Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Exploration of The Wildbird Shack in Mt. Prospect Reveals Locally Made Items and Sense of Community

Locally made birdhouses at Wildbird Shack in Mount Prospect, IL

**Disclosure: No compensation was received for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

The Wildbird Shack in Mount Prospect easily illustrates what you miss if you are not visiting unique, local small businesses. During my first visit last Friday, I discovered not only a trove of birding items but a real community haven. I met with one of the owners, Alyse Burman, during my visit and found her to be warm, welcoming and eager to share her knowledge about birding. Quickly, I learned that The Wildbird Shack hosts community events, engages in school programs, develops sensory gardens at senior homes and purveys locally made items. A true sense of community!

Birding items populate the Wildbird Shack in Mt. Prospect, IL
Amazing array of items to create your bird haven.

Entirely Inviting Experience

When I walked in, I felt a bit like a kid in a candy store. I must admit that my family and I have just started to explore birding over the past couple of years. So, I am quite eager to learn more and expand my horizons! But, I feel like owners Alyse and Paula have really provided an atmosphere where you can experience a bit of the product before purchasing. I have found that some stores tend to just place birding items on shelves. Here items are displayed in the way you would use them. Love it! So much easier to picture them in my yard!

Bird houses
Lovely hand crafted bird houses.

In addition to bird houses and feeders, I found a plethora of other items ready to foster a tranquil garden including a butterfly house, decorative garden spikes, whimsical tin creations, melodic chimes and more.

Garden items at the Wildbird Shack
Garden elements ready to be discovered.
A special kids' section highlights items that will inspire children to delve into birding. Of course, the shop would not be complete without guides and its own blend of seed.

Hummingbird feeders at the Wildbird Shack in Mt. Prospect
Feeders for every bird!

Highlighting Made in U.S.A.

If you have been reading for awhile, you know that I am always on the hunt for made in the U.S.A. items and I especially love to find locally made products. The Wildbird Shack sources as many of its products made in the U.S.A. as possible. So, you will find some great made in U.S.A. finds here!

Orange bird feeder made in St. Louis
The captivating orange feeder is made in St. Louis.
When discussing local, some of The Wildbird Shack's products are very local. A selection of bird houses are made in the Chicago area. Additionally, visitors can find local honey at the store--from a beekeeper in Arlington Heights! One of my favorite items happens to be the vibrant garden spikes designed by various artists. Made in St. Louis, the spikes are quite striking and can infuse art into the garden!

Vibrant garden spikes made in St. Louis
Gorgeous garden spikes to add to your tranquil zone.
Another favorite--tin sculptures made in Springfield. How cute! Other made in U.S.A. items include candles, jewelry and J.R. Watkins products.

Tin bumble bee
Adorable tin sculptures.
Ask Questions

Alyse is such a wealth of knowledge! Her passion for birding shines, so be sure to ask questions! Her thoughtfulness in every product chosen to be part of The Wildbird Shack shows. She will happily give you tips to help make your yard a wildlife habitat as well as provide useful and interesting tidbits about her products.

Community Events

The Wildbird Shack holds various community events including presentations and charity events. A recent event focused on the monarch butterfly. This Thursday (May 12), the Chicago Bird Collision Monitors will be visiting at 6PM to discuss the challenges birds face as they migrate. Additionally, the store organizes bird walks at the Grove! I was also happy to learn that The Wildbird Shack visit the Mt. Prospect Farmers' Market. With events like these, I can tell that customers really become part of The Wildbird Shack community.

Antique Elements at the Wildbird Shack
In addition to unique merchandise, the store is decorated with antique and reclaimed elements.

Tranquil Feathers and Soaring Feathers

Alyse informed me about two innovative initiatives at The Wildbird Shack. Tranquil Feathers works with adult living communities to put together sensory gardens that not only engage residents but attract wildlife. As part of this program, rainy day boxes provide ways for those that cannot go outside to engage with nature.

Soaring Feathers encompasses various ways that schools can engage children in the world of birding. Birdscaping, bird watching clubs and student chats help open students up to the world of birds as well as studying ecosystems as a whole.

Perfect Little Adventure

A visit to The Wildbird Shack is a wonderful adventure for both those experienced in birding and those that are curious. I love this store for a unique gift option. Handcrafted items are some of my favorite to give and there is certainly a nice collection in the store. If you want to learn about birding, this is the place to go. I would also take advantage of one of the bird walks---having an experienced birder with you really helps identify birds you probably didn't even notice were there! Love this addition to the community!

The Wildbird Shack is located at 854 E Northwest Highway in Mt. Prospect.



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