Book takes a peek at coolest birdhouses

  • By Anne Colby Los Angeles Times
  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 5:24pm
  • Life

Certain objects have been a perennial source of inspiration to artists, artisans and designers.

Think of the teapot, a simple vessel both functional and ornamental that has been endlessly reimagined over the centuries. Or the chair in its many permutations.

The birdhouse is another object that has inspired flights of fancy. Anne Schmauss, author and co-owner of the store Wild Birds Unlimited in Santa Fe, N.M., says she has sold thousands of birdhouses and has seen firsthand the fascination they hold.

For her new book, “Birdhouses of the World” ($22.50), Schmauss searched the world to showcase the “coolest” birdhouses and tell their stories.

And what fantastic birdhouses she has found, some habitable and others purely decorative.

Her book leads off with Thomas Burke’s massive Skywalker Ranch birdhouse, a replica of George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch that was installed on Lucas’ Marin County property in 2011.

The 600-pound home, suitable for sparrows and European starlings, was made from recycled and reused materials and is the size of a small car.

A simpler birdhouse, the Ralph, nods to Modernist architect Ralph Rapson’s iconic 1945 Greenbelt House, one of the early Case Study houses.

The handcrafted house with angled rooflines is made of sustainably harvested wood and built with birds in mind.

And then there’s Anthony Cateaux’s the Scream birdhouse, fashioned of welded metal and inspired by the Edvard Munch painting. Does this one attract birds or scare them away?

David Bruce’s more whimsical Weathered Wonders birdhouses incorporate reclaimed wood and old and new hardware.

More in Life

Co-owner Jason Parzyk carries two growlers to fill as he serves up beer at Lake Stevens Brewing Co. The first brewery in the city is celebrating one-year anniversary this weekend. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Beer of the Week: Lake Stevens Brewing Co.’s Sour Imperial

The beer has a depth and a complex flavor profile that goes beyond just another barrel-aged stout.

Legendary bluesman Curtis Salgado to play Arlington show

The Northwest blues-soul-funk-R&B living legend performs with Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons Nov. 18.

This year’s Snohomish Blues Invasion has an all-star lineup

Proceeds send the CD Woodbury Trio and the Benton-Townsend Duo to the International Blues Challenge.

Schack holiday show features Northwest watercolor artists

The free exhibit also will have three-dimensional works, such as jewelry, glass, ceramic and wood.

‘Three Billboards’ rooted in Frances McDormand’s rigid role

The actress of “Fargo” fame gives an Oscar-worthy performance in this black comedy on human nature.

‘The Hate U Give’ shows the burden of being black in America

Angie Thomas’ story of a teen girl covers the challenging experience of African Americans.

A merry Christmas concert with Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith

The Christian music stars will perform at Xfinity Arena with Jordan Smith of “The Voice” on Nov. 18.

Great Plant Pick: Thuja occidentalis ‘Degroot’s Spire’

What: An exceptional selection of the eastern arborvitae, Thuja occidentalis “Degroot’s Spire”… Continue reading

Garden clubs in Snohomish, Island counties

Alderwood Garden Club: Cedar Valley Grange Hall, 20526 52nd Ave. W., Lynnwood;… Continue reading

Most Read