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Birds of a Feather

Elf OwlBy Michelle Riggen-Ransom

Since the holiday season is breathing its pepperminty breath down our be-scarved necks, I thought I’d write a bit about one of my obsessions: buying things with birds on them. Lucky for me, birds are very trendy right now. If you’re frantically looking for a gift for a bird-lover, or perhaps just want to feather your own nest, maybe this list can help you.

Anna’s Aviary, owned by a Massachusetts artist, has gorgeous bird-themed art, clothing, cards and prints. The art can be personalized, too, for that special woodpecker or sandpiper lover in your life. My daughter’s middle name is Robin, so I predict I’ll soon be ordering one of these myself.

Barrington-based á la mode designs has several bird-themed switchplates (like these two snuggling black birds) that really cute up a hallway, kid’s room or kitchen.Beehive

Beehive kitchenware has lovely hand-crafted metal kitchenware, lots of it with birdies on it. My favorites are the pewter bird candles (pictured). They’ve also got the same birds on fridge magnets, key chains and measuring spoons. Any of those would fit so nicely in a stocking.

Don’t want to chance it with on-line ordering at this late in the game? Head to local kids’ shop Mod Mama (16 South Angell St., Providence) for this cute little toddler top featuring a fat sparrow or other birdly-decorated items for posh tots.

The Audobon Society of Rhode Island has a great Nature Gift shop, and members get a 10% discount on all items. In addition to their Smithfield and Bristol locations, they’ve also got an online store where you can buy a sweet plushie kingfisher, chickadee or other bird, which each play their actual recorded birdsongs.

I love the glassworks at Happy Owl, such as this Night Owl Nightlight. This artist, as well as 150 others, is at craftland through December 22nd. I predict there will be birds aplenty at this excellent show, which features local crafters and artists.

Lastly, no round-up of cute bird-related items would be complete without mention of uber craft site etsy.com. At last count, almost 20,000 items came up when I did a general search for “bird”. I would recommend narrowing down your search to “jewelry” or “children” before trying to look at bird things or your going to feel like you’re in a Hitchcock movie.

Always double-check availability and shipping times before placing any orders online if you want something to arrive before Christmas. Although giving gifts with birds on them is also great for Valentine’s Day, at least in my house.

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