Living in southern California, I hear a lot about the California condor during my frequent visits to the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park. And rightly so, because in 1987 condors went extinct in the wild, with only twenty-two individuals remaining in captivity. With the help of the LA Zoo, these three institutions bred the condors in captivity and reintroduced them into the wild. Now their combined population is over 440. Aaron Newman has built a deceptively small version of the condor in LEGO bricks, and the result is wonderful.
The model makes perfect usage of the minifig fan piece, the seed part for the current round of the ABS Builder Challenge, along with many other assorted spike parts, and minifigure katanas.
Break out the red sugar water, because Forlorn Empire built the perfect bird feeder to attract every LEGO hummingbird in your neighborhood straight to your backyard! Not only does this tiny hanging feeder look just like the real thing, but it’s packed full of some incredible NPU including minifig components (hands and arms), buckets, and the perfect fake plastic yellow “flower” to show the birdos where to sip while they hover.
There seems to be a persisting presence of bird builds in the LEGO community, more so than other animals. Now Paul Lee joins the fun with his recreation of a Hyacinth Macaw. It is one of my favourite kinds of parrots personally, but I never expected it to be the bird of choice for nearly anyone else. While the legs are simplistic (still realistic), the facial detail and feather texture more than make up for it.
The word flamingo actually comes from the Spanish word flamenco, which came from the earlier Latin word flamma, meaning flame or fire. The name seems all the more apt for this LEGO Flamingo created by BrickBro given that it’s actually built from red bricks rather than pink. The posing of this bird is perfect, with one foot characteristically tucked up whilst the other wades through the shallow water. I love the dual purpose of the clear dish, which firstly holds the bird in a standing position, but also depicts a ripple in the water. Those stick legs look just as fragile as an actual flamingo’s legs.
This shapely bird has some clever, albeit illegal, techniques in the neck area, where the builder has used a short length of tubing to attach the tiles bottom-to-bottom. The model is built only from LEGO parts however, and stands surprisingly steady on that one little stick leg.
Macaws are stunning birds, and smart to boot. I’ve heard plenty of great stories from those who get the chance to interact with them regularly. Felix Jaensch has posted this beautiful sculpture that captures the bird perfectly.
The curve of the beak is spot on, and the face sculpting is excellent.
This angry-looking bird isn’t the star of a mobile game or summer movie, but is actually an ingenious interpretation of one of nature’s bigger-billed birds, the African-native shoebill. The real bird stands a remarkable 4 feet tall with an enormous bill for catching fish. Builder Moko has done a great job using the shin guards from the large General Grievous figure to portray the bill, but my favorite part is the expressive eyes. Be sure to check out Moko’s blog for a cool breakdown of the construction techniques employed.
Birds have already become an independent genre of brick-built sculptures. And whether they’re redoubtable birds of prey or it’s a sly magpie — as built by Felix Jaensch here — they all look fascinating and wonderfully realistic.
The title picture of the model barely reveals its main peculiarity. Besides an astonishing, instantly recognizable shape for the bird, its color scheme is much more interesting than one may think. Dark green and dark blue pieces, which are clearly visible from another angle, create the same play of colors as real feathers.
Australian builder Shannon Sproule has created a LEGO model of one of the seemingly less graceful birds of prey – the vulture. Shannon says he based this build on the griffon vulture, and with an average wing span of 2.5m (8 ft) in real life, these birds are impressive creatures.
The position of the outstretched feet, ducked head and ‘flaps down’ wing position has really captured the body positioning of a typical griffon vulture landing. While the vulture appears to be coming in to land near some carrion, the birds-eye view spares us from the sight of a decaying animal… just use your imagination.
Crows have created an interesting place in culture and literature. They are the tricksters. They are wise. They transport the souls of the dead. If you ask Edgar Allan Poe, they’re a bit irritating and don’t do much to uplift your spirits, what with the repetitive “Nevermore” business.
At any rate, nobu_tary has given us this excellent rendition, making great use of the wing piece we first saw in the Arkham Asylum set a couple years ago. They’re currently in the Chima sets as well.
Not many people have mastered the LEGOLAND building style, outside of the master builders of LEGOLAND themselves. But for several years now, teen builder Joshua Christenson has been employing this technique to create convincing sculptures far smaller than those you’d typically see in the theme parks, as illustrated by this beautiful swan…
One beautiful summer evening in December 2008, I walked down a dirt road in New Zealand and listened to a distinctive hooting in the distance — the nighttime call of the kiwi. Today, I work for a company based in Auckland and look forward to returning to New Zealand again soon.
Thomas Poulsom (DeTomaso77) has been posting antipodean birds for a while, but he’s just added two from New Zealand to his growing collection of living dinosaurs, starting with the iconic kiwi and the weird & wonderful kakapo (an adorably fat, flightless parrot).
Here’s “Kaimi the Kiwi”:
And “Karo the Kakapo”:
We’ve been supporters of Thomas’ LEGO CUUSOO project since the beginning, and I’m glad to see that it now has more than 6,200 supporters, though I’m inclined to agree with LEGO in their official comment that we’d like to see Thomas focus on one particular bird (my favorite is Bobby Robin).
But Thomas doesn’t just build LEGO birds. He recently posted a round and chubby badger named Roger to highlight the plight of this unique animal in Great Britain.
If you’re seeing Thomas’ animal models here for the first time, head on over to his photostream on Flickr for hundreds more LEGO animal photos.