Spend Locally: Wild Birds Unlimited

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Photo courtest of Aron Sousa.

A chickadee eats from a bird feeder.

Tired of staring at the computer screen, or know someone who is? Sarah Zarka, co-owner of East Lansing’s  Wild Birds Unlimited, tells ELi that many customers are benefitting their mental health by pausing to look out the window to observe the great outdoors.

One benefit – yes, a benefit – of 2020 is that it is a great year for birdwatching in Mid-Michigan. Some birds tend to stay the winter in Canada and feed off cones from trees, but the cone crop, as it is known, was bad this year. It happens once every seven years or so, and it sends many species of bird to other areas in search of food.

So, how can you lure feathered fauna to your yard?

For starters, Wild Birds Unlimited offers giant pine cones covered in birdseed. You can even decorate your outdoor tree with ornaments covered in bird feed. Some come in the shape of wildlife. While you are at it, you can also pick up wreaths and bells covered in bird seed.

The shop also sells birdbaths, including heated baths that provide fresh liquid water during the coldest months. They have bird houses of all sorts, squirrel feeders, hummingbird feeders, and plenty of fun gift options, along with bird-themed greeting cards.

Buy it all and help this locally-owned business! They will never think you are over the top at Wild Birds Unlimited. When I asked Sarah to recall a particularly enjoyable interaction with a customer, she mentioned a woman who came in for her 60th birthday to buy 60 pounds of birdseed.

You are welcome to visit the store in-person if you are masked (hours available here), but the store also offers curbside pickup. They don’t have an online system for ordering, but you can call and place an order at (517) 337-9920. They are happy to help you over the phone to figure out what you want or need.

ELi is running a special series called Spend Locally, in an attempt to save local businesses. Find the series here.

Help ELi continue its support of our community in 2021.

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