As buildings continue to pop up in growing cities, urban-dwelling birds and wildlife are in need of more options for cozy places to live. Thoughtful to these needs, artist Thomas Winther, aka Dambo, initiated the Happy City Birds project. To kick the project off, the artist spent just two weeks building 250 birdhouses out of free and recycled materials (with one exception, he had to purchase $40 worth of nails). He painted the houses in happy colors like bright yellows, greens, and oranges, and placed them across four cities around Denmark–64 in Aarhus, 52 in Odense, 54 in Copenhagen, and 80 in Kolding.
Hanging everywhere–in trees, on poles, at airports, on lampposts, on rooftops, etc.–the happy shelters provided a new resting place for birds across Denmark. Dambo points out, “Birds are actually great at recycling and we need to appreciate this. They eat old food, fruits, berries, and nuts lying about. In that way, they help to clean and distribute seeds around our cities, so new plants can grow.” Once the birdhouses were completed and installed, Dambo found himself with 1,000 triangles of leftover wood. So he gave the triangles eyes and beaks to mimic small birds, he affixed magnets, and he hung them on the streets as an advertisement for the project.
Dambo was excited to help out these little winged friends, and so he continues to build the little havens on a regular basis. He has reached well beyond 250 homes and, in his efforts to make city-bird life a little easier, he provides them for free to fellow bird enthusiasts so that the love can be spread around the world.