Shop Small!

Shopping local, small businesses keeps your money in your community.

The Backyard Blog Archive

Our Mission

For over 30 years, The Backyard Naturalist has had this mission:
To inspire our community to appreciate and nurture the nature found in all our backyards by providing a sanctuary of food, water and shelter for wild birds.

Each of our backyard habitats contributes to the health and well-being of not only the individual visitors to our feeders and baths, but is also one more piece of habitat restored and connected to Migratory Flyways. As green space increasingly disappears due to development, our backyard micro habitats link together, backyard by backyard, across our county – our state – our country.

The Backyard Blog

Clean Feeders with Fresh, Quality Seed Always Matter

Quality Bird Seed and Clean Feeders Matter

Empty calories are lost nourishment! Wild birds must be efficient eaters to survive. They seek the best nutritional content available and eat their fill quickly. Feeding birds bread (Please never feed bread!) or seed blends full of ‘filler seed’ is essentially robbing them of opportunities for full nourishment. In winter, a stomach filled with empty calories will not give a wild bird enough energy to stay warm. Read More about “Quality Bird Seed and Clean Feeders Matter”

About The Backyard Naturalist

The Backyard Naturalist is the area's largest and oldest independent retailer of products for wild birds and gifts for nature lovers of all ages! Proudly serving Maryland and the Washington, DC metro area for over thirty years.

We are Maryland's first and only store to be awarded Droll Yankees' Five Feather Platinum Premier dealer status.

We take care of our feathered friends’ needs year-round:

‘Best Of’ Montgomery

Thank you for voting us ‘Best Of’
MoCo’s Best Gift Shop
Montgomery County, Maryland!!!

Join The Backyard Naturalist Team

We're hiring! Help us connect with someone awesome!
Find out more here.

Open for Indoor Shopping Again!!! Extended Hours and Simplified Pickups Process!

The Backyard Naturalist store is now re-opened for indoor shopping!
We've also updated and extended our business hours. (See below.)

UPDATE: Pickup Process Simplified

Now that the store is open for indoor shopping again, we've also simplified our parking lot pickups process.
No more online form or email orders are necessary!

  • Call 301-924-0024 when you arrive in our parking lot.
  • Stay in your car.
  • We do the rest!

NEW Hours

Wednesday  11 - 6pm
Thursday  11 - 6pm
Friday  11 - 6pm
Saturday  11 - 6pm
Sunday  12 - 5pm
Monday - Closed
Tuesday - Closed

We'll be adding more days as we staff up. Yes! The Backyard Naturalist is hiring! Find out more here.

For now, masks are required (and much appreciated) inside our store.

Contact Us

The Backyard Naturalist
17910 Georgia Avenue
Olney MD 20832


Email us at
but phone calls still work best!

Flock with Us

View our YouTube channel See photos on Flickr

Or subscribe to our email updates:

Our emails are rare birds and fly in as seasonal reminders carrying noteworthy information. We promise their chicks will never hatch in your InBox.

Our mailing list NEVER migrates, so your info stays private.