An important element of Ottoman architecture in Turkey was the addition of birdhouses affixed to the outer walls of significant city structures, a safe space for regular avian guests to nest outside of mosques, inns, bridges, libraries, schools, and fountains. The birdhouses were not simple concrete structures, but rather elaborate feats of miniature architecture that ranged from one-story homes to multiple-story bird mansions. Each was designed with a similar design aesthetic to the country’s larger buildings, simultaneously providing shelter to sparrows, swallows, and pigeons while preventing bird droppings from corroding the walls of the surrounding architecture.
In addition to providing shelter, the birdhouses fulfilled a religious vision. They were thought to grant good deeds to those that built the tiny homes. Through their abundance and care, the structures encouraged a love of animals in the Turkish public, citizens who adopted several nicknames for the homes over the years including “kuş köşkü” (bird pavilions), “güvercinlik” (dovecots) and “serçe saray” (sparrow palace).
Only some of these bird mansions remain today, however their place is firmly rooted in Turkish history. Nearly every city in the country contains examples of the bird homes, the oldest example, a 16th-century house attached to the Büyükçekmece Bridge, still surviving in Istanbul. (via Jeroen Apers)
When reviewing the security footage from outside his house in Austin, Texas, Al Brooks spotted an unusual sight: a bird seems to hover past the camera with its wings completely stationary. Of course it wasn’t really hovering (and no, it’s not suspended by strings) but rather the frame rate of the camera matched the flaps of the bird’s wings perfectly resulting in a stroboscopic illusion. This is the same stroboscopic effect you might see in a video of airplane propellers that aren’t moving or when the wheels on a car appear to be frozen. (via Swiss Miss, Neatorama)
“Bird by bird I’ve come to know the earth,” said Pablo Neruda in his book Art of Birds, a quote that has since inspired artist Dina Brodsky to begin her own exploration of birds in an ongoing miniature painting project by the same name: Bird by Bird. The artist first began the project last year as a way to explore the native birds around New York city as her now 18-month-old baby napped in a stroller. The endeavor has since grown to incorporate more rare and exotic birds depicted in everything from ballpoint pen to watercolor and gouache. The bird paintings have become so popular with fans that she’s created a dedicated Instagram account to collect them all.
Industrial design studio BKID conceived of this lovely wooden bird pencil holder called Tropical Bird. The object won a 2013 Red Dot Design award and you can see a view more photos over on Behance. If you liked this, also check out Moisés Hernández’s watercolor bird project.
Warsaw-based embroidery artist Paulina Bartnik stitches colorfully lifelike brooches of birds and other tiny creatures in a dense style called needle painting. Each object begins as a piece of wool which she prods with a special needle in a process called dry felting which results in a surface ideal for embroidery. She then paints with a needle directly on the felt and embroiders the finer details. You can see more of her creations in her Etsy shop. (via Bored Panda)
Mexican designer Moisés Hernández brings his distinct flair for minimalism to this new series of avian sculptures titled Immersed Birds. Each piece is a continuous wooden object milled with CNC technology which is then dipped into a carefully considered sequence of watercolors. The overlaying hues mimic the plumage of a toucan, hummingbird, and Mexican quetzal. You can see more of Hernández’s work on Instagram. (via Booooooom)