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Family traditions…in many ways these are what make the holidays so highly anticipated and uniquely special.

Maybe it’s that very special meal, complete with all of your family’s favorite recipes and fixings. Heaven forbid if someone goes rogue and changes the menu!

Perhaps it’s the tradition of a house filled with holiday music and the special decorations that are now long-standing family mementos. What a feeling it gives the moment you walk in the door.

For many of us, our backyard birds are part of our family’s holiday tradition, too.

Have you ever noticed that you make a special effort to make sure that your feeders are topped off and ready for each family gathering? Do you realize that all of the young children that visit your home have come to expect lots of birds in the backyard for them to watch? Have you noticed that every year, all of your friends and relatives make comments about how much they enjoy your special yard? Yes, birds are already part of your family’s traditions and holiday memories.

Here are a few new things to try.

Consider the Scandinavian holiday tradition of providing a feast for the birds by placing bird food on the front porch. Maybe it’s a holiday wreath made of edible seeds, fruit and suet, or simply a heap of seeds placed on the porch floor. For a simple and festive adaptation of this tradition, hang a WBU Seed Cylinder character like Preston the Penguin or Buttons the Snowman from your porch. Folklore has it that when you attract birds to this offering, it will ensure good luck for your family in the new year.

Another great tradition to start, would be to gather the family and participate in your local Audubon Christmas Bird Count. This 120 year tradition (yes, since 1900!) provides beginners and experts alike, with the chance to enjoy beautiful natural areas while watching and counting birds. Your family’s observations will be combined with those from thousands of other count locations, providing scientists with important data about bird populations and movements.

As we celebrate this special season, we encourage you to bring nature home for the holidays and we thank you for continuing to support our store, nature and wildlife. We invite you to make your traditional visit to our store for the best seed, best feeders, best nature gifts and the best advice in town to help you bring the joy of this wonderful hobby to your friends and family.

We wish you and your family a wonderful and healthy holiday season!

For more information, be sure to check out the WBU Nature Centered Podcast episode, Holiday Traditions Old & New.” Our entertaining experts, John and Brian, will share some new holiday traditions with the birds that can bring even more joy to the season.