Wild Bird Habitat, The First Twnty Years

The Wild Bird Habitat Stores – The First 20 Years

Wild Bird Habitat is actively involved in several local and national organizations.
1. The Wild Bird Habitat Stores are past members of the Wild Bird Feeding Industry (WBFI), a national organization for retailers, distributors and manufacturers of bird related products. However we have not renewed our membership since the organization fell under the umbrella of the Wild Bird Centers of America, a national competitor. We do however continue to support the WBFI for the betterment of the bird feeding industry.
2. The Wild Bird Habitat Stores are a state ambassador for the Cornell University Bird Lab located at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Through the Bird Lab Wild Bird Habitat promotes and recruits citizen scientist for a variety of programs associated with bird activity across North America. These projects rely on bird enthusiast to collect and report important bird activity data to biologists at the Bird Lab. Since 2003 Wild Bird Habitat has promoted the Great Backyard Bird Count across all of Nebraska through press releases and articles. We encourage families, individuals, clubs, organizations, schools and youth groups to participate in this 4 day bird count in mid-February. Nebraska has ranked in several top ten categories on numerous occasions from most checklists submitted to most birds counted in North America.
3. Member of the National Audubon Society and our local chapter in Southeast Nebraska, the Wachiska Audubon Society. We promote the annual Christmas bird count and other activities sponsored by Audubon.
4. Honorary member of Nebraska’s Wildlife Rescue, Inc.
5. Honorary member of Raptor Recovery of Nebraska
6. Member at Large on the Steering Committee for the Nebraska Bird Partnership, a statewide partnership for the conservation of birds, bird education, and economic development through birding recreation.

Wild Bird Habitat is actively involved in our community and state.
1. Chairman of the Nebraska Birding Trails, a web-based statewide birding trails system with over 400 bird watching locations across Nebraska attracting local and national bird watching enthusiasts.
2. Sponsor of the Nebraska Bird Library, an online web-based field guide dedicated to the identification of the 450 bird species listed on the Nebraska Ornithologists Union’s state bird check-list.
3. Sponsor of Bridge to Birding, a program designed to facilitate bird awareness and connect students & educators with the outdoors and the native birds found in Nebraska. Wild Bird Habitat funded a bridge to Birding tool box for the Beatrice, NE area and plans to fund a tool box for the Nebraska City, NE area.
4. Wild Bird Habitat sponsors programs by Raptor Recovery Nebraska and has raised funds and donations in excess of $10,000 for RRN.
5. Sponsor of nature programing for child burn victims at Camp Kaleo in Burwell NE. Presented bird activities and a nature hike for burn victims. Burn Camp is conducted by the St Elizabeth Hospital Foundation.
6. Past publicity chair for Bluebirds Across Nebraska, Nebraska’s bluebird recovery program.
7. Co-facilitated with Dan Wheeler, Professor Emeritus and former UNL Department Chair of Ag Communications, a birding classes for OLLI, Oscher Lifelong Learning Institute, at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. (3rd year)
8. Partnered with Dan Wheeler to guide an OLLI 2 day bird watching field trip to the Missouri River Valley.
9. Provided three different classes related to birding at Central Community College in Columbus, NE.
10. Provided several different classes related to birding for the Luschen’s Birding Club in Norfolk, NE.
11. Corporate sponsors of “The Big Year” birding event at the Nebraska Visitors and Nature Center, Wood River, NE.
12. Co-sponsored and guided the Sandhill Crane viewing trip to the Platte River provided by the Pioneers Park Nature Center. (3rd year)
13. Facilitated the birding education component for the Nebraska Master Naturalists certification program at Grand Island, NE and Nebraska City, NE.
14. Sponsored and facilitated several birding programs for youth and adults at the Pioneers Park Nature Center.
15. Co-funded, organized, and participated in the renovation of the bird garden at the Pioneers Park Nature Center with the Nature Center and City of Lincoln Parks and Recreation. The bird garden will be dedicated in Honor of Irene and George Alexander on June 30, 2012.
16. Spent 16 years on staff at the Pioneers Park Nature Center as a teacher/Naturalist. Continue to be a volunteer at the Pioneers Park Nature Center.
17. On the steering committee of Teaming With Wildlife to promote Nebraska’s coalition of the state’s “Wildlife Action Plan” as part of the National Security Act.
18. Annually sponsor a “Bird Watching Opportunities in Nebraska” booth at the Rivers and Wildlife Celebration in Kearney, NE. The oldest, longest running birding festival in North America.
19. Sponsored and organized a birding event in conjunction with the Grand Theater in the Grand Theater’s lobby for the opening of the major motion picture “The Big Year”
20. Sponsor and set-up booths for the Nebraska Birding Trails, the Nebraska Metro Birding Trails, and the Chicken Dance Birding Trails along with information about other public and private birding opportunities across the state at various fairs, conferences, and events to promote bird watching as an economic development tool for Nebraska. There are more than 11 million traveling birders accounting for an annual economic output of 42 billion dollars and the numbers continue to grow.
21. Co-funded with the Pioneers Park Nature Center and the City of Lincoln Parks and Recreation and constructed the Turkey Vulture exhibit at the Pioneers Park Nature Center.
22. Sponsor and promote the Pioneers Park Nature Center providing program information and handling live birds of prey from the Nature Center at various adult and youth events and presentations.
23. Provide extra discounts savings, information, and support for outdoor classroom development at area schools. Provided numerous birding programs at area schools.
24. Sponsored and staffed a booth on birding in Nebraska at the International Field Ornithologists, Wilson Ornithologist Society, and Cooper Ornithologists Society in Kearney, NE.
25. Helped to organize and participated in the 1st Annual “Kid’s Bird Encounter” with the Lincoln City Libraries held concurrently at Gere and Isiley City Libraries.
26. Provided numerous presentations on backyard bird feeding and birding in general for various church organizations, youth groups, retirement centers, and community organizations.
27. Sponsors of Build a Bird House Project fund raiser for Habitat for Humanity.
28. Wild Bird Habit has judged 4-H entries in “Homes & Feeders for Wildlife” at 14 consecutive Nebraska State Fairs.
29. Guest speaker at the Nebraska State Arboretum’s Spring Affair
30. Presented a workshop at the Nebraska State Travel & Tourism Conference in Gering, NE on bird watching opportunities in Nebraska.
31. Presented a workshop at the Governor’s Eco/Nature Tourism Conference in North Platte, NE on bird watching opportunities in Nebraska.
32. Presented birding opportunities in Nebraska at a private landowner’s workshop in Gordon, NE sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory.
33. At the last state fair held in Lincoln, NE Wild Bird Habitat worked with the Henry Doorley Zoo, Finke Gardens, and the Nebraska State Cooperative Extension to develop the award winning “Outdoor Living Patio” We participated in this 11 day run offering presentations, displaying birds of prey, and talking to people about creating Backyard habitat and setting up a bird feeding program.
34. Guest reader at West Lincoln Elementary School over the past 5 years r for “Read Across America” celebrating Dr. Suess’ birthday. Book topics are nature oriented and are donated to the school library after the program.
35. There are numerous other projects and venues that the Wild Bird Habitat Stores participates in annually such as: VegFest, Michael Forsberg’s “Wild Saturdays”, school activities, church festivals, conferences, workshops, and more.

Awards received by Dave Titterington / Wild Bird Habitat Store
1. 2002 recipient of the Edna Shields “Sharing Nature With Children Award”
2. 2006 recipient of the Howard Wiegers – Journal Star “Outstanding Conservation Award”
3. 2011 recipient of the Wachiska Audubon Society’s “Lyman’s Award”
4. 2012 recipient of the Better Business Bureau’s “Integrity Award”

Articles in trade/industry & media publications
• Winter bird-feeding an activity enjoyed by millions / Neighborhood Extra, 2011
Read more:
• Bird feeding basics: It’s an easy hobby, but a few pointers helps / Journal Star, 2005
Read more:
• Bird seed blues: Crop prices push up costs / Journal Star, 2008
Read more:
• Conservation educator receives Wiegers award / Journal Star, 2006
• Great Backyard Bird Count will mark 15th year / Journal Star, 2012
Read more:

• Join the Great Backyard Bird Count / Journal Star, 2011
Read more:
• Titterington has devotion to nature education, conservation, activism / Journal, 2006
Read more:
• An oasis for birds and bird watchers, all for the Alexanders / Journal Star, 2012
Read more:
• OLLI Thanks Dave Titterington and Dan Wheeler / Journal Star, 2012
Read More:
• Bird Watching / Neighborhood Extra, 2011
Read more:
• Missouri River bird-watching excursion set for the weekend / Journal Star, 2011
Read more:
• Mother’s Day starts early at Pioneers Park Bird Walk / Journal Star, 2011
Read more:
• Food and medical bills soar for nine eagles / Journal Star, 2009
Read more: http://journalstar.com/news/local/food-and-medical-bills-soar-for-nine-eagles/article_847366ee-4c00-5aaf-b9c3-0e8e44435cd6.html

• It’s nest time: How to help the birds build homes / Journal Star, 2010
Read more:
• Finches and other birds feel pinch of Nyjer seed shortage / Journal Star, 2009
Read more:
• Bird feeding basics: It’s an easy hobby, but a few pointers helps / Journal Star, 2005
Read more:
• Site helps bird-watchers fill life lists / Journal Star, 2005
Read More:
• Program to help wood ducks thrive / Journal Star, 2005
Read More:
• Environmental Trust Fund hit reduced / Journal Star, 2006
Read More:
• Butterflies, hummingbirds all a flutter in Nebraska / Neighborhood Extra 2010
Read More:
• Fundraiser for raptor center has $4,000 goal / Journal Star, 2011
Read More:
• All about hummingbirds / Journal Star, 2010
Read More:
• Raptor Recovery fundraising month / Journal Star, 2010
Read More:
• Purple Martins / Prairie Fire Newspaper, 2011
Read more:
• Summer Bird Feeding / Prairie Fire Newspaper, 2010
Read more:
• Backyard Bird Feeding 101 / Prairie Fire Newspaper, 2009
Read more:

Dennis Buckley, Editor of the Journal’s Neighborhood Extra has been kind enough to publish numerous articles submitted by the Wild Bird Habitat Stores. In 2011 Mr. Buckley published a two part series by Wild Bird Habitat on the value of the Pioneers Park Nature Center and why it should continue to be included in the City of Lincoln’s budget. They article drew rave responses gaining additional support for the Pioneers Park Nature Center. Over 70% of the people of Lincoln supported ongoing funding for the Nature Center.
Wild Bird Habitat has appeared on several noon forums on local television stations to promote birding and birding events. In the mid 1990’s Wild Bird Habitat had a bi-monthly radio show on KMEM-AM radio. We have been a regular guest on KZUM’s “How’s it Growing” and KFOR’s “Problems and Solutions” which is always a big hit. Wild Bird Habitat has also been a guest of Jeff Rollerson, Nebraska Game and Parks, on Outdoor Nebraska. Various other Nebraska radio stations have conducted phone interviews with Wild Bird Habitat about birding events and activities across the state.

Wild Bird Habitat has had several articles and interviews appear in the Omaha World Herald with a few articles picked up by the Associated Press. Wild Bird Habitat has had articles and press releases submitted through the Nebraska Press Association which have appeared in state newspapers from The Voice and Beatrice Sun to the Gering & Scottsbluff Tribune.
Droll Yankees, the oldest bird feeder manufacturer producing America’s number one line of bird feeding products approached me to submit an article about the Wild Bird Habitat Stores. The article covered Wild Bird Habitat’s beginnings, success, philosophy in the industry, community involvement and my opinion on multiple topics from competition by big box stores to marketing our business. A rather lengthy article it was published in Droll Yankees July 2011 electronic newsletter to retailers across the country and others involved in the bird feeding industry.
Interview with
Wild Bird Habitat Store

Curt Dawson, Sales Director

As of last month, my section is devoted to one-on-one interviews with our Dealer Partners to provide you with real-time data from the field that your store can use and benefit from. If you would like to be considered for an interview and featured in our monthly newsletter, please contact me at . Now sit back and enjoy this month’s interview with Dave from Wild Bird Habitat Store

In 2010 Birding Business, an industry wide publication by Ray Davies, asked for me to submit an article on Purple Martins. The focus was on the educational component of selling Purple Martin Houses. Along with information about Purple Martin housing I made it clear that Wild Bird Habitat would not sell a martin house for the sake of making a sale, nor should any reputable birding retailer. Not everyone has the habitat requirements to attract these birds. I believe it to be a great injustice to the customers as well as to native birds to install a house that would only attract the introduced non-native House Sparrow, a species that has been part of the problem in the decline of native cavity nesting birds.

There are dozens of other articles related to birding where Wild Bird Habitat has been cited or provided information. The Wild Bird Habitat Stores have been covered in articles as far away as the Trenton Times in Trenton, NJ. to the Columbus Telegram in Columbus, NE. Wild Bird Habitat’s website was listed in the Martha Stewart magazine in an article she published on backyard bird feeding. Wild Bird Habitat was cited in numerous Associated Press articles on the cause for the shortage and the increase of Nyjer thistle seed in 2010.
The Wild Bird Habitat Stores will continue to be in the forefront of responding to and educating bird feeding store retailers and the public. After all, any retailer can sell bird feeders and backyard birding products and many do from Wal-Mart to Sears. But I feel it is my responsibility and that of the Wild Bird Habitat Stores and our staff to provide the information and education along with quality products and service that ensures the consumer has a rewarding experience that is beneficial for the birds.

Leave a Reply