New local company makes custom bird seed mixes using data analysis and avian expertise



The Happy Birdwatcher Company provides “high quality seed combinations carefully mixed and tailored to specific bird needs” in each customer’s own backyard. Each HappySeed Box reflects an analysis of current and historical birding data to identify exactly which birds live in the area. This analysis, along with each client’s needs and goals, helps the experts at The Happy Birdwatcher create a personalized birdseed mix that attracts the birds their clients want to see.

The company sources exclusively from an Amish farm in the Midwest, chosen after a series of extensive quality tests. Each batch of seeds is then hand-mixed locally in the Sequatchie Valley. Custom Birdseed Mixes come in both one-time purchases and monthly subscriptions and come in plastic-free packaging. More than just a bag of birdseed, each delivery also contains a personalized letter with interesting facts about the birds that customers can expect to see in their garden this month, as well as personalized advice related to the birdseed. ‘bird watching.

Two summers ago, Happy Birdwatcher founder Susan Vandergriff found herself paying more attention to the wildlife in her backyard after accidentally finding out that listening to birdsong was a great stress reliever. . However, her new, relaxing hobby quickly became frustrating when she was overwhelmed by the wall of birdseed choices at her local hypermarket and the commute to a specialty store was inconvenient. When corn stalks appeared under one of her feeders due to uneaten economical birdseed, she decided there had to be a better solution.

“One day the idea struck me,” she recalls, “if only top-quality birdseed could be delivered to my doorstep already adapted to the seasons and mixed for the birds in my garden. I wanted everyone to feel the simple joy I felt watching my birds, and I didn’t want them to give up in frustration because it was too much work.

After some trial and error, Ms Vandergriff, with the help of her husband Sam Tibbs, a data scientist, developed a data-driven method to support the favorite diets of dozens of local bird species. Over the next few weeks, the species she hoped to attract began to visit her garden.

When she found out how many people of all ages had started birding during the pandemic, Ms Vandergriff decided to share her idea with the world. She did so with enthusiasm, stepping down from her role as executive director of A Step Ahead Chattanooga after expanding the association’s range of services and strengthening its financial base in the worst of the pandemic.

Ms. Vandergriff did not give up on her ideals when she became an entrepreneur. As a registered charity, The Happy Birdwatcher Company honors the common good through sustainable sourcing and packaging, and by donating $ 1 to mental health charities for every 10 books of birdseed sold.

To learn more about The Happy Birdwatcher Company, visit their website: happybirdwatcher.com. The company can also be found on Facebook and Instagram: @happybirdwatcherco



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