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Birding Business

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This month’s bird

The Hairy Woodpecker

Industry News

Compiled by the Birding Business Staff

‘For the Birds’ Hits the Newsstand
WHEN TERRY ALLEN RETIRED HIS PET PROJECT WAS TO CREATE A means by which nature-lovers could identify bird songs in the field. After a few starts and stops he finally came up with the “Bird Song Identiflyer”, which by this time has sold over 350,000 units. That success, along with the opening of his birding specialty shop in Salem, S.C., has put Terry’s company on the local map. The town’s newspaper devoted the entire front page of a recent issue to his store, the bird walks he sponsors, the products he makes, and his collaboration with Clemson University Professor, ecologist Drew Lanham, whom Terry identifies as his guide to the bird world.

He clearly knows where his business is going because he recognizes the value of working with those who know what he doesn’t know, and adapting their advice to his particular needs. He has lots of new product ideas coming through the pipeline; a result of listening to others describe their likes, dislikes, and what ifs. When he’s not sitting in his shop selling bird food he can be found in the back playing with new concepts.

Birds iView Window Clingers
FOR THE BIRDS HAS COME UP WITH A NOVEL APPROACH TO LEARNING BIRD
identification while keeping an eye on your feeders: a set of static stickers made up of common eastern feeder birds called the Birds iView Window Clingers. Simply apply the stickers to the window and you’ll be identifying the birds without having to look away to consult a field guide. In addition to increasing their birdwatching skills, customers can also use them to track what species they’ve seen in their backyard. Birds iView features detailed illustrations of 31 eastern backyard birds on a single sheet.

Urban Birds are Stressed by Human Activity
Kestrels who nest near human activity such as roads and other developments showed increased signs of stress, including higher incidents of nest abandonment, according to a new study from Boise State University. The scientists, Erin Strasser and Julie Heath, monitored nests along Idaho Interstate 84, along with those in rural and suburban areas. The study found that female Kestrels along the Interstate had higher levels of stress hormones, and that the birds in areas with more human activity were ten times more likely to abandon their nests. The abandonment rate decreased the further the nest was from the disturbance. The birds may be drawn to such areas, however, because the short grass (cut by humans) makes sighting prey easier. Nest boxes that were put up by Boise State have since been moved further from the highway.

Audubon Reinstates Ted Williams Following Cat Article

TED WILLIAMS, longtime columnist for the National Audubon Society was briefly suspended in March following an article he wrote for another publication in which he advocated (and described a method of) killing feral cats. Following a protest by cat advocates (and a counter protest by birders), Williams was reinstated after issuing an apology. “I wrote the op-ed in haste, without the care and precision my editors and readers expect. The result was that I called Audubon’s reputation into question. I got benched and earned the suspension; it was bad journalism and bad judgment,” wrote Williams, “I apologize and will work to rebuild your trust.”

Junior Duck Stamp Winner has Award Reinstated
Madison Grimm, age 6, of South Dakota has had her winning entry in the Junior Duck Stamp competition reinstated following a controversial disqualification. Grimm is the youngest person ever to win the competition, but judges retracted the prize after it was discovered she had used a “graphite transfer” of one of her father’s unpublished photographs to create the artwork. At dispute was whether this constitutes a violation of the contest rules, which state that artwork cannot be traced or copied from published artwork, but after a review of the process, officials concluded that Grimm did nothing wrong. Christine Clayton, 18, who won the competition last year and knows the Grimm family, has stated she used a similar technique.

Duncraft Announces Exciting Changes
In celebrating over 60 years in business, Duncraft announced the expansion of their direct-to-consumer business.  The growth of this sales channel has brought changes to how the company currently distributes some of its products.  In a letter to the industry, Mike Dunn, CEO, announced the closing of its wholesale division – which consisted of 24 Duncraft branded products supplied to dealers. 

Duncraft currently promotes more than 1600 products via their Catalog and multi online channels. Approximately 500 Duncraft designs are manufactured at their facility in Concord, NH.  The company, best known for marketing a wide array of specialty wild bird feeding products, believes that expanding its partner base with other manufactures is key to achieving their core mission.  “We are fortunate that our direct to consumer business is growing and believe it will sustain our continued growth for years to come”, says Mike. 

Duncraft is actively seeking partnerships with more manufactures to expand their selection of high-quality, practical backyard solutions.

New Webinar Series on Nature Products Marketplace
Beginning Thursday, Sept. 19th this year, and running through 4 consecutive weeks, Birding Business magazine will conduct a series of webinars outlining new business opportunities for retailers in the wild bird products marketplace. The series is hosted by noted author and ornithologist John C. Robinson, and features experts on bird food research, optics, gardening for birds, social media for retailers and manufacturers, and other topics to help store owners boost their business.

The series is presented on the Internet and begins each Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, running for about an hour. During the live presentation participants will have the opportunity to submit questions which the speakers will answer on screen at the end of each program.  Attendance is simple, and it’s FREE! Just go to www.birdingbusiness.com to register anytime between now and September 19th, and be at your computer by 8 p.m. Eastern time each week to check in. Sponsors will be on hand to briefly discuss their newest products, and offer special discounts to participating retailers.

Appweavers Introduces Peterson Birds Pocket Edition 1.0 App
The Peterson Birds Pocket Edition is now available as an app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Featuring illustrations, range maps, bird songs, and species details on over 800 North American birds, the app is priced at just 99 cents. It includes the ability to keep track of your life list, create other birding lists, and quickly search for birds by both their scientific and common name. The app is also integrated with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s eBird sightings database, allowing you to search to see if a bird has been reported in your area. Photos of similar-looking birds are helpfully placed together on one screen, with arrows highlighting the differences between the species. The app runs on any device running iOS 5.1 or better, and is optimized for Retina displays.

Nicole Leinbach Reyhle to be  Wild Bird Expo Featured Speaker

Nicole Leinbach Reyhle has been added to the list of speakers at the Wild Bird Expo coming to Mexico, Missouri October 1st through 3rd.  Show Coordinator Brenda Wright said “Nicole’s session will concentrate on training retail store staff to understand the customer experience”. Nicole is a contributing editor to Museums and More, and writes a weekly column for Crain’s Business as well as her own blog ‘Retail Minded’.
Wild Bird Expo is an open house-styled buying opportunity for retailers held each year by Gold Crest Distributing during the first Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of October. The event is sponsored by as many as 100 of the company’s vendors who cover the cost of rooms, meals and airport shuttles for buyers visiting the event.

Check www.wildbirdexpo.com for information.

Conservation Group Seeks Assurance that Wild Bird Seed Products are Pesticide-Free
Following the revelation that pesticides that were deadly to birds had been added to seed mixes, the American Bird Conservancy has sent letters to Scotts Miracle-Gro and Kaytee Products, seeking assurance that neonicotinoids are no longer part of the supply chain. Scotts was fined $12.5 million by the federal government for the violation after selling 73 million units of contaminated seed. “Our recently completed scientific assessment concluded that these insecticides routinely are incorporated into seeds and are lethal to birds. We want to ensure that these insecticidal treatments are never found on the bird seed that your companies sell to consumers for feeding pets and wild birds.”

Feral Cats Killing Endangered Hawaiian Petrel
The first video evidence that feral cats are affecting the endangered Hawaiian Petrel has been released, showing that an introduced species is negatively affecting birds. Analysis of cat scat has shown the presence of Petrels, but whether the cats were predating live birds or eating dead ones remained unknown. A move to protect the Petrels by constructing a fence that will keep out both cats and mongoose is underway as a joint project of National Park Service with support from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the American Bird Conservancy.