Be the Change – Be the Bird

Be the Bird

Mr. Canary Supports Self-Care

 “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

While certainly an inspirational thought, what does it really mean…what does it look like?

Here at Mr. Canary, we just say “Be the Bird.” Now you’re thinking, “Swell, what does THAT mean?” Don’t worry, this isn’t an ethics discussion; it’s simply our way of talking about good works.

When I think of the phrase “be the change,” I think of Disney.

I grew up watching the Disney channel and one thing that has stuck with me to this day is their 2009 campaign called “Friends for Change.” This campaign was supported by many Disney stars and of course it had a catchy jingle with it (Send it on), all of which helped promote Disney’s environmental initiative. From my perspective, this campaign did a really good job of making such a young audience start thinking about how the actions we make not only have an impact on us, but also on the environment and that we need to start taking better care of what’s around us. It was realistic in that it suggested starting with small lifestyle changes such as recycling waste, planting a garden, etc.; actions that were small but ultimately helped contribute to a healthier environment. It wasn’t earth shattering advice, but it was effective and makes me think of exactly what Mr. Canary sets out to do every day.  

People First, then Birds

While Mr. Canary does produce easy-to-use bird feeders with quality bird seed, the reason we do this isn’t solely to feed birds, of course that’s what it ultimately does, but it is the process of feedings birds that matters most. It is in the process of making our bird feeders, that others gain confidence and independence. It is in feeding birds in your background, that you are able to unplug and improve your mood. At Mr. Canary, we believe birds are a catalyst for connecting people to nature and to each other. Again, you may ask – How? How does bird feeding change me in any way? I’ll admit, I was skeptical at first too, but once someone hears the story of Mr. Canary, the good that happens just by making bird feeders and  how it helps people, you’ll become a believer too.

Nearly 25 years ago, Mr. Canary set out to contribute to the common good, something we’re all here to do, yet we chose to do this through birds and thus “Be the Bird” was born. Just like with Disney, Mr. Canary isn’t doing anything earth shattering like inventing a way to stop the rainforest from burning, yet through simple actions of good, come great changes in the community around Mr. Canary and beyond.

Mr. Canary’s Peeps

Mr. Canary partners with the Arc of Greater Boone County to help with the production and distribution of our bird feeders. We strive to provide people with disabilities meaningful work. We aren’t giving out charitable donations, we provide work opportunities for those who have a hard time finding jobs. We believe individuals and communities are stronger when each of us can contribute what we can, as we can and are able to do. Our peeps take pride in the work that they provide for us and we benefit from their contributions equally as much they benefit from our work.

Be the Bird

Finally, how can you “Be the Bird” and help your quality of life and others simply by feeding birds?

Rather than bore you with the list of benefits that come from bird feeding (you can read all about those on our website), I want you to reimagine bird feeding. Mr. Canary doesn’t view bird feeding as something only your grandma does. We see bird feeding is a lifestyle behavior you do with little extra thought or effort, like recycling. Most commonly, you start bird feeding because you have a connection with someone that does or has in the past and that connection to that person makes you feel good. In addition to the sentimental aspect of bird feeding, those who feed birds, tend to disconnect from their busy lives, even if it just for a moment here and there, and connect to nature. Again, this isn’t something monumental, but overtime, it can help improve your overall well-being and can lead to other beneficial lifestyle changes. Also, as an added-bonus, Mr. Canary’s bird feeders are recyclable and made from sustainably-sourced materials, so even if it is just your grandma feeding birds, she’s helping the environment when recycling. So, will you be the bird and try bird feeding today?

Author: Nathan Odell

Published: September 3, 2019