A Bird Flies Into a Bar

Photograph by Magne Klann and Lars Aurtande

A Bird Flies Into a Bar

In Norway's latest melodrama, there are fewer tears, more tweets. 

By Purbita Saha
Published: July-August 2014

Two strangers meet at a bar. They flirt. They squabble. They move in together and start a family. 

This is the story of Silje and Pal, Norway's celebrity Blue Tits. They owe their fame to Piip-Show, a live webcast by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation that drew thousands of viewers a day after it launched in March (http:// www.nrk.no/piipshow). Even the country's crown princess got hooked.

Artist and bird enthusiast Magne Klann is the mastermind behind the spectacle. He and illustrator Lars Aurtande teamed up to build a bird-friendly, bird-sized replica of the Java Espressobar in Oslo, Norway, as well as a honeymoon suite/nesting box for Silje and Pal. Once Klann and Aurtande laid out the decor, the camera started rolling. The cast included wild woodpeckers, nuthatches, and hawfinches that flit on and off the set as they please. "The creatures got to live their lives," Klann says. "We just built around them."

A show without a script is bound to get rowdy, especially when the actors are so untamed. Tensions ran high one day when a pair of magpies began to brawl. On another episode, Ester the squirrel crashed the set and even took a bite out of the bar. (Despite the on-camera evidence, she was never formally charged.) Klann eventually repaired the set, taking note that cardboard and wood aren't squirrel-proof.

For all the drama, the show ended on a happy note: Silje and Pal's chicks grew up and flew the coop. Klann and Aurtande are now working on a children's book chronicling the lives of the Blue Tit starlets. As for the show, the question on all our minds: Will there be a season two?

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Purbita Saha

Purbita Saha is a reporter for Audubon Magazine whose conservation interests lie in bird and insect behavior. Her Twitter handle is @hahabita

Type: Author | From: Audubon Magazine




You can see something like it

You can see something like it by watching the various nest cams that show live birds. The drama is real and very addicting to watch and chat with other watchers.

Wish we had this on TV in the

Wish we had this on TV in the USA. Better than most of what we can get no doubt. I like the furniture, though I'm guessing the birds don't care.

What a thrill to be able to

What a thrill to be able to view without disturbing

Will love!

Will love!

Love it! I'm sure America

Love it! I'm sure America will now make our own version, using only the most beautiful, large breasted birds, of course.... ;(

I have to see this!

I have to see this!

This is great we need this in

This is great we need this in the usa

This was absolutely the most

This was absolutely the most wonderful idea!

This is fantastic....someone

This is fantastic....someone needs to do this in the US

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