Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Holiday Shopping includes Birding Stores and Websites

A Thanksgiving outing may yield a Wild Turkey observation, and ideas for holiday gifts during the start of the holiday shopping season.

The biggest week in America for businesses and holiday shoppers, including 55 million birders – us – begins in a few hours. As Thanksgiving begins to wind down, pre-Black Friday sales begin, followed by Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday – what a week! As you plan your holiday gift lists, and as you hit the ground running, keep bird-related products in mind, both for veteran birders on your shopping list, and as an opportunity to introduce birding to family members and friends by giving them a birding-oriented product to help them make the move toward becoming a full-fledged birder.

Starting Thanksgiving evening, Black Friday is famous as the biggest day of the year for many businesses, but be sure to remember your neighborhood birding stores, nature center gift shops, and other birding-related businesses. Named Black Friday because this is the date in the year when many businesses move from the “red ledger” to the profit or “black” side of the year’s business ledger. It’s also a day when many people get the day off work, or take it off to extend the Thanksgiving holiday over a four-day weekend. Businesses tend to respond by offering big discounts and special promotions to drive shoppers to their stores.

The emphasis on shopping at local birding stores may be most evident on Small Business Saturday, the second shopping day after Thanksgiving. At the same time, you can certainly support local birding endeavors any day of the year. Sometimes it may seem like you don’t need another birding product – but a stop at a well-stocked store may change your mind, and now you’re shopping for gifts for others too.

Cyber Monday offers internet-based deals offered by many companies that offer birding products. If you couldn’t find the products or equipment you were looking for locally, maybe an internet-based shopping option will reveal just the right one. The Birding Wire provides a few product suggestions each week with links to companies that feature birding gear and products, and if you’re searching for a birding gift you can always take a look at archived issues for more gift ideas. Just click on the Archives button at the top of the page.

On Giving Tuesday, you can celebrate the season by giving financial support to worthy non-profit groups or supporting them with charitable acts or supportive service. Keep your local bird observatory, wildlife refuge, or Audubon chapter in mind as worthy of such support, and Thanksgiving might be a good time to give some thought about how you can best help carry the load for a worthy group. It may be as simple as writing a letter of support for a favorite birding site to government officials, or it may include some volunteer service or a periodic financial gift. If the timing isn’t good now, it’s worth noting a worthy cause to assist during other periods – winter, spring, or summer.

By all means, enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday in every way, and try to work a birding session or two into the enjoyment of your weekend. Maybe even make a focused search for a Wild Turkey and see what other interesting birds you find along the way.

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