birds

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Art

Danish Street Art Project Has Built Over 3,500 Urban Bird Houses Since 2006

November 22, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Artist and designer Thomas Dambo (previously) specializes in building family-friendly installations from upcycled materials. One of Dambo’s many interactive projects is Happy City Birds, a ongoing series that lies at the intersection of street art and community development. The Danish artist builds bird houses across urban centers, installing the new homes against buildings, grouped on tall poles, or spaced throughout existing trees.

Since 2006, Dambo and his crew have constructed more than 3,500 birdhouses with recycled wood and paint. Although a large percentage of his works are concentrated in Arken (you can see a Google map of the bird house locations here), many more of them can be found dotting Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense, Horsens, Beirut, and Berlin. You can see more of Dambo’s bird houses, including this human-size build, and a collection of camoflauged homes, on Dambo’s website.

 

 



Photography

New Feathery Portraits That Peek Inside the Personalities of Cockatoos and Doves

October 4, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Superb Fruit Dove

Superb Fruit Dove

Photographer Leila Jeffreys (previously) captures birds outside of their traditional context, taking various breeds into her studio to photograph without distraction. The simple portraits capture the elegance of each bird, bringing a new perspective to the brilliant colors and textures that belong to each cockatoo, dove, or other domestic or exotic species. The works appear as both an unbiased attempts at documenting a set of animals, and a warm depiction of the feathery subjects. Each gives a peek into the personality of the bird on view, with a few casting solemn expressions, and one cockatoo showcasing what appears to be a wry smile.

Jeffreys has an upcoming exhibition of her portraits titled Ornithurae Volume 1 at Olsen Gruin Gallery in New York City on October 13. The exhibition will run through November 12, 2017. You can see more of her photographs on her website and Instagram.

Cyril Moluccan Cockatoo

Cyril Moluccan Cockatoo

Emerald Dove

Emerald Dove

New Guinea Ground Dove

New Guinea Ground Dove

Skye Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo

Skye Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo

 

 



Art

Blooming Metallic Birds and Other Animals by Taiichiro Yoshida

September 28, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Hanasuzume, 2013. Copper.

Artist Taiichiro Yoshida forms the delicate wings of birds and fluffy fur of mammals from a variety of sculpted metal flowers of bronze, copper, or silver. Decorative hot metalworking in Japan is considered an ancient technique, beginning sometime in the 2-3rd century BC. Yoshida achieves the fragile nature of each piece through smithing, where the hot metal is carefully beaten and then formed into blooms before being colored.

You can see more of his work on Artsy. (via Cross Connect, Hi-Fructose)

Fire Bird, 2014. Wood, grass, copper, phosphor bronze, bird’s skull.

 

 



Design

A Wind-Up Bamboo Passenger Pigeon by Haptic Lab

September 22, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

The Flying Martha Ornithopter is a mechanical toy that when wound, flaps its wings through the air just like a real bird. The simple invention is built entirely from bamboo and Mulberry paper, and released just like a paper airplane. The ornithopter was built by Haptic Lab to honor the very last passenger pigeon, Martha, who died while in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914.

Haptic Lab believes the invention is symbolic of humanity’s role in a rapidly changing world. “Like our other projects at Haptic Lab, the Flying Martha ornithopter aims to connect people to their physical environment, to one another, and to the planet as a whole,” says the design studio. “The Flying Martha celebrates the spirit of invention and discovery essential to humanity’s survival and to the survival of our planet.”

Each ornithopter is built to reflect the true size of the extinct bird, with a wingspan of 16 inches. The handmade nature of the toy bird allows its user to customize its flight, solving problems to discover the invention’s best flight path. By a slight twist of the tail to the left or right, its flight course is altered, giving the owner full control of how the bird flies.

The project is currently raising funds on Kickstarter. You can see more projects by Haptic Lab on their website, Instagram and Facebook. (via Kottke)

 

 



Amazing Photography

The Hummingbird Whisperer: A UCLA Researcher Cultivates a Community of 200 Hummingbirds Outside Her Window

September 4, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Photographer Melanie Barboni is an assistant researcher at UCLA’s Earth, Planetary and Space Science Program where she installed a hummingbird feeder outside her office window in hopes of seeing the elusive birds and maybe snapping a photo. Two years and several feeders later, she estimates there are over 200 birds that now stop by her window every day, over 50 of which she’s bestowed with names because she can recognize them on sight. Barboni was raised in Switzerland where hummingbirds are practically non-existent and she only read about them in books. She likens the view from her office at UCLA as a dream come true, a place that she’s referred to as The Hummingbird Whisperer. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 



Photography

Winners and Honorable Mentions of the 2017 Bird Photographer of the Year

August 31, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Winner, Bird Photographer of the Year 2017. Feeding Flamingos by Alejandro Prieto Rojas.

The winners of the 2017 Bird Photographer of the Year were recently announced, a competition that celebrates the best photographs of birds culled from thousands of submissions around the world. Now in its third year, the competition is a joint venture between Nature Photographers Ltd and the British Trust for Ornithology. This year’s winner was Alejandro Prieto Rojas for his photograph of flamingos feeding their offspring while nesting at Río Lagartos in Mexico. You can see a full gallery of winners here.

Birds in the Environment, silver. Crane flock misty lake by Piotr Chara.

Attention to Detail, Silver. Grey Heron looking under wing by Ahmad Alessa.

Bird Behaviour, Silver. Diving Kingfisher by Malek Alhazzaa.

Birds in Flight, Gold. Australian Pelican landing on water by Bret Charman

Birds in Flight, Silver. Red Kite close-up by Jamie Hall.

Birds in Flight, Honorable Mention. Seagulls and fox by Gabor Kapus.

Best Portfolio. Great Grey Owl by Markus Varesvuo.

 

 



Amazing Photography

Footage of Over 30 Hummingbirds Splashing in a Birdbath

August 24, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Youtuber WildWingsLA has a special birdbath setup specifically for hummingbirds outside their Beverly Hills home. Known for being territorial, it’s rare to see so many birds at once, but at times the frame fills with dozens of them. Fun fact: a group of a hummingbirds is called a charm. (via Laughing Squid)