One-of-a kind bird feeding business launches in Rochester

Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 10:33 AM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – A bird-feeding service that just launched in Rochester aims to make enjoying birds easier for all.

We Feed Birds is a service housed within Collins Feed and Seed, which has been in Rochester for 70 years.

Collins owner Jon Zimmerman said that over the past two years, the bird feeding part of the company has exploded, due to more people staying home amid the pandemic.

He said after speaking with some customers, he and his employee Jes Robinson got the idea to make feeding birds easier for people, as many customers mentioned not knowing how to install more elaborate feeders, or not having the time or resources to do so.

We Feed Birds staff will meet with a customer and design a custom bird feeding plan, which includes installing feeders and choosing seed. Weed Feed Birds staff will also come to the customer’s house to refill the seed, as often as the customer wants.

Robinson and Zimmerman added that filling feeders can potentially be dangerous for people with mobility issues.

“Some folks shouldn’t be getting out on their deck in the middle of winter, when there’s a foot and a half of snow and ice,” Robinson said. “We don’t want them out there in the dangerous areas.”

He said they are also hoping to help people who travel a lot, or are just too busy to take care of their feeders.

“If you love the idea of birds and when you finally get home for the weekend, you’d love to sit in your back yard and enjoy them, but you just don’t have time, that’s the kind of niche we fill,” Robinson said.

Robinson said birds benefit from feeding, too, and they are creatures of habit that thrive on consistency.

“If you consistently have full feeders, they will keep coming back,” he said. “If they find them empty, then they will move onto the next place that has food.”

Robison said he finds joy in being outside and helping others.

“Bird feeding and watching is an easy way to connect to the outdoors,” he said. “They can bring so much joy to people.”

According to the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine Raptor Center, as of June 1, the transmission risk of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is low enough that bird feeders can be put out again.

Packages start at $20, and from there, the team will work with customers to determine the best plan for them.

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