Dear Family and Friends,

John Schiffer’s 70th birthday is just around the corner. Yes, he's enjoyed 70 years on this good earth! 

Celebrations for this occasion promise to be small and personal, and likely to spread out over the coming weeks. Time with, and hearing from, his loved ones is by far the greatest gift of all and I invite you to reach out to him in any meaningful way you can (contact info below).

We’ve no plans for a single big blow-out EDM dance party, as is fitting, for our beloved John. However, this milestone begs for special recognition and I am writing to ask if you would like to contribute to a gift that John would truly treasure.

As we all know, John is a sponge for knowledge. Time spent with him reveals the depth of his understanding on a broad range of subjects, the most enduring of which is his love of the natural world and in particular of our avian friends. 

Wherever he goes, be it the backyard or around the globe, John is attentive to the sights and sounds of the local bird population. He’s kept a life list for many years, first on paper and now on his ibird app. I’ve no idea how many birds he’s noted over the years, but identifying birds remains a constant pleasure for him.

For many years he has lovingly cared for small domestically raised finches in our home. Their beauty and song has been a gift to us and all who have spent time with us there. He is currently dreaming and planning an even bigger and better environment for his winged beauties.

John has always been (more than) a little challenging to buy gifts for. When asked what he would like for (fill in the blank) occasion, the reply is typically something like a Tesla, or a trip to the International Space Station or some other unattainable gift. In short, he is hard to buy for. He has an eye for quality and cares for his belongings like no other; polishing, cleaning, repairing, and making sure (fill in the blank) remains in tip-top condition. He would rather go without than acquire more stuff.

Many times though John has stated his wish for a Spotting Scope to help him in his bird identification pursuit, ideally one that can attach to a camera for some beautiful photography. It’s something he would never buy for himself but would treasure it forever. 

Spotting Scopes are available at many price points and at various levels of quality and precision. He’s been looking at a top of the line ($3000) Kowa Scope including eyepiece and tripod and it’s this that I’m hoping to raise money for so that we can collectively (and affordably) purchase one for him. 

If you are able and inclined to add a few dollars to this effort it would be marvellous. Regardless of any gift, if you can reach out to him sometime around his birthday on March 5th, he would be happy beyond measure.

You can reach John by email at

Our (temporary) mailing address is 1063 College St, Duncan BC, V9L 2E8. 

His cell # is 604-728-5529

He’s connected on Facebook and Instagram

And if you can donate to this birthday gift you can do it through the Registry page on this site or direct to me by e-transfer (, or snail mail as above.

With love and thanks to you all


Always at hand
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