Wild Bird Connection looking for new owners

By Erin Mairose, for SiouxFalls.Business

After more than 20 years of providing supplies and advice to wild bird and nature fans, Wild Bird Connection is looking to pass on ownership.

Becky Otten and Mary Vickery own Wild Bird Connection.

Owners Becky Otten and Mary Vickery are hoping to sell the backyard bird-feeding store at 2109 S. Minnesota Ave. to a nature enthusiast with similar interests in keeping it running.

“We’re hoping maybe one of our younger customers will want to take the store over,” Vickery said.

The store’s biggest seller is birdseed, making up about 70 percent of business. During the spring and summer months, the shop sells up to 4,000 pounds of seed a week. And after years of hauling it off the truck and bagging it, Vickery said carrying 50-pound bags starts to catch up with age.

“When you carry about 10 of them a day, it’s hard on your body,” she said.

The most popular birdseed is the Connections Special Mix that Vickery said feeds pretty much any bird you can find in your backyard, including cardinals, chickadees, finches and blue jays.

“When you feed birds, you attract other creatures as well, and most people end up liking those, too,” Vickery said.

Those creatures include squirrels, which many people have a love-hate relationship with. To attract or deter them, they also sell squirrel-proof feeders as well as special feeders made for squirrels. Other items include lawn ornaments, garden decor, field guides and binoculars.

One of the things Vickery said she will miss the most about running the store is getting to chat with customers who like to talk about what birds they see in their yard and around the area. Over the years, the two owners have formed relationships with multiple generations of customers.

“It might be grandma, parent and then a grandson because they grew up with their parents feeding birds, and then they pass it down,” Vickery said. “We’ve had as many as three generations of people coming in.”

That’s one of the reasons why Vickery and Otten are being patient while answering inquires about selling – they’re looking for just the right person to keep it going.

They plan to stay open until they find a buyer.

Wild Bird Connection looking for new owners

After more than 20 years of providing supplies and advice to wild bird and nature fans, Wild Bird Connection is looking to pass on ownership.

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