The Curious Birdhouses of the West Village

bird houses west village new york city

I was sitting down, checking my phone and wondering where to go next on my idle West Village wander when I looked up and spotted this curious series of little hidden birdhouses peeking out from inside a clump of bushes. Obviously I had to take a closer look…

bird houses west village new york city

There’s a roman villa, two log cabins, an apartment building and a few ordinary boxes, and you’ll find them nestled in a little triangle of greenery (confusingly) called McCarthy Square, where Seventh Avenue, Charles Street and Waverly Place cross paths.

bird houses west village new york city bird houses west village new york city

It’s nice to see New York City’s birds getting some red-carpet treatment because until 10 years ago, if they flew headfirst into a skyscraper (it happens a lot, apparently) or had a face-to-face with a taxi windscreen (again, common), they were left for dead; no vet willing to treat their injuries. Things have changed thankfully. New Yorkers love their birds a lot more, especially in Brooklyn, and a series of artist-made birdhouses have been springing up around the city, like these ones I stumbled on in the West Village (and these ones).

bird houses west village new york city

I know this is the part when I’m supposed to tell you a little bit more about them, like who made them, why they made them, how they got here, but I’m sorry to say that I can’t. All anyone seems to know is that these hidden birdhouses of the West Village have been handmade with love by a talented artist called Vincent Mele, a name written on a little sign tucked into the bushes of McCarthy Square. Locals say his identity remains unknown, so until we track down the mysterious Vincent, we’ll just have to make up our own minds about his work. I promise to tell you more when I find out. Stay tuned…

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