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Posts Tagged ‘Birdhouse’

Photo: Naturskyddsforeningen.
The aim of the Swedish birdhouse championship is to encourage birds’ nest building and children’s commitment to nature.

I follow @swedense on Instagram, which is where I learned about an annual birdhouse competition for students.

The Swedish birdhouse championship, says Swedense, “is for primary and secondary school classes and is organized by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, @naturskyddsforeningen. The aim is to encourage birds’ nest building and children’s commitment to nature.

“This year’s special prize goes to the special school at Sanda education centre in Huskvarna for their contribution ‘Trafikljuset’ (traffic light). The birdhouse has a built-in camera that lets students follow a nesting bird’s yearly cycle from eggs to flight-ready birds in the schoolyard.

“Birdhouses have come to play an important role in the biodiversity of the forest. The lack of older deciduous trees means that many birds in Sweden are currently suffering from a housing shortage.”

Meanwhile, others are getting into the act.

“Bee Breeders Competition Organizers is excited to announce the results for its Legendary Bird Home / Edition 2 competition! This is the second competition in a series aiming to raise awareness for the global environmental crisis. This competition was held in collaboration with Birdly – a socially-responsible start-up that aims to support environmental activism worldwide through funds raised by selling bird homes.

“Bee Breeders worked with an international jury panel consisting of: Marco Barba, Mexican industrial designer and founder of Marco Barba Design and designer of the KUKU birdhouse product; Andris Dekants, project manager at the Latvian Ornithological Society; Farid Esmaeil, co-founder of Dubai based X Architects and winner of the Aga Khan award for the Wasit Natural Reserve Visitor Center project; Mark Gabbertas, founder of West-London based Gabbertas Studio with a portfolio that includes the Gloster Birdhouse; James Krueger, Design Principal in HMC Architects’ in San Diego studio; Heike Schlauch of Heike Schlauch raumhochrosen which has designed the ‘Vorarlberger Baukunst’ birdhouse series; Jolanta Uczarczyk, who runs Uczarczyk, through which she produces original, handmade works such the Mocak Bird Feeder; and Chad Wright, founder of Studio Chad Wright with a portfolio that includes the Attic birdhouse.”

Last year Sofia Wickström, then a 9th grade student at Futuraskolan International Bergtorp, was one of the finalists with Naturskyddsforeningen. The school’s profile on her says she had “been working on her birdhouse during wood shop since the end of 8th grade totaling about 50 work hours. Her entry is called ‘Bergsprängaren’ (Boom Box).

“When designing her birdhouse, she was inspired when seeing two old boomboxes on the floor of the woodshop room where the project got started, she decided then and there on her design. According to Sofia, the hardest part and what actually took the longest time in making the ‘Boom Box’ birdhouse was getting the edges round and smooth. … In researching birds for this project, Sofia found that small birds actually love bright colors; this was perfect as she herself is a big fan of bright colors, hence the pretty pink/green look to the birdhouse.”

More here and here. Good photos here. I especially love the birdhouse with stones embedded in plaster and a handy woodpile. Who can resist designing a birdhouse after seeing these pictures?

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Jaimee Leigh sells books at the Barrow Bookstore in Concord, Massachusetts, but during after hours, she makes literature-themed birdhouses designed for actual birds. 

Betsy Levinson was the editor of the Concord Journal for many years and was responsible for the majority of the articles, writing with exceptional grace and insight. Nowadays, she contributes as a stringer, and I see her byline most often on infomercials for local real estate, which don’t interest me as much. But in a recent front page article she did herself proud. And when I went to the locale to take pictures, I could see that other readers had been inspired to follow up, too.

This is what she reported for the Journal. “Jaimee Leigh sells books at her sister Aladdine Joroff’s shop Barrow Bookstore in Concord, but a talent for creating one-of-a-kind birdhouses keeps her busy during her hours away from the shop.

“The birdhouses aren’t just functional, either. Her creations are pieces of art, each one designed around a work of literature.

“For instance, the roof of her ‘The Hobbit’-inspired birdhouse has glow-in-the-dark lettering on the roof in the same original font that J.R.R. Tolkein made for his books.

“Then there is the suet bird cage, inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s ‘Civil Disobedience,’ which she noted was written from a Concord jail cell where he was ordered after refusing to pay taxes. Leigh inscribed words from the book inside. …

“It was four years ago that the idea of making a book-themed birdhouse came to Leigh. She was visiting her godmother in Sligo, Ireland, and attended a creative arts competition as a fundraiser for a storied estate there. She made a ‘memory box’ featuring seashells found in the area, photos and poetry. Though it wasn’t a birdhouse, it inspired her to create ‘similar things for the bookstore in Concord.’ …

″Each birdhouse ‘aims to summarize the essence of a book or story,’ Leigh wrote.

They are sealed from the elements on the outside, but she leaves the interior free of chemicals or noxious fumes that might hurt the birds.

“She bores holes of different sizes to accommodate larger or smaller birds. Recently she started fitting inch-wide ’emergency egress steps’ inside the house in case the bird finds the inside too smooth and can’t get a toehold or clawhold to get out. Leigh’s careful about using a perch on the outside because sometimes predator birds can lurk outside. …

“She has shipped birdhouses to South Korea, Canada and Texas. Others are scattered around the floor-to-ceiling stacks of books at the shop. She has donated houses to local charities for fundraising auctions. Each one can take 60 to 80 hours to complete, she said. … For information, email Leigh at barrowbookstore@gmail.com, or visit barrowbookstore.com.”

More at the Concord Journal, here.

I took pictures of birdhouses featuring the Brothers Grimm, Dracula, and Great Expectations. Regarding the latter, note that Miss Havisham’s wedding dress is evoked by lace, and the clock is stopped at the moment her bridegroom ditched her, twenty minutes to nine.

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