I love the spectacle of a flock of many different (native and just passing through) wild birds flittering around the host of feeders we have in our back yard. Woodpeckers, Finches, Curve Bill Thrashers, Cardinals, Pyrruloxia, Phainopepla, Broad Billed & Lucifer Hummingbirds, and our state bird the Cactus Wren … just to name a few. We frequently see their larger cousins, the Gambel’s Quail and Mourning & White-Winged Doves. These small and larger species are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the multitude of wild backyard birds that call Tucson their home.
So how do you attract a certain bird, what do you feed them, will they nest if you hang a bird house, who stays year-round and who migrates, is one feeder better than another, etc., etc., etc.? If you want answers to these questions and the accessories you’ll need to keep your feathered friends close by … then a trip to Wild Birds Unlimited (WBU) is a must.
Staffed with “birders”, I found them well trained in a vast array of backyard bird related subjects. They know the migratory habits, what food(s) and/or seed(s) each bird likes, how to call in the flocks when you put out a new food … and keep them coming back on command, what makes good nesting material, proper sanitation of the feeders (especially hummingbird feeders), pricing options for the same-in-class feeders, how to protect your wild birds from natural predators (like Road Runners, Cooper’s Hawks, and even house cats), how to keep the squirrels from plowing through you bird food, et al. If you’ve got a backyard wild bird question, I think you’ll have a hard time stumping the folks that work at our local Wild Birds Unlimited store.
So let’s talk about their products. Here’s a pretty good list (but not all) of what’s offered:
- Bird Food (Seed, Seed Cylinders & Cakes, Bark Butter®, Suet Cylinders, Suet & Mealworms, Nectar & Jelly, Hot Pepper Seed)
- Bird Feeders (Seed Tube, Finch, Bark Butter®, Suet, Hummingbird, Window, EcoTough® – Tail Prop Suet Feeder)
- Specialty Feeders (EcoClean® Peanut, Acorn, Peanut Hut In-Shell Peanut, Oriole, SideDish™, QuickClean® Small Mesh Peanut, Mini Cylinder)
- Feeder Accessories (Weather Guard, WBU 12″ Seed Tray. Round Seed Tray – 8.5″, APS EZ-Attach Weather Guard, Nectar Bottle, Feeder Fresh™ Nectar Defender™, Nectar Port Brush, WBU Seed Scoop)
- Bird Baths & Bird Houses (the store offers a few products geared toward baths/drinking water, Houses & Nesting Materials, and even a few Bat Houses)
- Advanced Pole System® (APS) – for hanging various feeders, etc. (APS Basic Setup – Hanging, APS Basic Setup – Mounting, APS Basic Setup – Deck, Decorative Branch Perch, Stackable Squirrel Baffle, 8″ Raccoon Baffle)
WBU has both a corporate and a local store website. Some of the products offered on the corporate website are not offered in an individually owned store (WBU is a franchise). The reason for this is that each store tailors its products to the types of birds that live in their area. When you go to the corporate website and click “Shop Online” it will bring you to the Tucson store website. After spending a great deal of time in the Tucson location, I can tell you that their website shows only (I would guess) about 50% of the products that are available. A trip to 6546 E. Tanque Verde Rd. is your best bet.
And if you’re a real bird lover, and keep your feeders stocked with food, they offer a Daily Savings Club® membership. It’ll cost you $25 per year, but here’s what you get:
- 15% OFF regular prices of all bird food every day
- Additional 5% OFF bird food sales prices
- $10 Bird Buck coupon for every $200 purchased throughout the store
- Exclusive members-only promotions
- FREE gift at signup and renewal
They offer Free shipping on orders over $75 (some exclusion my apply – call store for details).
I hope the pictures I took give you an idea of what they carry – It’s impressive. The customer service is great. The product and bird knowledge possessed by the staff is outstanding. The quality of their feed and the other products they carry is excellent.
And finally, Wild Birds Unlimited has a slew of useful information on their website:
- Getting Started Feeding Birds
- Current Bird Happenings
- Product Highlights
- Local Events
- Birding and Nature Links
If you love backyard birds and the joy they bring, then a trip to Wild Birds Unlimited should be high on your list.