A forty year love affair is a pretty special thing…especially when the love and passion are even stronger and more alive today than they were forty years ago.
While trying not to be too sappy…it would be fair to say that after forty years, those of us at Wild Birds Unlimited are even more devoted than ever to our birds and in our mission to bring people and nature together in their own backyards.
And how can we not be? Day in and day out, we hear our customer’s stories. Stories of how watching birds has brought them joy, happiness, peace, serenity and a true connection with the natural world…without ever leaving their own backyards! We truly understand and appreciate what a special privilege it is to be able to bring these gifts to our customer’s lives.
Forty years ago, backyard bird feeding was only for the stout of heart. You probably went to a grain elevator and lugged home 80# bags of seed and then maybe on to the grocery store for raw suet from the meat counter. Your feeders were likely to be homemade and you hung them on anything you could rig up. The birds did come, but the hobby was mostly limited to those that had the time, talent and perseverance to pursue it.
That all started to change in 1981, the year Jim Carpenter opened the very first Wild Birds Unlimited. It was a small little store…but with a really big future. As the years passed, over 350 WBU franchise stores would open across North American, each carrying an ever improving inventory of bird food offerings and innovative bird feeding products. The hobby became universal and convenient, and people responded. Today it is estimated that over 50 million people have participated in feeding the birds at their homes.
They say that love is blind…but not when it is a love for the birds in our backyards. The joy and excitement they bring to us does not go un-noticed. We look forward to seeing them with every glance out our window and they soon become OUR birds! And when they become our birds…we nurture and protect them. And that protection has never been more important.
Recent research has revealed that the overall population of adult breeding birds in North America has declined by almost 3 billion birds since 1970. While there are many contributing factors, habitat loss is the biggest overall driver of this population decline.
In light of this disturbing news, Wild Birds Unlimited is more committed than ever in our efforts to support and mobilize thousands of WBU customers to help Save the Song Birds in their own backyards.
Love is powerful thing and it can change the world…and by taking everyday actions we can all help to save millions of birds and pass on our love of birds for generations to come.