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Where it all began

Illustration for article titled Where it all began
Photo: I was a crappy photographer in 2015...
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Way back in 2015 (or possibly 2014 and I just didn’t have a Flickr account until 2015), inspired by the then-new Lego Ideas Birds set, I built this yellow and grey bird of no one species in particular, and it went on to become the genesis of my Lego Birding hobby. Design-wise, it’s almost identical to the Robin from the Lego Ideas set apart from the color and some other minor differences, but it taught me a lot about how to make Lego look organic and it wasn’t long before I attempted other birds. Unfortunately, because this was so long ago, pictures of my early Lego birds are few and far between, most of said pictures are kinda crappy, and there’s at least one that I can remember that I couldn’t find any photos of. But hey, you gotta start somewhere.

The second bird I built was red and had its wings outstretched, and any photos I took of it appear to no longer exist.

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The third bird I built, and the first to be based on a real bird, was this:

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It’s a Pinyon Jay, so-chosen because it’s almost entirely blue which made it easier to build. And no, rack and pinion steering mechanisms do not have a tiny bird inside ;)

Then there was my Vermillion Flycatcher, featuring a very large head:

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My Painted Bunting, featuring a very square head:

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My American Goldfinch, featuring a very experimental (if somewhat boxy) head:

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My Brown and Dusky Honey-eater, featuring a derpy head:

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In fact, a derpy pretty much everything. Let’s just say I didn’t have a whole lot of brown parts back then...

My Snowy Egret, featuring a decent head but no legs:

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And this hummingbird:

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And that pretty much sums up my original Lego bird lineup. At first, this was basically just a phase, and as with most phases, I moved on. But there was always something special about that bird phase, so I occasionally returned to it. I built another bird in 2016, inspired by the Pixar short “Piper”, but since that was just building a Pixar character, I didn’t make more.

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It wasn’t until 2018 that I decided to build another bird out of nostalgia for my old ones, and that was when I built my Hepatic Tanager. This one’s still around, making him the oldest surviving Lego bird in my collection, although I have updated the design a bit since then to make the chin less... boxy.

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Then in 2019, for fun I started writing a fantasy novel about birds, with the main characters being a Hepatic Tanager and a Blue Jay. I couldn’t have just one of my main characters in Lego form, so I had to build my Lego Blue Jay to go with it, and then I wanted to make a female Hepatic Tanager as well... And then in April of this year I had the idea to make a Lego Bird Watching post on Oppo, and your positive responses to that first post motivated me to keep building! I now have 10 Lego birds in my collection (not counting digibirbs), and birds are now some of my favorite things to build. Along the way, I’ve also enjoyed learning about these fascinating creatures, and fallen in love with the world of birds. And that is how I became Oppo’s resident birdbrain :)

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