The other day, I opened the window to listen to the birds in my yard. They were tweeting to one another, filling the morning air with birdsong. What is it about birds that instinctively bring out the wonder in us? What is it that drives us to share our lunches with the sparrows at Disneyland, or sends us to the local duck pond with a loaf of bread? Maybe we find them fascinating because God has blessed them with the gift of flight. Perhaps we hear in their song, praises to the One who created us. Maybe because he has in his care, even the smallest of birds, we are reassured of his love for us.
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7 (NIV)
Whatever the reason, many people love birds and find ways to incorporate them into their lives. We place bird feeders in our yards, visit aviaries and make crafts with bird themes. Statues of birds provide focal points for our gardens and we download birdsong ringtones to our phones.
When I was listening to my little bird friends outside, it dawned on me how many “bird-themed” resources I had acquired, and like any good blogger, I immediately thought, “blog post!” So without further adieu, here are ten awesome bird-related resources for you to explore, share and enjoy!
1: Vintage bird clipart – The Graphics Fairy blog has an amazing collection of antique images in the public domain that she’s made available for free download. If you love vintage like I do, you will visit this site again and again! http://graphicsfairy.blogspot.com/p/search.html
2: Bird sugar cookies – These hand-iced cookies from Eleni’s New York, are truly works of art! The colors are vibrant and the detail is magnificent! For your next special occasion, this collection can be ordered online. http://elenis.com/store/product/birds/?cat=40
3: Wildlife bird photography – My friend Doug Aguillard is a birder and photographer. He has some great images for sale on his website. Two of my favorites are this Ratous hummingbird and the Lazuli Bunting at the top of this post-just gorgeous! http://www.blackwaterphoto.com/Birds
4: Birdsong sounds – The Solitudes web site carries a beautiful collection of birdsong, water sounds and music by Dan Gibson. Short samples are available for listening. Buyers can download a whole collection or just selected songs, as well as purchase the collections in cd format. I have several of the cds, and they are very relaxing and tranquil. http://www.solitudes.com/Shopping/EditorialDisplay.aspx?contentID=wildlife&brandID=SOLITUDES
5: Printable bird ornaments – This wonderfully painted twelve-bird collection by artist Rebecca Kallem, is available for free download at her blog. Designed as ornaments or gift tags, they will provide a colorful focal point to any tree, garland or gift! Just lovely. http://rebeccascaprichos.blogspot.com/2010/12/winter-birds.html
6: Chirp! USA Iphone app – This app features birds from all over the country. By selecting the picture of a particular bird, you can hear their song and read information about them. There is also a challenge quiz to test your recognition of birdsong and a slide show option. This is one of my favorite apps and I have actually used it to identify birds in my yard! http://www.spinysoft.co.uk/Chirp.shtml
7: Mushroom birds for crafts – These little birds come in a variety of sizes and colors and can be purchased at many craft supply stores. They are lovely when used in vintage-style crafts. I’ve listed a few online retailers who carry them, although I’ve also purchased them in the past from Michael’s. Floral Trims: http://www.floraltrims.com/artificial-birds.html Save on Crafts: http://www.save-on-crafts.com/birds3.html Factory Direct Craft: http://factorydirectcraft.com/catalog/categories/1302_2533_1857-birds_birds_nests_butterflies.html
8: Join a Feeder Watch Program – The Cornell Lab of Ornithology sponsors a bird feeder watch program. For a small fee, you receive a full size poster of common feeder birds, a calendar, a bird feeding handbook and a subscription to their newsletter BirdScope. Participants report which birds come to their feeders between November and April. Reporting can be done online or by mail. Subscribers to the program provide vital information that helps researchers study winter bird populations. Information about the program can be found here: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/Overview/over_index.html While the full-size posters of common birds are available for program subscribers, the posters in a smaller pdf format are available for free download here: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/FreeDownloads.htm To learn more about birds, here are two great links: Cornell Lab of Ornithology: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/Page.aspx?pid=1478&ac=ac National Audubon Society: http://birds.audubon.org/
9: Peacock cupcakes – Originally, I found this picture on Pinterest, where it has understandably been re-pinned several times over! The beauty of this cupcake is truly magnificent and a great idea for those of you handy with icing tools! Here is the link to the original picture: http://cutestfood.com/2580/peacock-cupcake/
10: Bird sing-along – And last but not least, no bird resource list would be complete without these famous birds! This great YouTube video records the original Disneyland Enchanted Tiki Room show before it was refurbished. Let’s all sing like the birdies sing, tweet, tweet, tweet….
If you are viewing on a mobile device, and cannot see the imbed video, here is the YouTube link: http://youtu.be/fhApjPASb64
I hope you found these resources to be helpful and inspiring! I know you crafters out there are already giddy with excitement over the beautiful paper crafts you’ll be able to create using that vintage clip art… how do I know, you ask? Why, a little bird told me of course!
On the journey toward Home,