(John Wang is a bird’s best friend. John has created an incredible display of his uniquely handcrafted birdhouses currently being exhibited at the Stittsville Public Library. This one reminds him of Claude Monet’s Water Lillies. Photos: Stittsville Central)
A visit to the Stittsville Public Library should be marked on your calendar before the end of June. There is an incredible exhibit of handcrafted birdhouses, created over a period of 19 years by handyman/carpenter John Wang, that you don’t want to miss. A nature advocate and animal lover, in his spare time John loves to bird-watch and because of this love, created his birdhouses, large and small, for the many breeds of birds he enjoys watching as they swoop and play while building their new homes in his unique creations.
John Wang chose the Stittsville Library to display his birdhouses and told us why, “I wanted to have my work displayed at the Stittsville Public Library to share my passion and craftsman skills with the public, as well as a search for new friends and feedback from the community to help me to build better birdhouses. I am thrilled with your questions. This is a brand new experience for me!”
Shimo Wang, John’s daughter, shared with Stittsville Central, her family’s story and the path her Dad began with his creative hobby, “my Dad is a nature advocate and animal lover. My childhood was surrounded by multiple types of animals as pets – love birds, cockatiel, dogs, rabbits, turtles, you name it. Animals have taught us ways to love, appreciate and respect the other species in this world. The turning point of Dad’s life was when we immigrated to Canada back in 2003. Which was how his birdhouse-making journey began. Canadian living provided my Dad the opportunity to pursue his dream of woodworking while embracing nature. The fact that you can be part of nature just in your home backyard was so inspirational and relaxing. When he combined the two passions in his life, woodworking craftsmen and birds, the first birdhouse was made. And he never stopped”.
We asked John about the materials he uses in creating his birdhouses, “I collect recycled materials from a variety of sources. Most of them are from my construction sites or hiking. One summer, I was involved in a community project to renovate a hundred-year-old train station (Mimico) in the west end of Toronto. The birdhouse you see in the first picture (on left) that I show you was made from antique wood that I reclaimed. In the second picture (on right), this birdhouse was made from a hundred-year-old house that had been located in downtown Toronto, reminding me of the painting- Claude Monet’s Water Lillies”.
Knowing that John is an avid bird-watcher, we wanted to know which birds frequent his birdhouses most often and which are his favourite to watch. He shares why he is keenly connected to the Purple Martin, “Birds that like to use birdhouses in Ontario include chickadees, house wrens, purple martins, bluebirds, and house sparrows. House sparrows like to visit birdhouses the most and are least picky. My favorite type of bird to watch is the Purple Martin. Purple Martins are the largest swallows found in North America”.
John enthusiastically continued, “even though they are called Purple Martins, their feather color is actually black. When the feather is reflected under the sun, it gives their coat a dark purple look. Purple Martins live in high density. Due to their social nature, building a birdhouse for them is a very rewarding experience because you can watch a group of them return the following year, and this specific type of bird relies heavily on man-made birdhouses for living. Observing the Purple Martin birds return home is also a fun experience. They would tuck their wings in and dive from the sky with great speed as if saying – I can’t wait to be home”.
John’s unique craftsmanship is also carried through to the pens he created to sign his guestbook, placed to the side of the display. He looks forward to reading everyone’s comments, so make sure you sign the book and leave a comment of two from your visit.
If you are interested in purchasing one or more of John’s birdhouse creations for your back or front yard, they are available and range in price from $90.00 to $600.00. You can contact John directly at 416-898-6626, by email firstname.lastname@example.org or through Facebook. His facebook group name is Unique Creations and can be found at this link.
The birdhouse display is located in the Art Space Wall area at the Stittsville Public Library and will be on exhibit until June 30, 2022. We certainly would love to see an encore exhibit of John’s birdhouse creations that he continues to create.