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Mystery Bird Lover Brightens 83rd Street With Handmade Birdhouses

By Shaye Weaver | February 23, 2016 10:44am
 A resident of East 83rd Street, between York and East End avenues, has been decorating his block with personalized bird houses, hanging them on trees lining the street.
A resident of East 83rd Street has been decorating the trees with birdhouses.
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YORKVILLE — There's no lack of real estate on the Upper East Side, at least not for the birds.

More than 17 colorful birdhouses of different sizes and shapes now line East 83rd Street between York and East End Avenues — all created by one man.

The crafter likes to keep his anonymity, said a woman who was among the first to receive a birdhouse as a gift.

Alexandra Diaz, whose family owns the Yorkafe coffee shop on the block, said a man who lives on the street and frequents the cafe brought in a birdhouse several months ago as a gift for the neighborhood.

He didn't stop there, making more than a dozen more, all while letting his good deeds remain anonymous.

"He's an angel for us and for the whole street," Ms. Diaz said. "He does it because it makes him happy and he's always helping."


Some of the birdhouses have specific addresses on them, corresponding to the building it sits across from. Others have words like "peace," "home" and "good times" etched into the solid wood homes or into pieces of scrap wood seemingly picked up off the ground and nailed into the tiny structures.

Some are red, others are yellow and some are multi-colored.


"They're very personal,"  she said. "They're for everybody and made for free."

Diaz said the man also tends to the block's tree pits, keeping them tidy and fixing them when they need it.


Richard Janoff, 55, who has lived on the block for more than two decades, said he isn't aware of who's responsible for the birdhouses but whomever it is has added purpose to the street.

"It adds to the neighborhood — it's phenomenal," he said. "Not enough people care [about keeping up the neighborhood]."