A Bird (Puzzle) in the Hand
January 5th is National Bird Day, a day set aside to promote the conservation of wild birds. While I am not a twitcher or ornithologist, I often feel like I’m in an episode of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, as I enjoy watching the many species that call the Florida lake I live on home. Because of the joy they give me, many bird puzzles tend to nest on my shelves, and in honor of the day, here are a few that roosted on my board this month!
As a warm-up puzzle, I completed this 100-piece Birds of Paradise-Mini Puzzle. You could have knocked me down with a feather when my husband noticed that this New York Puzzle Company puzzle was done in partnership with Cornell Lab of Ornithology. We had recently downloaded their Merlin ID app to help us identify bird songs while sitting outside on a friend’s heavily-wooded property. This free app is amazing, as it quickly provides a picture of the bird that lights up when each bird sings to let you know which one is which. Did you know that, while some female birds do chirp, it’s mostly males that do the singing? And that ornithologists have discovered that some bird species develop local dialects depending on where they live, much as we humans develop accents?
Being a night owl myself, I often smile when I hear the owls that live on my lake hooting away as I puzzle. Therefore, I was drawn to Three Owls, a 500 piece puzzle from Anatolian, a brand that never fails to delight. This one features the artwork of Karla Gerard, a Folk Art abstract artist from Maine whose paintings enchant me. Typically I avoid dark puzzles, and I will admit that I felt like a bird brain as I struggled to place the branches and leaves on this one, but it was a labor of love, as I adored this parliament of owls (a group name that originates from C.S. Lewis’ description of a meeting of owls in The Chronicles of Narnia).
Next was the 500-piece Secret Sanctuary puzzle – my very first Pomegranate! Avid puzzlers rave about this brand and I now know why. The company’s goal is to honor art and make it accessible for all and they do so with a quality product. I enjoyed the chunky pieces, bright colors and for this puzzle, the artwork of Charley Harper, whose unique minimalist approach was featured on posters for National Parks and other wildlife organizations. Taking a bird’s-eye view of all that green was a bit intimidating at first, but almost every piece had detail on it, making the build soar by.
The birds featured really connected with me, especially the cardinal (considered a good luck omen by many, me included), the duck (we wake up early every morning to spread out duck food for the mottled and wood ducks who visit us at daybreak sharp) and woodpecker (we have Pileated Woodpeckers constantly chipping away at dead wood on our property).
A little bird told me if you’re doing a round puzzle, it’s best not to start with the border and that is definitely true with this Circle of Avian Friends, 1000-piece Galison puzzle, a favorite brand of mine! I should have listened, but I am a creature of habit! I can see how it would definitely have been easier to put the vivid plumage of these gorgeous birds together first.
Those who like a riot of color should flock to do this 550-piece Wild Whimsy - Feathered Friends by Ceaco. When I started sorting this, I thought “uh-oh.” How do you sort by color when there are so many on each piece?! But once I noticed, using the poster provided, there was a pattern behind each section, I no longer had to wing it! Being a Florida girl, I started with the flamingos of course. Here’s two fun facts – did you know that flamingos can only eat with their heads upside down? And that if we actually “ate like a bird” we would be huge as many birds eat twice their weight in food daily? Ah…to be a bird!
Lastly, my heart sang when I saw this Love, Bird puzzle by Buffalo Games. Artist Mia Charro describes her art as “whispers of whimsy, each stroke infused with a love for the mystical, the wild and the wondrously unusual.” My inspiration for doing this one was that a little bird, who looked very much like this one, flew into my office that day! And believe me, I did need a cup of tea after working diligently to get him out safely (tip – turn off all the lights/close the blinds and open one door or window).
With any luck, you got some seeds of inspiration for bird puzzles you’d like to do. Goodness knows there are many others in my stash waiting to take flight including Owls by Educa, Bird Houses by JaCaRou, Birds of the World by Galison, and Songbirds by Mudpuppy.
I hope you had a lark reading the blog! Do you have a favorite bird puzzle or bird you find yourself drawn to? If so, feel free to share in the comments below!
– Lisa @lisalovespuzzles
Loved the puzzles you shared and the fun facts made this a very engaging blog. Look forward to having some of your recommendation on my puzzle table soon very soon.
Very nice writeup, and I learned a few things :)
You have 4 puzzles that I enjoyed working. The teapot was the latest. Had to read the whole blog as I am an animal lover. Thank you.