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

From Jasper to Banff: A Canadian adventure in an RV

Jennifer Bardsley plans to take her family on two-week roadtrip through Canada in a tent trailer.

Skippers share sea stories at Marysville speaker series

The Bellingham couple will talk about charter cruises on the historic wooden vessel they rebuilt.

Anxiety, or chronic worry, is a growing problem

Paul Schoenfeld shares four approaches to help keep your anxiety from getting out of control.

Expo in Stanwood can help you get ready for the country

The Country Living Expo and Cattlemen’s Winterschool is set for Jan. 27 at the high school.

Find many of our region’s winter birds in the Skagit Valley

If you love birding, also check out these bird-related festivals, lectures and other events.

What’s new this year for travelers in England, Ireland

The nations are improving tourism infrastructures and adding exhibits to well-known sights.

Curries continues home-cooked Indian cuisine at new location

The restaurant, now located on Evergreen Way, also puts an Indian spin on Northwest cooking.

‘Three Billboards’ wins top prize at Screen Actors Guild Awards

Director Martin McDonagh’s dark morality tale beat out “Lady Bird,” “Mudbound,” “Get Out” and “The Big Sick.”

2018 Nissan Rogue crossover gets set for autonomous driving

New features including ProPILOT Assist are added to Nissan’s best-selling model, the compact Rogue.

Most Read