Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture
Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture

Truckee Artist Recreates Historical Landmarks: Greg Zirbel

Posted on March 23, 2013
Filed Under Featured Artists, Made by Tahoe

Birdhouse-Truckee Veterans Hall Greg ZirbelHere’s one for the birds. After 30 years, this Truckee local is back home and has brought a little something with him, amazing talent. Greg Zirbel, artist and owner of NeatTweets has taken his Tahoe Truckee High School woodshop skills, mixed them with his love of art, nature and a little historical lumber and turns out the most beautiful birdhouses you’ve ever seen.

Not just birdhouses, historical landmark replicas are his specialty. These functional master pieces are not just birdhouses, but function as feeders as well. Each one has a story of its own and are well documented which really adds to there appeal.

“It feels great that I’m able to save a little bit of California’s gold rush history by creating these whimsical replicas of our historical landmarks”.

About Greg Zirbel:

Born March 6, 1962, at Merritt Hospital in Oakland, then at just two weeks old, my parents, my two older brothers and I in tow moved up to Truckee where I developed my appreciation for the great outdoors. Soon after graduating I moved to Sonoma County to attend Santa Rosa Junior College. I soon landed a driving job with UPS where I worked for a dozen years until I hurt my back in 1992. This is when I decided to make my own Christmas gifts from reclaimed lumber since I was top woodshop student at TNT.

It just so happened that I ran into what was once the largest pig farm in Sonoma County on Railroad Avenue just south of Cotati. I ended up building about 350 birdhouses from that lumber, many resembling historical Sonoma County landmarks with an old west whimsical look to them. Most people who see them say they’re the most beautiful birdhouses they’ve ever seen.

Well, I moved on and spent the next 17 years working in the IT field as Technical Support Specialist. Laid off once again in 2009 I told myself I’m glad to be off that roller-coaster ride and have moved back home to Truckee into the same house I grow up in since 1964. Along the way I’ve never been without my camera and have amassed many images of nature’s beauty, but also missed building my Birdhouses. Well, I’ve recently been putting much more time into my art which is what I was meant to do anyway because it’s what I love to do. It feels great that I’m able to save a bit of California’s Gold Rush history by creating my whimsical replicas of our historical landmarks and wineries.

Contact Greg Zirbel at 707-217-3690 or, and be sure to visit

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