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Where the Claremont wild birds are

Birds of a feather flock to together and that’s just what the owners of Wild Birds Unlimited are counting on from the avian-minded in Claremont. After nearly two years in the making, Chris and Angie Verma will be opening their doors for the first time this Saturday and offering bird lovers a sneak peak before their official grand opening on June 14.

As the name implies, Wild Birds Unlimited (WBU) caters to backyard birds and the nature enthusiasts who love them. With an endless selection of feeders, food and wild bird accessories, it’s not hard to see why WBU is so popular among birders. For as little as $15, you can purchase the Flying Start Combo, an all-in-one feeder with three tiers of food that should attract every bird in your area.

Mr. Verma, who has been birding much of his life, began seriously chasing rare species in 2012 as evidenced by a family trip to Northern Peru to observe the Long-whiskered Owlet. What started as their hobby has now become their business and he’s looking forward to sharing their knowledge of wild birds with customers.

“One of my jobs is for someone to come in and describe a bird to me,” explains Mr. Verma. “If they say, ‘I have a little yellow bird with a black cap,’ I would tell them that’s an American Goldfinch and I’d set them up with a nyjer feeder. Nyjer is a little thistle seed and that’s what they love and we’ll show them little tricks to getting the birds to come to the feeder like tying a yellow bow at the top so it gets their attention.”

Bird feeders of every shape and size are in abundance at WBU and come with a lifetime guarantee. The Dinner Bell, a multifunctional domed feeder, features an antimicrobial tray with patented technology that inhibits the surface growth of damaging bacteria, mold and other microbes. “It’s our all-time best feeder because of its versatility,” says Mr. Verma. That’s because the bell-shaped feeder can be loaded with seed or cylinder and the dome raised or lowered for weather or for controlling larger birds from eating all your food.

“A lot of people complain about the Scrub-Jays eating everything. You can lower the dome down enough where he can’t get in there, but your little birds will,” explains Mr. Verma.

Also offered at WBU is a unique pole system that can be designed to deter squirrels and attract birds of every species into your garden. “It’s just like a big erector set,” Mr. Verma says with a smile. “You can accessorize it with perches, pole guards, different dishes for mealworms or different kinds of foods. It’s really cool!”

Selecting the proper food is just as important as choosing the right feeder and the folks at WBU are dedicated to offering fresh, top-quality bird food and nectar. “Typical food from a lot of stores, half of it is filler,” Mr. Verma says. “Red Milo seed…Nobody is going to eat that and it gets kicked to the ground and sprouts. That’s why I suggest a food like No Mess. There are no shells.”

Bird lovers wanting to entice their winged friends to stay and play after a meal will be thrilled with the selection of birdhouses and birdbaths beginning at around $20. “Moving water is an attractant for birds, they can hear it for miles and they will come to it.” Other options include a solar-powered fountain and beautiful glass bowls with pedestals that can be used indoors or out.

Peppered throughout the shop are gorgeous gift items for that someone special. Jewelry, garden plaques, doormats, hand-tuned wind chimes and fruit seed animals are all reasonably priced and would put a smile on the face of anyone receiving it. The kids might also get a kick out of the comically packaged ‘Condor Poop’ chocolates offered by the register.

Birdwatchers of every level will be thrilled with the available resources at Wild Birds Unlimited. From binoculars to basic books on how to feed birds to more advanced field guides, there is something to delight every birder on their journey.

In the near future, the owners plan to spread their wings and offer nature seminars as well as bird walks in the City of Trees.

The company’s motto, "We Bring People and Nature Together" is the very heart of WBU’s retail concept and a mission Mr. And Ms. Verma look forward to embarking on with customers of all ages.

“Nature is huge deal to me. It gave me a chance to combine two things I think are really important, conservation and kids. If we don’t get kids involved in the outdoors, get their faces out of their computers, out of their phones and out of the video games, we’re going to lose all of this because nobody is paying attention.”

On Friday, May 23, Wild Birds Unlimited will be offering COURIER readers a free tube feeder and a two-pound bag of food with coupon. Be sure to check inside this week’s edition for your free offer. See coupon for details.

Wild Birds Unlimited is located at 911 West Foothill Boulevard in Claremont. Hours are Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

—Angela Bailey


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