Birds of the World is the place I go.

Gift Birds of the World at

NYC Bird Alliance Membership 
A NYC Bird Alliance gift membership is a gift that keeps giving, both to the recipient and to the birds! Learn about membership levels to suit the bird-lover in your life—whether a young professional, student, senior, or the whole family.  

Give the gift of membership and help grow our flock on our website!