TheWenatchee area offers habitats to some 300 bird species. From the Wenatchee andColumbia rivers to the foothills, many types of birds find homes in these variedenvironments.
Notonly do wild birds inhabit the natural areas, but Wenatchee backyards, as well.Feeding the birds is a hobby and a delight to many of the city’s residents. Theproblem is, what to feed them as the variety of birds is so broad?
Feedingthe birds and the customers’ knowledge
Wild Birds Unlimited (www.wenatchee.wbu.com) at 212 Fifth St. (by Tastebuds and Garlini’s) is Wenatchee’s resource for both quality feed for birds and help and education for humans. Owner Patrick Bodell is at the franchise most of the time and always willing to share his knowledge with a customer or a curious visitor.
“Peoplelike to come in and talk,” Bodell said with a smile.
He enjoys a chat anytime and will gladly shareall that he knows about birdfeed and birds.
Sinceit’s opening in November 2017, the store has acquired 500 club members, onlinecustomers and many drop-in byers. They deliver for free within a 150-mileradius. Orders come in from as far away as Idaho and Oregon.
Helpwith any bird-related issue – squirrels included
“We get a lot of people looking for help withsquirrel issues,” he explained.
Squirrelshave an affinity for birdfeed and will quickly stash away the seed which wasintended for the winged visitors. Wild Birds Unlimited sells several types of squirrel-prooffeeders and offers tips for kindly deterring the bushy-tailed critter’sattempts to hoard the birdseed.
Whenit comes to feeding birds, there is more to it than just setting out some seed:different seasons bring different nutritional requirements and types of birdsto our backyard feeders. At Wild Birds Unlimited, you can find severalvarieties of birdseed specifically prepared for our region and the currentseason.
Besidesseed, the store also offers suet and nut blends to ensure sources of fat andprotein for our feathered friends.
Notonly do different species of birds have their own food preferences, but alsospecific locations where they like to feed. Goldfinches are happy to find Nyjerseed in the tall, skinny feeder while California quail look for food on theground and Steller’s Jays love peanuts scattered on the ground. The staff atWild Birds Unlimited can guide you to make the best choices according to thebirds that come to your backyard. By being selective with the feed you caneither invite the birds you like or put off the ones you don’t care for.
“Educationis the big thing,” Bodell pointed out. “We do a lot of problem-solving at thestore.”
Tohelp customers know what birds live in our environment, Bodell keeps ablackboard by the check-out counter where he lists local bird sightings thathave been reported to him.
Othersources of birding information are listed on the Wild Birds Unlimited website,such as the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust (www.cdlandtrust.org),North-Central Washington Audubon Society (www.ncwaudubon.org),and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (www.birds.cornell.edu).
Beyondthe supplies and education at the store, Wild Birds Unlimited also participatesin guided bird walks and other educational events in Wenatchee. The storecontributes to community enrichment: each year they sponsor a show at the NumericaPerforming Arts Center (www.numericapac.org).This year it was the “Glenn Miller Band” show in September.
OnNovember 12 Wild Birds Unlimited is sponsoring the film presentation of “Birdof Prey”, 7-8:30 pm at the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center (www.wenatcheevalleymuseum.org).
Sellingproducts, not birds
Bodellsaid that people sometimes walk into the store looking to buy a bird, but WildBirds Unlimited does not sell live birds. It sells products and offers adviceon how to keep them alive.
Giftsfor people, too
Whilevisiting the store, you are likely to be tempted to browse through the shelvesstocked with gift ideas – either for a bird-loving friend or yourself. Maybe ahat with an embroidered hummingbird, a bird-related book, or a coffee mug witha picture of a favorite species?
Theirhours of operation are: Mo-Fri 10-6, Sat 10-5, Sun 11-4.