Wednesday, April 29, 2009

SongBird Essentials Increases Product Line

Songbird Essentials announced it’s recent acquisition of Rubicon International. Rubicon pioneered the durable Eco-friendly recycled-plastic bird feeders in the 1990’s and their current catalog includes over 40 products now stocked and serviced by Songbird Essentials. Additional “green” products are being developed.

“It’s a good fit for Songbird Essentials to round out their already remarkable selection of birding and backyard nature products,” said Bill Farrar President of Rubicon. Farrar will now spend time with other business interests.

Songbird Essetials also added Seed Hoops to their product line. The Seed Hoop took the wild-bird industry by storm last year with their two models of universal seed trays that easily attach to nearly every bird feeder. Songbird Essentials will continue to produce and market the popular Seed Hoops under a licensing agreement.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dos and Don'ts of Twitter

Maybe you saw Sam Crowe's article in the current Birding Business about using online resources or maybe you've heard everyone else out there talk about, but the hot social media site right now is Twitter.

Twitter is based on you having a profile on their site and updating a "micro blog" or your Twitter post (aka Tweet). A Tweet cannot have more than 140 characters including punctuation and spaces. When you start to follow different people on Twitter, others may follow you. If you write a Tweet that is funny or interesting to followers, they may pass it on or "ReTweet" it and hopefully you will get a bigger following.

But Twitter is not just about putting something out there, you also need interact with your followers. If someone wants to reply to you, they will put @username at the start of their Tweet. For example, my username on Twitter is birdchick. When a follower wants to reply to me or just ask a question, they will start their Tweet with @birdchick. I can check my @replies box on my Twitter Home Page and see if anyone asked a question or replied--even if I don't follow them. This makes Twitter more interactive, more fun for your readers, and a more effective marketing tool. If you don't want to interact on Twitter, do not expect a large following.

If you are just starting in Twitter and would like to know some basic etiquette, there's a good article on the Do's and Don'ts at PC Magazine to help you out.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Interesting birdJam survey

In the latest newsletter from birdJam, they included the results of a survey of some of their customers. Within 30 minutes of sending out the 24-question online survey, more than 150 completed surveys had been returned. In a two-week period, more than 1,350 birdJammers completed the survey. Most surprising and perhaps encouraging news was that of the 1,350 who responded, 66% reported that the economic downturn would not affect their birding activities.

You can read the full birdJam newsletter and see the full results of their survey here.

Tell Customers To Clean Those Feeders!

Now is the time to make sure your customers are keeping their feeders clean. There are reports around the eastern US of birds, particularly finches, redpolls and siskins showing up dead at feeding stations.

The Washington Post reported that Jim Parkhurst an associate professor of wildlife at Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources said that bird deaths had been reported in Virginia, particularly in the western and southwestern parts of the state. Researchers have reported salmonella-related bird deaths throughout the Southeast. Birds normally carry some salmonella bacteria in their digestive tracks, and periods of stress such as cold weather or food shortages can weaken their systems.

Reports of dead birds are also coming from Wisconsin, Maine, and Minnesota. When dead birds are found at a feeding station, it's impossible to say for sure that the death was due to salmonella without testing. However, given the big finch irruption reported this winter, the melting snow, and the lack of cleaning that happens at feeding stations, it's not a far stretch to speculate that salmonella is the culprit.

It's a good reminder to customers to keep those feeders clean (or at least buy a new feeder if they are not going to clean the old one).

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Nikon EcoBins

Nikon is committed to protect the environment is working to prevent pollution from part of its product to watch birds and wildlife. Their latest binocular, the EcoBin is designed to be as eco-friendly as possible!

The Nikon ecobins binocular, available in 10x25, features Eco-Glass which means the lenses and prisms are lead and arsenic free. As if that weren't eco-friendly enough, the rubber used on the binoculars is non-chloride rubber and there are no harmful inks or dyes used during production.

The binoculars are the ususla compact, rugged, waterproof and fogproof construction customers are accustom to in Nikon optics. MSRP is $169.95.

Included carrying case that is just too cha cha for words with its cute style. In keeping with the Eco bins name the strap and bag are constructed from environmentally-minded Lenzing TENCEL® fiber that is fully biodegradable should you loose it in the woods or throw it away. Derived from the wood pulp of sustainable eucalyptus forests, TENCEL® fiber utilizes a revolutionary manufacturing process with minimal waste. This product also provides the ultimate in performance, absorbing fifty percent more moisture than cotton. For more information about TENCEL fiber.

The eco friendly features of this product carry all the way through to the manner it is packaged. Nikon ecobins packaging is constructed from eighty-five percent post-consumer waste and is printed on recyclable FiberStone® paper. This recyclable paper is completely TREE-FREE and made from limestone collected as waste material from existing quarries for the building and construction industry. Production of this product uses no water or bleaching chemicals and releases zero pollution into the air.

For more information about Nikon's full line of Binoculars, Fieldscopes and Spotting Scopes, please contact: Nikon Sport Optics, 1300 Walt Whitman Rd., Melville, NY 11747-3064, or call 1-800-645-6687.