Our mission is to create magic and adventure through the love and experience of nature. In order to bring this mission to reality, we strive not just to be the best "general store for nature lovers" but also to be "not just a store but a community resource." We support and work closely with many partners in the environmental arena.
We offer a complete line of products to help you enjoy wild birds and foster a healthy backyard habitat.
October 14, 2015, marked twenty years of “The Bird Store.” When John and I decided to do this crazy thing called retail, we looked into two franchises for help in figuring it all out. We chose Wild Bird Centers of America (WBCA), which at the time was a dynamic company with lots of great products, seed mixes and ideas about kids’ programs, bird walks, and outreach. It was a great match for many years, but things changed, and we disagreed with their direction. We changed the name of our store to “Los Gatos Birdwatcher” and went independent in 2010. Except for the color of the counters and the walls, most customers didn’t notice a thing, and that was the whole reason for our going independent—to keep our products, especially seed, of high quality and right for our birds found in the west. Through the years, we have had a great time teaching people about birds, learning from their experiences, and sharing their excitement when the feeders and seed we helped them choose brought in the birds! Photos and stories about special sightings, funny antics, and the joy of watching the birds have all been high points. Saturday morning birdwalks have always been a highlight in the store’s history and for me. Without them I probably would have been hunched over a computer and not connected to the birds and people that make everything worthwhile. I led the store’s first walk in December 1995. I remember it vividly. Full Story
I asked Freddy for an “Informational Interview” shortly after she opened the “bird store”. I had always wanted my career to involve nature and helping people learn about the environment and Freddy’s store epitomized that dream. She was kind enough to meet me and answer my questions about what it took to operate such a store. That was nearly 20 years ago. I realized it was going to be more than I could handle at that stage of my life, but after talking with Freddy, I was inspired and I also made a new friend. Although we did not know it at the time, that was also the beginning of a birding partnership.
In the following years I started my own birding tour company called Let’s Go Birding. My goal was to get adults outside to learn about birds and birding. I wanted to create a friendly environment where all birding levels were welcome. I also wanted to bring a little humor to a hobby that at times could get a bit intimidating. Folks could ask all kinds of questions without judgement. I wanted to make a positive impact on the environment and I wanted to help others do the same thing. Freddy felt the same way. We knew there was a population of birders that while they had a passion for nature and birds, they were not necessarily interested in memorizing the taxonomic order of all the birds found in the world. So we formed a partnership. I brainstormed with Freddy on ideas for her store and she taught me about her store. She also provided me with the opportunity to teach and I have led roughly 60 birding tours for the Los Gatos Birdwatcher to locations all over the greater Bay Area. Freddy reminded me that back in 2004 I told Freddy if she and John ever wanted to sell the store to please let me know. It would be a decade later when she shared with me that she and John were ready to retire and she would like me to take it over. Selling one’s business is not easy, but she also did not want to simply close the doors, leaving her customers without quality products and seed. I accepted the offer to purchase the Los Gatos Birdwatcher and my longtime dream of owning such a store would come true. And not just any store, one of the more successful nature stores in the nation!
I also know customers do not want to see Freddy and John go. I don’t want to see them go either, but they have worked really, really hard and they deserve to retire and start another chapter. They have agreed to help me however they can after the official transition date of December 1. And while John is working on their new custom house plans, Freddy plans to come birding with us. So please be patient with me as I learn the ropes. My partner Al, retired from the fire department years ago, has been helping around the store and he said he’d like to help me, so you’ll meet him too. I look forward to meeting all of you as the next chapter of the Los Gatos Birdwatcher begins.