Backyard Chirper

EARLYBIRD SPRING SALE ends 03/15/24! $10 off your next purchase of $100 or more. Code: EARLY10

Artist Arranges Birds Into Perfect Flying Pattern

People experience birds in vastly different ways. Some have a casual relationship with birds, just seeing them around the city, while others go out of their way to feed birds..

Still what I enjoy most is when people use birds in art. From the paintings of Chris Lodge to paper sculptures by Diana Herrera, people express their love for birds in different ways.

When you first look at the photos of birds by Shaun Kardinal, you’ll undoubtedly think to yourself that you’ve never seen birds fly like that before. In fact, you haven’t.

Using photo editing software, Kardinal organizes the birds into complex patterns like spirals and crowded squares. No, the images aren’t technically difficult, but the results are fun and unique. The art cleverly takes something we’re all familiar with — a flock of birds — and twists them to conform to a specific guideline. The fun part is that it’s not necessarily hard to believe birds would fly in a pattern like this. Geese do fly in an intricate triangle formation.

Here’s more on how Kardinal came up with the idea as reported by Wired:

“I just saw a bird photo on a friend’s Facebook and it kind of came to me,” says Kardinal who is 32 and lives in Seattle, where he makes his living as a designer and web developer.

His process wasn’t terribly complicated. In addition to images shared by friends, Kardinal sought images online. Because birds are often photographed against the sky, it was easy to cut them out of the image, then smooth out the background. The most complex part was coming up with the patterns.

For further prove this is a product of the 21st century, the art exhibition was released entirely on Instagram and took off on Tumblr, helping it go viral.

You can read more about the exhibition’s commentary on the art world in Wired, but for now, let’s look at a few pictures. You can see the rest at




Timothy Martinez Jr. is a writer and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Remapping Debate in New York City and other publications. He’s been a bird lover since he was young and currently lives in New Orleans, L.A.