My Dad, The Bird Man

One of the reasons I like the name of our blog so much is because it makes me think of my dad. He’s a bird man. For the past 25 or 30 years he’s been whittling down in his basement workroom. Whittling isn’t really the right word. Carving, wood burning, painting is more descriptive. He creates the most lifelike carvings of birds and ducks. So lifelike, that a few weeks after a customer bought a hummingbird carving from my dad, she had to call and ask if he could make a repair. You see, her cat got up on the shelf where the hummingbird carving sat and bit off the tip of the wing! Here’s one of his hummingbirds that I have in my curio cabinet:

Yup, if I were a cat, I’d wanna eat that! I’ve seen my dad create these carvings, but I really don’t know HOW he does it. And get this, he’s blind in one eye and recently had cataract surgery on his good eye. Now he can see much better! He shows and sells his carvings at woodcarving exhibitions in the Midwest. He’s won lots of ribbons in juried competitions, many of them blue. His carvings are often displayed in galleries and at a local wildlife refuge in my home state. This is a mountain bluebird I bought a few years ago:

Lots of people in my family have his carvings. He’s generously given them as gifts from time to time. The Christmas before my son was born, Dad carved immature birds for all of his grandkids, 13 of them at the time. When Joshua was born a few months later, Dad gave him the baby bluejay pictured below. The owl in the same picture was carved for me after I sent Dad a similar woodcarving that I purchased in the Black Forest of Germany and gave him for his birthday.

When Jeromy and I got married, Dad carved the topper for our wedding cake, two lovebirds. He also surprised me with two wedding ducks. They were sitting on top of the computer one morning when I went to e-mail Jeromy (he was in the Air Force at the time and overseas in Croatia the four months before our wedding).

 This bird is the mascot of our blog:

My pictures don’t really do Dad’s carvings justice. I’m not nearly as good a photographer as he is a woodcarver. I credit my dad and mom for my appreciation of art and nature. Now you know why I’m partial to birds and I’m always ready to put a bird on it!

3 thoughts on “My Dad, The Bird Man

  1. I love your Dad’s carvings! I’m especially fond of the wren! Glad he’s letting us use it as our “mascot”. I am really amazed at what all your Dad has made! I love the cake topper too. I can’t imagine how special these carving must be to you. Thanks for sharing his talent with us!

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