Industry Facts

By the Numbers*

  • 5 million: Estimated U.S. households that participate in backyard bird watching.
  • 3 million: U.S. households that buy wild bird seed at least sometimes
  • $6.3 billion: The market size for wild bird seed and feeders in the United States.
  • 2: Bird watching is second only to gardening as the most popular outdoor activity in the United States.

Looking ahead

The wild bird food business is a growing industry. Many factors are driving demand for wild bird seed and feeders today, most notably:

  • Extreme weather like the severe winter snow storms across the east coast and Midwest and drought conditions in California, for example, is driving awareness for the increased need to feed wild birds.
  • Scientific reports about the effects of climate change and human development on wild birds are regularly appearing in mainstream media, further bringing awareness to the plight of many species. Feeding backyard song birds and providing shelter and water is one way individuals can help wild birds.
  • Among those who do not buy wild bird seed, half say they just never have, which suggests that with education and attraction in stores, interest could develop and move more of this group into purchasers*
  • Nearly one-third of purchasers expect to spend more this year on wild bird food and feeders, and more than half will maintain their spending level*


*Wild Bird Feeding Industry’s Research Foundation, 2014 Benchmark Study