Why is your product called ‘Mr. Canary?’

That’s a good question, and we have a two-part answer! Part 1, our feeders mainly attract the American Goldfinch, which is known as a ‘wild canary.’ Part 2 is sillier, but true.  Dad was developing our first little feeder around the time that Mr. Coffee® was revolutionizing the way we brewed coffee.  We felt that Mr. Canary, in its own tiny way, was going to revolutionize the way we purchased bird feeders – with the bird seed already inside.

Why are the perches on your feeders small?

There are many species of finch in all sizes.  The smallest is the Goldfinch and that is the one the Mr. Canary® Finch Feeder aims to attract.  Larger birds don’t fit well on smaller perches, so they won’t try to squeeze the little ones out.  If you want to try out the theory, push the perch through so it’s longer on one side and see what happens.  Or push a coffee stir through the perch holes.  You’ll likely see some bigger birds with bigger appetites and few manners when it comes to sharing with their smaller kin.  But if you like the mega-finch, then hey, go for it!

Why don’t you have more perches on your feeder?

Dad always said “if you start feeding finches, after about a week you have to declare them as dependents.”  They eat alot and if you put more perches on a feeder it will attract more birds and they’ll eat the seed even faster.  If we add more perches to our design we would probably sell more feeders because they’d be empty faster.  Hey wait a minute — maybe we WILL start selling feeders with more perches…

Why is Nyjer® seed so expensive?

The main reason Nyjer® seed is so expensive is because it’s all imported from India and Ethiopia. Because of the cost of transportation and processing once it arrives in the US, Nyjer® is often referred to as the ‘Mercedes’ of birdseed. In 2008, the US imported more than 30,000 TONS of Nyjer®. The American Goldfinches seem to think it’s worth the extra money :).

Does Nyjer® (thistle) seed grow thistle weeds? 

Generally, the answer is NO.  Most all commercial Nyjer® seed is imported to the US and sterilized upon arrival before distribution. Sterilized seed won’t grow anything.  Occasionally, some argue that a stray seed escapes the sterilizer’s grasp and spawns something, but not often…and not likely.

What is the shelf life of Nyjer® seed?

Because the seed is sterilized upon import, the shelf life of packaged Nyjer® seed is fairly long.  Once it is open and out in your yard, however, it’s best to hang your feeder in a protected area, such as in a tree or under an overhang to keep the seed dry.  Wet seed should be replaced, as finches are picky and won’t eat it.

Why don’t you make a bigger feeder?

There are a couple of answers to this question.  First, when Dad designed this bird feeder he tested it with a variety of other bird feeders.  He noticed that more often than not, the Goldfinch would eat at the smaller feeder until it was empty and then go to the larger ones.  The goldfinches refuse to comment, but our customers often echo Dad’s observation; so, we decided not to fix what wasn’t broke.  Second, our feeder is all about ease and convenience.  For different reasons, some of our customers are not able to clean their feeders regularly and that can be a health hazard for the birds.  Our inexpensive feeders make replacements affordable, and recycling the old ones is good for the environment!

Plus, if you’ve ever tried to refill bird feeders, you know how messy it can get. That’s why we’ve chosen a smaller feeder that is easier to manage.

Should I refill my Mr. Canary® Finch Feeder or throw away when empty?

We build these feeders around one key assumption: YOU ARE A BUSY PERSON WITH ABOUT 1,000 OTHER THINGS YOU’D RATHER DO THAN CLEAN A DIRTY BIRDFEEDER. So, we’ve made our feeders to be recyclable, or in the case of our sock feeder, biodegradable. You get to ditch the bucket and gloves, and your birds get a clean, hygienic feeder every time.

Why do you put a wheelchair symbol on your packaging?

This is our favorite question to answer.  We put this symbol on our products to support the giant un-tapped workforce of people with disabilities.  Our workforce has quite literally been the key to our being in business for fifteen years.  They do remarkable work.  Remarkable.  If not for their efforts, we would never have been successful in this venture, because my sister, Chris, and I don’t know the first thing about manufacturing.  We’re good at marketing and sales, but that’s only PART of the business equation. The workers at Carey Services (that’s who does our manufacturing) provide timely and excellent production of our goods all the time.  When we got our first big order we had no idea how to produce what we had sold.  Carey came through for us and at that moment we made an internal commitment to use our resources to shine a light on this vastly underutilized workforce in America. If you think unemployment is high in your neighborhood, increase that rate 2-3 times and you approach the unemployment rate of people with disabilities.  If you’re a disabled woman, it’s worse still.  We have vowed to ourselves to do what we can to promote the hiring of disabled people as a benefit to both the entrepreneur and the workers.  You would be amazed how many people contact us because of that little symbol on our packaging.

Oh, and one other thing you need to know:  working with a labor force like this is not some altruistic ploy…it’s GOOD BUSINESS.  It’s mutually rewarding to the parties involved (The Mr. Canary® Company and Carey Services), and it’s good for our community. Working with contract workforces like this keeps jobs in America that would often be sent offshore.  In effect, we take advantage of a smart business option that also keeps difficult-to-find jobs in our country.  No handouts, just an opportunity for all of us to have meaningful endeavor – how great is that?

I’m having trouble with my feeder, do you accept returns?

Well, that depends on the feeder you’re having trouble with. If your feeder is your husband or wife, unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about that :).

If you’re referring to a product that you purchased in a store (not online), then we recommend returning it to the store of purchase with your receipt, and exchange for a new one. Generally, we haven’t heard of any complaints about exchanges with our partner stores.

If you purchased online and have a problem with your feeder(s) within the first 14 days, then let our no-hassle return policy take care of you. Simply call 317-228-9998, explain to us what happened, and we’ll be happy to help!