A father daughter project at a Girl Scouts Camp in 1986 inspired Dave Titterington to follow his passion for nature. For Dave, that project of building a bird feeder, sparked an interest in bird watching and bird feeding. However, when he wanted to purchase more feeders and supplies for his own backyard, Dave realized how scarce birding products were in Nebraska. For twenty years now, Dave Titterington and his family-owned Wild Bird Habitat stores have been happily serving area bird enthusiasts, making it our KFOR Business of the Week.
“I’ve always been interested in nature, and birding, being the most visible of all wildlife, seemed to be the way to go,” Dave said. “It’s one of the fattest growing outdoor recreational activities in the country. I saw a niche that I could help other people out, so I jumped in, both feet.”
In 1993, the first Wild Bird Habitat Store opened in north Lincoln, in the little white house at 4840 Orchard Street. One year later, with the help of four family members, the second location opened in south Lincoln, in the Alamo Plaza at 56th and Highway 2. Both stores offer a large selection of products and services for bird watchers of all ages and levels of experience.
According to Dave, Wild Bird Habitat Stores sell “twenty different varieties of bird seed, bird baths, bird houses, and feeders. We also expanded into a big educational component at the stores, where we help people not just attract birds to their backyard, but go out and enjoy birds, identify birds, and take field trips to view birds,” Dave said. “We’re pretty much an all-around birding store.”
Additionally, Dave encourages backyard bird watchers to expand their interests and enjoy bird watching all across Nebraska. The Wild Bird Habitat Stores actively participates in a number of environmental and conservation organizations on the local, state, and national level, including Cornell Bird Lab’s “Great Backyard Bird Count”. Dave, and his wife Linda, are both active on the Birding Trails Project and Nebraska’s Birding Initiative Program.
“One thing about backyard bird feeding is if we get people interested in the birds in their backyard, it’s a short jump to being interested in what’s going on to the birds that are out in the prairies or out in the woodlands,” Dave said. “We need to pay attention to what’s going on with our bird populations, not just in Nebraska, but nationally and globally.”
Dave also enjoys bringing the mission of Wild Bird Habitat Stores to people enjoying Nebraska’s outdoors. He is a teacher and naturalist at the Pioneers Park Nature Center, where he helps educate children and adults on a variety of nature topics.
“We need to get those kids involved because they are the future conservationists,” Dave said. “We need to get them back out into nature.”