According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 52 million people in the United States regularly feed wild birds, spending US$2.7 billion on food plus an estimated US$800 million on feeding accessories. The United Kingdom is another leader in outdoor feeding with an estimated expenditure of US$200 million. Considering that these statistics account for only two countries, we clearly have a lot of well-fed birds (and squirrels!) out there.

While supermarkets and big box stores account for the lion’s share of wild bird seed sales, other more specialized merchants serve the compassionate backyard birders by offering the highest quality seed, suet, and feeders our fine feathered friends could want. Let’s have three cheers for those pillars of the birding community, merchants like Nancy Castillo of the Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop in Saratoga Springs, NY. You may never step foot in Nancy’s neighborhood but you may already enjoy her observations of avian excitement through her blog, Zen Birdfeeder. She’s serving up a splendid Saratoga Springs-styled edition of I and the Bird #108 with the running of the I and the Bird Stakes.

I and the Bird is headed to the Indian subcontinent! Be a part of the next edition hosted by Ambika of the mighty Madras Ramblings blog. Send your links and summaries to me or Ambika ( by September 15 for the 9/17 edition! We also need hosts for the rest of 2009. Step right up and volunteer to host the finest assemblege of bird blogging in the world, bar none.

Written by Mike
Mike is a leading authority in the field of standardized test preparation, but he's also a traveler who fully expects to see every bird in the world. Besides founding 10,000 Birds in 2003, Mike has also created a number of other entertaining but now extirpated nature blog resources, particularly the Nature Blog Network and I and the Bird.