‘Tis the season of giving! If you know (or are) a nature lover, we’ve put together a list of gift ideas that is sure to please conservation-minded folks. From wildlife enthusiasts to art lovers to appreciators of delicious coffee, there’s a little something for everyone on this list, and all with a conservation twist!
VCE Project Shirts
T-shirts, long sleeves, hoodies—we’ve got them all! Our Bonfire page features three different designs whose sales support the Vermont Loon Conservation Project, Mountain Birdwatch, and Vermont Atlas of Life. Perfect for the community scientists and nature lovers on your list, each design sports VCE’s logo on the front and original artwork on the back. Visit VCE’s Bonfire site to see more designs and purchase.
Field Guide to the Birds of the Dominican Republic and Haiti
Learn all about the birds of Hispaniola, along with (retired) executive director and VCE scientist Chris Rimmer and Kent Mcfarland. They are co-authors on this updated field guide, which includes new illustrations and descriptions. Let your loved ones dream of a tropical island adventure in the middle of the cold season! Check out the book here.
Looking for an ethically made bag, shirt, or card? Check out Teach Peace Prints for all of these things! All print patterns draw from the natural world and “are crafted with earth and body in mind”. Support local and independent artists by ordering a gift for the art lover in your life.
Birds & Beans Bird Friendly® Coffee
The coffee lover on your list will thank you for this one: Birds & Beans Bird Friendly® Coffee! This Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC)-certified coffee represents a gold standard in ethical and sustainable coffee business. Bird Friendly® coffee is sourced from family farms in Latin America that provide sustainable, forest-like habitat for birds. Rather than being grown on farms that have been cleared of vegetation, Bird Friendly® coffees are planted under a canopy of trees. These trees provide the shelter, food, and habitat that migratory and local birds need to survive. Order online or find your local stockist on the Birds & Beans website!
Take your coffee drinker’s gift to the next level with the addition of a VCE mug! These brand-new mugs feature the VCE logo and come in two sizes. Like the shirts, sales of these mugs support VCE’s conservation programs. You can purchase one here.
Native Plants and Their Pollinators Calendar
If you missed purchasing a copy of local Vermont artist and geographer Daisy Hebb’s “Native Plants & Their Pollinators Calendar” last year, we have good news—Daisy has continued the design for 2023! Each month features a gorgeous watercolor image of flowers and their pollinators that were all native to North America pre-colonization. Aside from helping your loved ones plan their schedule, this calendar also provides information on each species, such as common and scientific names, and each plant’s region and basic growing conditions. To create the bee images, Daisy consulted with VCE biologist Spencer Hardy for advice about bees and their host plants.
Calendars cost $30 each, and a portion of each purchase donated to support VCE’s wildlife conservation work. You can purchase the handing wall calendar here or the side-bound monthly planner calendar here. Also be sure to check out more of Daisy’s artwork in her Etsy shop, GreenBlossomPainting.
Birding Books for Children
Have a budding conservationist in your life? Give them these birding books specifically aimed towards children! Bird Count follows a young girl named Ava and her mother as they complete the very important (and very fun!) Christmas Bird Count with the rest of their team. The book introduces children to the concept of citizen science, and has wonderful illustrations as well. The book is recommended for ages 4-8.
Older kids will enjoy these other two fantastic options. The Beginning Birdwatcher’s Book and The Young Birder’s Guide to Birds of North America are two great options to learn how to begin to identify birds in your backyard or on trips to the local park. Each one contains species profiles of common birds found around the country, and helpful pictures and facts about each one.
Nicki Steel Photography
This suggestion is for everyone on your list who appreciates nature photography and art! Photographer and loon project volunteer Nicki Steel’s striking images are available in many forms on her website, such as in these stunning card sets. Besides photographing landscapes and nature in all its forms, Nicki also follows local eagle and loon families (you can find images on her website and Facebook page). In addition to the products listed on her site, she also has enlarged images available. Check out her photography and available products on her website.
VT Fish & Wildlife Service Habitat Stamp and 2022 Duck Stamp
Proceeds from the sale of Habitat Stamps help keep Vermont’s rivers clean, woods connected, and meadowlands open for all to enjoy. With a minimum donation of $15 per 4″x5″ Habitat Stamp sticker, these make great stocking stuffers and support wildlife and public land conservation! You can purchase them here.
Support bird habitat conservation across the nation by buying Federal Duck Stamps! A full 98% of the purchase price goes directly to help acquire and protect wetland habitat and purchase conservation easements for the National Wildlife Refuge System. This is among the most successful conservation tools ever created to protect habitat for birds and other wildlife. You can buy one here.
My Big Year: A Search for Birds and Peace of Mind
Looking for a book by a local author? Looking for a true and amazing adventure tale of love and loss? Looking for a birding book that isn’t a field guide? This one is all three! Follow Fred Pratt as he completes the epic birding feet of finding 150 species in all 14 counties of Vermont. He began this quest with his wife, who sadly past away before it was finished. Read more about the story in our blog post here, or email Pratt directly at to ask about getting a copy.