Library cardholders can now borrow a Birding Kit with Kowa binoculars, birdwatching books and guides, and other tools to help launch an outdoor adventure. Local birdwatching guide Ken Burgener helped gather items to go in the kit, he even convinced the Kowa company to give the binoculars to the Library at no cost. Jeff Bouton of Kowa American observed, “One unanticipated side-effect of the pandemic was unprecedented numbers of people turning to wilderness and the outdoors for recreation.” He adds, “At Kowa, we’ve always appreciated the natural world. It is a great pleasure to work with the Sanibel Public Library and make their globally-renowned local wildlife a bit more accessible to all!”

Loaning non-traditional items is another way the Library helps the community access information and enjoy new experiences. Library staff also worked with the local Audubon Society to plan the contents of the kits. “Birding is great fun, year-round. We have some of the best birdwatching in the country right here,” Sanibel-Captiva Audubon Society President Phyllis Gresham said.

“The Library appreciates all the help we’ve had to launch this new service. I noticed the birds right away when I moved to Sanibel and wanted to learn more about them. This is a great way for people to spot birds and use the bird guide to identify them,” said Library Executive Director Margaret Mohundro. The Library loans four Birdwatching Kits, which are circulated in backpacks.

Updated August 2021: There are now two birdwatching kits you can borrow for children to use. These kits include Kowa YFII30-8 binoculars, laminated bird guide, and Young Birder’s guide book.

Each adult kit contains:

  • Kowa YFII30-8 binoculars, plus case with lens covers.
  • Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Eastern & Central North America/Roger Tory Peterson 7th edition, 2020.
  • Birds of Florida – Gulf Coast pocket guide/ illustrations by Ernest C. Simmons, 2020.
  • Birds Gone Wild, DVD. 2009
  • Lens cloth
  • sling shoulder bag
  • Instructions, binocular manual.

Click here to link to the Library’s catalog to borrow the birdwatching kit

Sanibel Public Library encourages, and welcomes use of its collections and services. The Library is open to the public and also offering the popular contactless curbside service. To use the service, place items on hold online, or make requests by calling the Library at (239) 472-2483. You will be notified when your items are ready for pickup.

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