Birds fighting for nesting spaces are a common sight in cities. It was this observation that led street artist Thomas Winther, aka Dambo, Previously (Thomas Dambo Troll Locations), to initiate ‘Happy City Birds’ project. The project, started in 2006, helps city-dwelling birds find a safe place they can call their own.
Although Dambo started out as a graffiti writer, he wanted to create art that was full of positivity and understood by all. Installing colorful and stylish birdhouses in the public domain was a way to help out the birds and make the public aware of their plight.
Using recycled materials and scrap wood, this Danish artist set about creating birdhouses and in just two weeks, he built and installed these in four Danish cities – Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus, and Kolding. Today, as his project has grown to worldwide proportions, he has installed over 3,500 birdhouses in different shapes and colors all around the globe.
Dambo uses bright and vibrant colors for his birdhouses, such as bright yellows, greens, and oranges. If you’re wondering where the paint comes from, it’s sourced from a Danish paint company – Dyrup. This company initially donated a truckload of paint to him that had been wrongly toned. For raw materials, he goes around collecting discarded wood and other materials to create his birdhouses.
Dambo’s birdhouses can be found at every conceivable place, such as trees, poles, lampposts, rooftops, and the like. What motivates him to continue this project, he explains in mymodernmet.com, “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.”
Dambo doesn’t throw away the wood that’s leftover in constructing birdhouses. He utilizes it to create a variety of birds that he displays on the streets to publicize his project. Through this initiative, he also makes the public aware of the city-dwelling birds and their need for a safe and secure nesting place. He feels it important to ensure that these birds continue to live in the city in safety and comfort.