As the weather turns warmer and birds start migrating back to the area, they will be looking for nourishment.

A new store along the Randall Road corridor opened late last year, hoping to provide residents with everything they need to attract wild birds to their backyards.

Flying Friends Wild Bird Shop, which opened in December at 435 Angela Lane, Suite 17, in Crystal Lake, has everything from feed birds like to the feeders they can eat out of.

Owner Erich Stefan, who grew up in Arlington Heights, but has family in the area, said this was the perfect spot for his new business.

"This is a great area for wildlife," Stefan said. "There is nothing like this around here right now, and I thought it was a great area for it."

Flying Friends Wild Bird Shop is an independent business. The store sells custom seed blends and fresh bird seed, including straight oil sunflower, safflower, sunflower hearts, shelled peanut, peanuts in the shell, mixed tree nuts, millet, hulled millet, nyjer thistle and nutrasafflower.

It also has suet feeders, hummingbird and oriole feeders, platform feeders for cardinals and more.

You also will find books and bird guides, fountains for your backyard, binoculars and birdbaths.

The store also has special pole systems and ways to keep the squirrels away.

As part of the business, Stefan does some consulting work and will come to your home and see what best suits the kinds of birds you want to attract.

Flying Friends also will install your new systems for you, he said.

For information, visit the store, call (815) 893-6889, or find it online at

Flying Friends Wild Bird Shop is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with hours until 8 p.m. Thursdays. Sundays the store is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The business is near the Fire Bar, just off Randall Road on the west side of the road.

More signs of spring:

In March, the Easter Bunny will be making appearances at the Geneva Commons mall along the Randall Road corridor.

He is scheduled to be at the mall Saturdays, March 24 and 31, and Sunday, March 25.

On those days, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., he will be strolling the mall with treats for the kids. He will then be hosting visits in his bunny garden from 2 to 5 p.m.

The garden is near the Learning Express store. Remember to bring your camera.

• Amy Williams' column covers all the news of business along the Randall Road corridor from Batavia to Crystal Lake. Contact her at or (847) 894-5036.