A lonely bluebird house waiting for a tenant.
Yesterday I checked our bluebird trail behind the store. It is actually a tree swallow trail. Last summer was my first breeding season at the Wayzata Wild Bird Store and there's a great wetland behind our strip mall. I asked the property owner if he would mind any bird houses out there and he thought that was a great idea. I have two Peterson style bluebird boxes, a Gilbertson bluebird box and a Woodlink bluebird box. The Woodlink bluebird box was the only one ignored so I might switch it to a Gilbertson box this year.
The house finches are placing nesting material in the swallow cup out front. I tried to get a photo, but we were just too busy Saturday at the bird store. March is such a weird month. The first half starts deadly slow and you panic a little bit as to whether or not you will make your sales budget. Then at some point in March and it's usually related to warmer weather, there's a snap and customers come pouring in and you can sometimes even exceed your sales budget. Since I can do more of my own ordering at this store I have been having fun watching what's selling to see if I guessed correctly what my customers wanted. There was a fairly expensive feeder called a Gazebell. It's got a huge copper bell top and the body is made of white recycled plastic and looks like a gazebo. in the center hangs a mesh tube that you can put sunflower or peanuts in. Because of the recycled plastic it's a bit more expensive than some of my other feeders, but it will last forever. Because of the expense I wondered if I made a mistake ordering it. Sure enough though, it spoke to one of my customers and she bought it.
I also got in these heavy duty clay bluebird houses that look like giant acorns. Because of the weight, shipping is really on these guys and again so is their price. I thought they were a risk but we sold one of those too on Saturday. I can't imagine really enjoying a retail job, but I really and truly enjoy the challenge of finding things that appeal to my customers. The big challenge isn't finding cute stuff, there's cute bird stuff all over out there, the real challenge is finding something unique, cute and durable all in one. There's a lot of cute and unique that if you sneezed on it, it would blow apart.
Tree swallows have been found in southern Minnesota. I saw gulls for the first time outside the store yesterday. We also had one grackle and a killdeer. Spring is moving in.