Mel Toellner is the semi-retired founder and co-owner of Songbird Essentials, a major producer of wild bird nest boxes, feeders, and accessories, and Gold Crest Distributing, the largest distributor of backyard nature products in North America.
An avid outdoorsman since childhood, Mel was an Eagle Scout involved in conservation projects, attended the Audubon Summer Camp on a scholarship, and in 1976 graduated cum laude with a BS in Agricultural Economics from the University of Missouri Columbia, a degree paid for in part by funds from his first business, Mel’s Plants.
With his knowledge and passion for wildlife and nature rooted in his faith, Mel has served as a board member for the Wild Bird Feeding Industry and the Bring Nature Home – Grow Native Organization, founder of Wild Bird Expo, and Head Elder of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Mexico, MO. He has also written for and edited numerous publications. His column “Backyard Nature Notes” has been published in Pond Boss Magazine since 2011.
Through these endeavors, he has made his name as one of the top experts in helping consumers attract and enjoy wild birds and other pollinators.