It All Began On A Cool Summer Morning.

Early one morning in the summer of 2019, I found myself sitting in my favorite porch chair curled up in a blanket sipping coffee, as I often do, thinking…and worrying, and stressing! I was going through a particularly rough season in my life and was hoping some quiet time in my favorite spot would bring a little calm to the chaos I had been experiencing. I had recently heard about the 5-4-3-2-1 technique to reduce anxiety and, out of desperation, gave it a try focusing on five things I could see, four things I could hear, three things I could feel, two things I could smell, and one thing I could taste. As I was listening for things to hear, I noticed the songs of multiple birds in the distance.Curious about what types of birds were singing, I thought, “There must be an app for that.” I searched, discovered, and downloaded the BirdNet app (now Merlin Bird ID) from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and immediately became hooked. Identifying birds by their sound became a daily activity that brought me much-needed peace and relaxation. And the best part was that it was all around me – no need to leave home or get away to reap the benefits.

A few months later,

I received binoculars as a birthday present, followed by a bird feeder for Christmas. As my hobby and passion for birds grew, I noticed my anxiety and stress lessened. Coincidentally, I also started seeing numerous scientific articles pop up confirming what I was experiencing first hand – birdwatching brings happiness!But there was one part of my new hobby that wasn’t generating happiness, instead it was causing me frustration. I just wanted to fill my feeders and have pretty birds come hang out in my yard, but I was overwhelmed by all the choices on the birdseed aisle of my local superstore.The first few bags of seed I bought were mainly untouched by birds, and I didn’t see any more birds than I did before I put the feeder out. Plus, now I had unsightly weeds and corn stalks growing underneath the feeder on my lawn. And, just to add to my irritation, the drive to the nearest specialty store that carried the higher quality birdseed was over an hour away.

After a lot of hard work, we took flight.

I soon learned about filler seeds that comprise many birdseed blends, what food birds actually prefer, and about both year-round and migratory birds in my area. But all this knowledge took work – lots and lots of hours of research!If only premium birdseed could be delivered to one’s door already tailored and blended for their backyard birds based on the season! I wanted everyone to experience 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. And with this idea, Happy Birdwatcher began.

Susan Vandergriff, Founder of The Happy Birdwatcher Company

As a Registered Benefit Corporation,

we have a mission that goes beyond making a profit. Our passion for birds and people doesn’t stop with quality birdseed, we also think it is important to take care of the Earth and our mental health.
That’s why we are committed to the following:

  • Fostering environmental sustainability by using only plastic-free packaging
  • Supporting charities that serve those with mental health issues or addiction by donating $1 for every 10 lbs of birdseed sold
  • Furthering the public good by promoting mental health through the joy of birdwatching