Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wild Birds

Wild Birds Unlimited, the nature shop in the Heights, is a pleasant place to shop, or just to stop by and chat with the friendly staff. They can answer all your questions about making a quality habitat for the birds in your yard and show you products to beautify your habitat as well.

“We want to bring people and nature closer together,” owner Jim Allen said. “Helping people enjoy their backyards is part of what we want to do.”

First, start with the basics: Seeds and feeders.

“There’s bird seed, and then, there’s bird seed. The seed we sell is a higher quality. It’s fresh. It’s
clean,” Mr. Allen said.

From the time the seed leaves the factory until it’s on the shelf in Wild Bird is only a matter of weeks, he said.

“None of our seed has filler seed in it. In a 20-pound bag, it’s all edible. It’s something the birds will eat and love.”

The shop offers quality blends and single seeds, such as black oil sunflower, and large bags of peanuts.

You can find all manner of bird feeders at the shop, numerous tube feeders and about 10 different squirrel-proof feeders.

The shop only carries feeders that “stand the test of time,” Jim said. “We feel confident sending them out the door.”

Wild Bird has lots and lots hummingbird feeders, from inexpensive, but functional ones starting around $7 to beautiful glass feeders at $40 to $50. Some are made of recycled decorative glass, and some incorporate copper details.

“Everybody loves hummingbirds. They are easy to attract.” There are lots of hummers in Little Rock in June and July, but Jim said you can enjoy them here as early as April and as late as October.

The shop carries pretty glass butterfly feeders, too, and even offers a squirrel feeder.

“We carry a big variety of different bird houses, functional and decorative. We hav
e basic wooden bird houses, martin houses, and blue bird houses. Putting up houses allows you to watch and be involved with the cycle of life.”

The shop has bat houses too. “Bats are very good for the environment; they keep insects down. If you have them, you can try to keep them by giving them a place to roost.”

There is just a ton of nature-related stuff to beautify your yard and make your outdoor experience more pleasant, from the sound of running water from a fountain to wind chimes.

“We carry a decent variety of bird baths and fountains. We have concrete bird baths, clay-fired bird baths. It’s good to have water for the birds to bathe and drink, especially in hot weather.

“We love wind chimes. We carry three major brands of chimes, all quality wind chimes: Woodstock; Music of the Spheres, which are made in Texas; and Corinthian Bells made in Virginia.”

Other items to spruce up your outdoor environment include wind spinners, garden flags, and stepping stones. The shop also has nature-themed mugs and glasses, bird books, binoculars, and some really cool “Advice From” t-shirts. Advice from a bass includes “prize clean water, be a good catch, and find a new angle.” Advice from an eagle includes “fly high, let your spirit soar, and bald is beautiful.”

One very important thing you’ll find at Wild Bird that you won’t at a big box store is knowledge. John Sommer, Travis Certain, Jimmilee Kinzler, Pat Reel, Robbie Hudson and Jackson Edwards know the answers to your questions.

“They are good people, enjoyable to work with, and they know what they are talking about, because they do it. They feed the birds.

“I think people enjoy coming to our store. We kid with them. We want people to enjoy coming in and looking around.
Most of the people who come in our store are enjoyable people, or they wouldn’t be doing what they’re doing.

"We sell quality products, and we stand behind them. We’ll help people enjoy them, and we’ll do all we can to take care of them. And we learn from our customers.

“It’s a good business. It’s a business you feel good about having.”

(This story was written by Bobbi Nesbitt and ran in the July 2009 issue of Shoppe Talk.)