For members of the Wild Birds Unlimited team, helping to bring people closer to the natural world around them is a mission that’s top of mind on a daily basis. However, the brand’s ongoing efforts to share the joy of backyard bird feeding with consumers is being taken to the next level this year. That’s because 2018 is officially the Year of the Bird.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act being ratified. The agreement—which was originally established between the United States and Great Britain on behalf of the Commonwealth of Canada—ended the hunting of nongame birds in the two countries. In 1936, the U.S. passed a similar act with Mexico, ensuring that wild birds are fully protected by law across North America. Now, in honor of the Migratory Bird Treat Act’s centennial year, the Cornell Lab, National Geographic, the National Audubon Society and BirdLife International have all come together to raise awareness about the importance of protecting wild birds. And hundreds of organizations—including Wild Birds Unlimited—have signed on to be partners in this initiative.
“What makes this celebration so interesting is the fact that this type of collaboration between the Cornell Lab, National Geographic, the National Audubon Society and BirdLife International has never happened before. This is the first time that these organizations have joined forces, and I think that it’s going to lead to impressive results,” said John Schaust, chief naturalist for Wild Birds Unlimited. “The original goal behind these centennial celebrations was to raise awareness for the importance of protecting migratory, wild birds. But I believe that having these four voices work together in partnership with hundreds of nature-centric organization across the United States and Canada is going to make a big impact that extends far beyond their expectations.”
To help make that impact as powerful and lasting as possible, Wild Birds Unlimited is actively making an effort to promote events and themes related to this annual celebration. At the brand’s 300-plus stores across the United States and Canada, Wild Birds Unlimited owners, employees and customers will all be able to partake in centennial celebrations and learn more about birds across North America.
“We’re thrilled to be one of the many partners supporting the Year of the Bird celebrations. We have a long-standing relationship with the National Audubon Society, so it’s exciting to now be in a position that allows us to build on that already strong foundation with even more organizations,” Schaust said. “Wild Birds Unlimited stores across the United States and Canada are going to be participating in events throughout the year that align with these centennial celebrations. In February, for example, franchisees, employees and customers all came together to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count. We’re also going to be focusing on being both plant and bird-friendly in April, and we’re looking forward to helping children connect with nature over the summer.”
Schaust said, “Celebrating the Year of the Bird is a great opportunity for us to make a difference in the local communities that our stores serve. But the reality for us is that every year is the year of the bird. That’s what we’re all about. At its core, Wild Birds Unlimited is a business that’s driven by a mission to bring people and nature together. Everything that we do is tied to that goal, which is why we’re really excited to have this larger platform getting even more people excited about nature and birds. By participating in events and partnering with these incredible organizations as they celebrate 2018 as the year of the bird, we’re looking forward to sharing the joy of backyard bird feeding with a wider audience than ever before.”
With more than 300 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada, Wild Birds Unlimited is the original and largest franchise system of backyard bird feeding and nature specialty stores. Recently ranked No. 2 overall and No. 1 in the Retail category on Franchise Business Review’s prestigious 2018 Franchisee Satisfaction Awards, there's no better time to join the Wild Birds Unlimited team. Click here to learn more.