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Birding Business December 2014

Light at the End of the Tunnel

BY RAY DAVID | Editor/Publisher

From what our D.C. pals tell us it looks like the whole country is creeping – slowly – back to pre-recession levels.  Home sales, especially existing homes and new multi-family dwelling starts, are on pace for a self-sustaining growth cycle with an expected gain of about 2.2% for the year and more next year. New home starts are lagging, partly because of tight credit, but should be back into growth territory within the next year or two.

Part of what’s fueling the expansion is the dropping unemployment rate coupled with new capital spending by large corporations which puts more paychecks into the system.  Tech companies like Honeywell, United Technologies, G.E., cybersecurity specialists, and heavy industry are all going strong so retailers near any of those centers are in a good place.  The boom in drilling and fracking is pushing demand for rail cars, barges and storage tanks, which is another big plus for the economy.  Pipeline construction, too, is moving ahead quickly to keep up with the pace of that growth.

On the downside, expect travel costs to go up. With more money in play, hotels, airlines and car rental agencies are increasing rates, decreasing the number of previously free amenities, and adding new user fees, surcharges, assessments, dues, utility recovery charges, asset replacement fees, overhead contribution cost, and anything else they can come up with.

But what’s important to our market is housing, construction and job growth.  Every new dollar going into buying a house means potential new business for those who supply the amenities that make home ownership more comfortable.  And with travel costs going up it makes sense to put money into the homestead and spend more vacation time enjoying it.  So read up, and learn more about how to provide for the needs of wildlife in the backyard – and use that newfound expertise in your local advertising to make yourself the neighborhood backyard guru when it comes to equipping the home to serve the purpose.

P.S.  Offering more nature-walks and in-store seminars provides additional opportunities for families to get the kids outside into nature, and learning new things.

Table of Contents

It’s Show Time:
Trade shows can be a powerful business experience

by Hank Weber

Gifts That Sell:
Choose gift merchandise that actually sells

by Hank Weber

Looking Forward:
Tomorrow is Already Here
by John A. Riutta

Hummingbird Research

Hundred Dollar Windfall:
Pennies from Heaven just waiting for you to pick them up

by Hank Weber

Too Hot Not to Handle:
AmericasMart Atlanta: An Incubator for Gift Trends.
by Mike Anderson

a Landscape for Birds: Donahue
It’s easy to choose plants for a lovely 
summer show, but don’t forget their 
value to birds in the winter months
by Micelle Z.

Industry News

New Products

Book Reviews

Birding Business September 2014


BY RAY DAVID | Editor/Publisher

I often listen to NPR when I’m driving, and the other day I was completely absorbed by an author interview that kept me thinking for hours.  His subject was darkness, vs. daylight, and the various influences each has on human life.  But what made me think most deeply was a comment about the common night sounds from our youth.

It seems a fairly simple topic but it really struck a chord because I grew up in the suburbs of a big city and I remember absolutely nothing of the night sounds in the neighborhood. The odd train whistle a couple of miles away maybe, but that’s it.  I do, though, have indelible memories of night sounds a world away from the ‘hood; sounds I didn’t know would mark my youth.  We all have distinct childhood recollections that stick with us all our lives, but sounds of the night are rarely among them.  I wonder if you can recall night sounds from your grade school days?

My childhood was unusual in a way, because for many years our family spent most of every summer in northern Canada in a small cottage on a remote lake in the wilderness (half a century ago it was wilderness).  We lived those two months of the year without roads – boats were the only transportation; no running water, just a pail and a path down to the lake; no electricity, just a wood stove and Coleman lamps.  There were also no newspapers, no radios, no TV, no computer games, no getting together with the guys at the restaurant down the street.  Nighttime meant isolation. When you stepped outside into the stillness it was like stepping into a black cloud with a twinkle of stars or the aurora borealis the only source of light. But though the daylight was gone the night turned into a blanket of sound all around.  You could hear a whip-poor-will in the distance, then the lonely call of a loon, frogs by the score, insects beyond number, even the occasional grunt or twig snapping in the dark woods from a bear or moose.  Together they were like an orchestra you could listen to but couldn’t see.

It never occurred to me until that radio interview that many people grew up never hearing what to me was normal.  The peace, the total darkness, the night smells of the forest and the lake cannot be reproduced. But the sounds can be recorded, and that’s what draws me to a birding specialty store. Most of them play recorded nature sounds throughout the store and I find that inviting, even comforting and soothing.  It’s a step away from the ‘I-don’t-have-time-for-it’ of the business day, and into a world only some of us can recall.  I can’t imagine an easier way to bring back that peace than a visit to a birding store, and I often buy something just as a token of thanks for reminding me of how it used to be.

In this issue...

Local Retailing
by Michelle Z. Donahue
Boosting the Neighbors, Buoying your Business

Sticky Situations
by Mike Anderson
Signs, signs, everywhere are signs...

When to Stop Feeding

by Hank Weber
Common Misconceptions

Gentle Winds Stir Sales
by Hank Weber

Updated 2014-2015 Buyer’s Guide with Service & Product Index

Publisher’s Note
Industry News
New Products
Book Reviews


Birding Business maintains a calendar of events and seasonal marketing ideas related to the bird feeding industry.  If you would like to suggest an event, please send the information to theThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Visit the Birding Business Calendar.


Send us your new product and company press releases.

A different kind of press release from Mel at Goldcrest...

A Fall Farewell to My Feathered Friend

hummingbirdThe cold winds of autumn blows and much needed rain drops fall, yet you, my ruby friend, delay your departure to the safe haven of your winter home to the south. As I sit down to my Saturday morning coffee, you cease your constant fluttering flight to rest a moment on the copper swing I've put out for you this summer, just outside my window. Today's ride for you is rougher than the gentle breezes of a Missouri summer, as the incoming storm causes cold, blustery winds and rain to ruffle your coat of feathers. As drops of rain fall on you little feathered friend, do know as you travel south I'll always cherish the memories you and your offspring and friends provided for me this summer of 2013. I fear, however, I and others take for granted the countless tens of thousands of trips you've taken to and from the feeders I've placed on my deck and windows for you.

I'll never forget how God blessed me when you and your friends were so kind to come and feed from my hand as my grandson, Eli, and I sat on the deck praying you would come to our small offering of nectar. Even as Eli excitedly yelled "turd, turds", as he hasn't mastered the "B" sound yet, you thrilled us with your rapid flights and constant chattering as you fed nearby. Those memories with Eli and you are among the most cherished of my life on this Earth. I thank you so much.

Suddenly, a strong, cold gust of wind blows and you are gone. My swing rocks back and forth - empty - but my memories of you and the joys you provided for me in the summer of 2013 will live forever. I ask God that you have safe journeys, my friend and perhaps we'll chat again next spring as you and yours come to my windows and say - "we're back and we're hungry."

My parting prayer is that I and others will remember even more and take time to enjoy what I write at the close of each of my e-mails: "Nature is a stress reliever from God, Take Time Today to Listen to the Birds Sing." Travel safe my friend and know I will cherish and remember our moments together as long as I live!

Or check out Mel's comments on You Tube.


Groovy Owl Branch Mobile

owlOur charming owl branch mobiles are top sellers every year!  Hand-made by master gourd carvers in the Andes of Peru, each piece comes alive through the ancient technique of pyrography – in which artists use chisel and fire to create each design. Find our whole collection of natural birdhouses, boxes, ornaments and fair trade gifts at www.lucuma.com or call 877-858-2862 to request a catalog.  Lucuma Designs is a proud member of the Fair Trade Federation since 1998
SRP:  $25-30 per mobile

Liz McTeer
Customer Service & Marketing Director
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Lucuma Designs       
Fax 877-363-0735



Woodstock Rainbow Makers™; – Angel Wing Earrings with Swarovski(R) Elements Land In Time for Sparkling Holiday Sales

New Woodstock Chimes® line features crystal hearts and pewter wings

SHOKAN, N.Y., October 2013 -- Woodstock Chimes, a leading manufacturer of musically-tuned windchimes, has tossed its hat into the fashion accessories arena with a new line of Rainbow Makers – Angel Wing Earrings. Woodstock’s Rainbow Makers Collection, comprised of genuine Austrian crystal ornamental products, has quickly become a top-seller for the company, since its winter 2011 debut. The Angel Wing Earrings are offered in six different color Swarovski Elements Crystal Hearts, which are set atop antiqued-finish, lead-free pewter angel wings. Each pair includes sterling silver ear wires with stops, and retails for $20. This mid-season launch offers shipping just in time for the holiday season, with pre-Thanksgiving delivery for orders placed by Friday, November 8, 2013.  The entire line can also be seen during the upcoming winter 2014 show season in Atlanta, Dallas, Las Vegas and most regional shows.


“With Rainbow Makers continuing to fly off our retailers’ shelves, we chose to expand the line by utilizing these exquisite Swarovski Elements Crystal Hearts in an unexpected, but fashion-forward way. The Angel Wing Earrings achieve just that,” said Garry Kvistad, founder and owner of Woodstock Chimes.

Designed and made in England, each pair of earrings come on a self-standing card for easy displaying, and are packaged in an organza bag for gift giving. The earrings are sure to appeal to all fashionistas, with its six different designer colored crystals: Aurora Borealis, Peridot, Blue Zircon, Light Rose, Aquamarine and Violet.

To celebrate this mid-season launch, the company is offering two promotions:

·  Promotion 1: Order the Angel Wings Earrings Display Package (CWPKG) with 18 pairs of earrings (three of each style) for $180 and get a Three-Tier Acrylic Display (CDJ) FREE, a $25 savings. (Promo Code: XCW2013)

·  Promotion 2: Order the Angel Wings Earrings Display Package and another $350 (any Woodstock products), and receive the FREE display, plus one of each Angel Wings style FREE, a $85 savings. (Promo Code: X2CW2013)

An easy reorder assortment, with one pair of each color, is also available for $60 (CWASMT).

For details about Woodstock Rainbow Makers – Angel Wing Earrings, the complete Woodstock Chimes and Woodstock Music Collection® product lines, or for a current trade show listing, please visit www.WoodstockChimes.com.

Company Name:  Woodstock Percussion, Inc., 167 Dubois Road; Shokan, NY 12481 USA
800.422.4463, www.WoodstockChimes.com

Media Contact: Jillian Lambert; Bultema Lambert Communications
616.656.7500; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




GHTA Confirms New Board at Successful 2013 Conference
Members bring vast experiences and expertise to industry trade association

Contact:   Gwen Bultema
Bultema Lambert Comm.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Grand Rapids, Mich. (October 2013) - The Gift and Home Trade Association (GHTA), whose mission is to support, lead, and unify the gift and home industry, focusing on its long term success, confirmed its 2013-2014 Board of Directors during the 11th Annual GHTA Conference, held October 2-5 in San Diego, California.

The GHTA’s executive board is as follows: John Keiser of OneCoast, chairman of the board; Todd Litzman of Brandwise, president; Bob Ricciardi of About Face Designs, vice president; Joe Harris of Whereoware, treasurer; and Cindy Henry of Wellspring, secretary.

Additionally, the GHTA has added several new members to its board, each of whom bring a wealth of talent and experience to the organization: Dan Loughman of Roman Inc., Dylan Schauben of J.Grob & Associates, George Kacic of Giftcraft, and Cliff Price of Cliff Price & Company. Continuing their board terms are Fred Schmidt of All for Color, Randy Spoor of Center Stage Team, Lisa Wohlhart of Ivystone Group, and Allison Barrows of Ganz. Chad Corzine of Archipelago Botanicals and Julie Dix of FalconBlue were named ex-officio board members. Andy Bjork of Ivystone Group will continue as parliamentarian.  

To learn more about the Gift and Home Trade Association, please call 877.600.4872 or visit www.giftandhome.org.



Fall IMBD Events Expand on Wintering Grounds

International Migratory Bird Day programs and events have more than tripled in the Caribbean, Mexico, Honduras, and Colombia, thanks to the work of a team of coordinators. Coordinators are responsible for recruiting new sites, communicating with event organizers, and hosting their own activities. All of the coordinators work as both biologists and educators in their countries and have considerable knowledge to share with partners and participants. Over 30 organizations are hosting fall programs that highlight the importance of non-breeding grounds to the survival of migratory birds. From left to right are Sheylda Díaz (Puerto Rico), Anthony Levesque (Guadeloupe), Juan Pablo Medina (Mexico), Fabiola Rodriguez (Honduras), Alejandro Pinto (Colombia), and Ingrid Flores (Puerto Rico). Not pictured is Rafael Cruz (Mexico). Thanks to all!

IMBD 2014  - It's a Bird's Life
IMBD 2014 focuses on the ecosystem services birds provide, from pest control to seed dispersal and pollination. The art will feature 9 species of birds selected by YOU. These include Great Egret, Turkey Vulture, and American Robin.

Russ Greenberg Receives Kudos
At the 2013 meeting of the American Ornithologists' Union, EFTA Board Member Russ Greenberg was presented with the Elliott Coues Award. Named for one of the great pioneers of American ornithology, the Coues Award recognizes outstanding and innovative contributions to ornithological research. And it's a very big deal. Russ is a phenomenal ornithologist, and his deep and extensive knowledge gave International Migratory Bird Day a firm foundation right from the start.
In September, 80 friends, former students, and colleagues, including EFTA, gathered in Maryland for the Greenberg Innovations Sessions to honor Russ's deep and broad academic legacy. This warm and rich event featured  presentations on current avian research, food, and festivities.

Congratulations to Russ and our appreciation for his contributions to Environment for the Americas!

Visit the Environment for the America's Web site for information on all of their programs.



A New Droll Yankees Onyx Clever Clean Finch Feeder Design that Attracts Up to Twice as Many Finches

Droll Yankees’ Onyx Clever Clean bird feeders, known for their removable bases and contemporary lines, have a new model featuring patented Magnet Mesh that is more attractive to finches.

PLAINFIELD, CT (PRWEB) July 01, 2013 -- Finches are flocking birds that will feed together in harmony. When greater access to the seed is provided more birds visit the feeder.

droll yankee feederDroll Yankees’ new Onyx Clever Clean Finch Magnetfeatures a mesh feed tube with 50 openings per square inch to dispense Nyjer® seed and nyjer mixes. The  diamond-shaped openings of the patented mesh align with the direction of the seed in the feeder. The benefit of this alignment became clear when Dr. Aelred Geis’s controlled studies showed that the use of this mesh resulted in 68% more bird visits when compared to screen-type nyjer feeders.

From 2005 to 2008, the Wild Bird Feeding Industry conducted a study that asked consumers what could make the bird feeding experience better. "Attracting more birds" to bird feeders ranked second, at 42%, and the Finch Magnet satisfies this desire. (Attracting more species of birds came in first at 69% of respondents.)

With 50 openings per square inch, the 18″ Finch Magnet has over 1800 access points when the feeder is full. More access, more finches! The finches easily cling to the mesh without the need for perch rods.

The new Finch Magnet comes in two sizes; the 12” version (CC12FM) holds one pound of Nyjer® or a nyjer mix. For greater capacity and more birds, the 18” model (CC18FM) holds almost 2 pounds of seed.

Droll Yankees’ Onyx Clever Clean line of bird feeders derive their name from the “twist and release” feeder base that allows for the removal of any chaff, debris, or clogged seed ports quickly and easily before each refill of the feeder. Also, by removing the base, feeder tubes can be accessed from either the bottom up – or the top down – allowing for a simple scrubbing with a Bird Feeder Brush(BFB).

To attract even more finches, Clever Clean Seed Trays (CCT, CCT-S) can be attached to the base of any Onyx feeder to catch dropped seed. The trays conveniently stay attached when the base is removed for cleaning. Look for Onyx Clever Clean products at your local retailer, call Droll Yankees at 888-851-6621, or shop online at www.drollyankees.com. Like most Droll Yankees products, the Onyx Clever Clean line is made in the U.S.A.

In 1969, Droll Yankees started a bird-feeding revolution with Model A-6F, the first tubular bird feeder. Since then, Droll Yankees has built on that success, continually developing innovative approaches to bird feeding that benefit both the birds and Droll Yankees customers. Generations of bird lovers have appreciated Droll Yankees’ quality construction, functional simplicity, and commitment to American workers. Droll Yankees offers a Lifetime Warranty and will replace any squirrel-damaged or defective parts, free of charge. To learn more about Droll Yankees’ products, visit www.drollyankees.com

Contact Information:
Christen Brewer

Droll Yankees


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