Bird collection brings colorful charm to the community

The collection includes a variety of birds such as a cardinal, Leach’s first figurine, a hummingbird and more. (Photo by Alyssa Riccardi)

BRICK – A resident’s porcelain bird collection has brought a vibrant aura to the Brick Township Municipal Complex as the community jumps into the spring season.

Tucked inside the municipal complex is a beautiful storefront maintained by the Brick Township Historical Society. The evergreen storefront is constantly changing to showcase new collections owned by residents of the community.

In the past, the display case contained items such as Christmas nutcrackers, antique handbags and hats, dolls, boats and nautical items, automotive items and more.

“So many people are admiring the window display,” said Peggy Voss of the Brick Township Historical Society. “People come to see me or I go to departments and ask if anyone has a collection they would like to exhibit. When I know I have something to put in, I get really excited.

The newest exhibit is a collection of Lenox birds by The Brick resident Ruth Leach. These figurines are fine china and Leach has been collecting them for years.

“I saw an ad for one and bought it. I ended up buying 15 afterwards,” Leach explained. “I love birds. At the time, I was living in Lakewood and my children gave me a wonderful cabinet of curiosities. So, I had a place to put them.

Resident Ruth Leach pictured with her Lenox bird display. (Photo courtesy of Brick Township Historical Society)

“I tried to downsize a bit, so I had them all packed up in the boxes they came in. But I know Jane Fabach from the Historical Society and I can’t remember how we ended up talking about the birds. , but she says Peggy would love to have that display. That’s how they ended up in the storefront,” Leach added.

Leach has collected a wide variety of different porcelain birds over a 10 year period, ranging from small, intricate birds with flowers to larger ones propped up in a nest with eggs.

“I’ve had them for about 15 years; a long time,” Leach said. “The first one I bought was the Cardinal. I’ve always liked cardinals. I had a whole display of birds in my backyard at Lakewood. I’m not really at home in Brick anymore, but in my old garden I had all kinds of birds. I had a bird feeder and kept it full for them. I’ve always loved watching them.

Photo by Alyssa Riccardi

“The cardinal started the whole collection. Then I bought some of the more popular birds, but I loved them, I thought they were so pretty,” added Leach.

Leach even remembered a time when she brought home leftover food to feed all the birds in her garden.

“When I worked in a school kitchen, I got permission to take home the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that weren’t selling and give them to the birds. Meanwhile, I would also have this squirrel, and if I didn’t have this peanut butter and jelly sandwich, it would jump up on the screen to let me know it was waiting,” Leach said.

You can view Leach’s entire Lenox bird collection in the display case located inside the Brick Township Municipal Complex, 401 Chambers Bridge Road.

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