A Left Coast Birder's Viewpoint
The east coast dominated-birding market.
Once I started hanging out bird feeders, I quickly realized how East Coast-centric this market is. I knew that no matter how many 50 lbs bags of black-oiled sunflower seed I could put out it wouldn’t be enough to attract a Northern Cardinal or a Blue Jay. There’s simply not enough pull to bring those East Coast birds all the way over here.
I know marketers just put whatever bird they are most familiar with on the bags and don’t know better (I’ve seen millet seed bags with orioles on them). But it seems they could at least make some sort of an effort to actually try to target their consumers. I make a conscious effort to buy seed locally packed, but it’s discouraging to see a Rose-breasted Grosbeak staring back at me.
This East Coast-centric marketing doesn’t just apply to seeds of course. Most of the bird trinket-y stuff (eg. figurines, posters, stuffed animals, cards, gift wrap, etc) you see on the shelves feature east coast birds (not that I’m into trinket-y stuff – one just can’t help but notice it).
Now to be fair, not all things are like this. The serious bird book or birder magazine is well balance and organized. When products are geared more toward the “casual” birder, there is an eastern tilt in marketing.
Really, I should careless about how advertisers try to get consumers, but when you start micro-analyzing things like seed bags you realize this eastern tilt doesn’t just apply to the birding market. It applies to the market in general… one step/conclusion/induction later you realize the West Coast is living in an East Coast mold – economically, socially, politically - minus the accents.