For the Birds

Trust Me Downy

Ellen Van Dusen
Cedar, exterior paint
5 in. × 5 in. × 14 in.
Rose Garden

During the pandemic, Ellen Van Dusen bought a bird feeder for the first time. “Of all the birds that visit my backyard,” Van Dusen says, “the downy woodpecker is the most exciting and elusive. They are loud, destructive, personable, and cute.” Van Dusen’s birdhouse, painted black and white with a distinct red band, is modeled after the downy woodpecker itself. “Imagine a really big version of a downy woodpecker,” she says, “but make it a birdhouse.”

  • A smiling woman sits indoors amid healthy houseplants, holding a small dog on her lap

    Ellen Van Dusen (b. 1986, U.S.) is a Brooklyn-based designer known for her use of color and pattern. In 2010, she launched Dusen Dusen, a womenswear line featuring her bold, original prints on versatile silhouettes. Dusen Dusen expanded with the launch of home textiles including bedding, throws, pillows and towels, now the focus of the brand. Each season, the collection is inspired by fine art and commercial and naïve design, as well as the brain’s reaction to color, movement, and contrast.

    Artist website:
    Instagram: @dusendusen

Photo: Kat Slootsky


Hyper Happy
Eleanor Friedberger

This recording from The Birdsong Project was selected to complement this birdhouse.

Birdhouse Location