Shop Local: Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop
Owner learning from customers about popular hobby
When Dave Pretnar bought Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop, 5736 Mayfield Road, in 2009, he changed the wall color to light sage, moved the bird feeders to the wall, and boned up on bird attracting and bird feeding.
But he absolutely didn’t want to change the customers, many of whom had frequented the
shop since it opened in 1991. “They’re really, really nice,” he said. “And I learn a lot
Pretnar quickly learned why bird feeding is the second-most-popular hobby in the
U.S., next to gardening. “It’s addictive,” he said exuberantly.
However, it’s not without its problems.
Are deer elbowing squirrels out of the way at the bird feeder?
“Bring the feeder in at night,” he said. “Deer are creature of habit, walking the
same route, so bringing the feeder in at night forces them to break their habit and look somewhere else for food.”
If that’s too much trouble, just half-fill the feeder so there’s less to lose should the deer find it.
Bird seed piling up beneath the feeder? Buy seed with the shells removed or buy
“Discount seed is full of fillers like corn, oats or milo, a small red seed that’s used to add weight. Quail eat milo, but most people aren’t feeding quail. Birds
throw out the filler in search of the seeds they want.”
Naturally, he stocks quality seed, and offers a “Daily Savings Club” that allows
customers to save 15 percent on purchases. “It’s extremely popular,” he said.
And don’t worry about leaving the feeder untended when you go on vacation. “They
just go to another ‘restaurant,’” he said. “They return very quickly once you return.”