Bird feeder “reality show” a hit for NRK

Slow TV brings a bird feeder designed as a coffee shop to three month live stream

Denise Leland
Norwegian American Weekly

With reality shows being all the rage these days, it’s no surprise that the TV spotlight is getting increasingly bizarre and unconventional. From the Kardashians to Duck Dynasty, the focus of these shows is commonly put on families, businesses, and humans. But not in Norway.

NRK has joined forces with idea man and photographer Magne Klann and model maker Lars Aurtrade to bring a live 24/7 stream to the internet, all from the inside of a bird feeder designed as a coffee shop.

With no outside interference from the humans behind it all, the “coffee bar” is filled with seed and left open for birds to come eat, hang out, and hopefully nest. It is a rare and rather odd look at the spontaneity of nature amidst a cute and humorous background.

Photo courtesy of NRK.no Birds hang out at this bird feeder modeled after a hip Oslo cafe.

Photo courtesy of NRK.no
Birds hang out at this bird feeder modeled after a hip Oslo cafe.

The regular patrons to the coffee bar thus far have blue and great tit birds (what Americans would call “chickadees”). There have also been frequent visits from a nuthatch, bullfinch, and to add some drama, a squirrel.

Photo courtesy of NRK.no The "coffee bar" is even popular among squirrels!

Photo courtesy of NRK.no
The “coffee bar” is even popular among squirrels!

Of course the peculiarity of this event has gone viral on the internet, striking interest all across the globe. Social media platforms like Twitter have been marking it all, with Twitter handles like “#piipshow” and “nrkpiip” lighting up all month long in March. Even Norway’s Princess Mette-Marit has hopped on the bandwagon and tweeted that the piip show is “the best thing on the internet.”

But this isn’t the first time Norway has brought a so-called “Slow TV” broadcast to the world. Back in 2003 a similar project was launched with a live stream of a bird house aesthetically designed as a doll house. More recently was November’s knitting marathon, which was even broadcast on one of NRK’s cable television channels. For some reason, Norway has discovered this odd live stream niche and the world seems to be eating it up.

The live stream will continue on through June, with talk of potential increase in excitement levels as the birds begin their nesting season soon.

You can watch the live stream on nrk.no/piipshow.

This article originally appeared in the April 11, 2014 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (800) 305-0271.

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