How Quirky is Berkeley? Animal mailboxes

Pig mailbox at 1198 Keeler Street.  Photo: Tom Dalzell
Pig mailbox at 1198 Keeler St. Photo: Tom Dalzell

The phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” is not as old as you might think — early 20th century, born of the advertising industry’s grasp of the importance of visualization.

Thus it is with the quirky animal mailboxes of Berkeley. There isn’t a lot to be said about them that the images don’t say. So – here are a baker’s dozen of the better ones.

Cow mailbox at 1145 Keith Street.  Photo: Tom Dalzell
Cow mailbox at 1145 Keith St. Photo: Tom Dalzell
Reptile mailbox at 1409 Walnut Street.  Photo: Tom Dalzell
Reptile mailbox at 1409 Walnut St. Photo: Tom Dalzell
Cat mailbox at 1110 Chaucer Street.  Photo: John Storey
Cat mailbox at 1110 Chaucer St. Photo: John Storey
Hummingbird mailbox at 1909 San Antonio Street.  Photo: Tom Dalzell
Hummingbird mailbox at 1909 San Antonio St. Photo: Tom Dalzell
Pelican mailbox at 1811 Capistrano Street.  Photo: Tom Dalzell
Pelican mailbox at 1811 Capistrano St. Photo: Tom Dalzell
Duck mailbox at 1748 Marin Avenue.  Photo: John Storey
Duck mailbox at 1748 Marin Ave. Photo: John Storey
Cow Mailbox at 520 The Alameda.  Photo: Colleen Neff
Cow mailbox at 520 The Alameda. Photo: Colleen Neff
Fish mailbox at 1646 Fifth Street.  Photo: Tom Dalzell
Fish mailbox at 1646 Fifth St. Photo: Tom Dalzell
Cat mailbox at 1090 Cragmont Avenue.  Photo: Tom Dalzell
Cat mailbox at 1090 Cragmont Ave. Photo: Tom Dalzell
Fish mailbox at 550 Arlington.  Photo: Tom Dalzell
Fish mailbox at 550 The Arlington. Photo: Tom Dalzell
Swan mailbox at 2904 Garber Street.  Photo: Tom Dalzell
Swan mailbox at 2904 Garber St. Photo: Tom Dalzell
Rooster mailbox at 138 Uplands  Photo: Tom Dalzell
Rooster mailbox at 138 The Uplands. Photo: Tom Dalzell

There are many more, some simpler, some as elaborate as these, and some more abstract. They all scream “quirk!”

For a fuller treatment of the animal mailboxes of Berkeley, see Quirky Berkeley.


Tom Dalzell, a labor lawyer, created a website, Quirky Berkeley, to share all the whimsical objects he has captured with his iPhone. The site now has more than 8,600 photographs of quirky objects around town as well as posts where the 30-year resident muses on what it all means.This is the tenth installment in the series.

Dalzell is leading two guided walks in Berkeley in November: “Telegraph, Then and Now,” a Berkeley Path Wanderers’ walk, with co-leader Ted Friedman on Nov. 2.; and “Telegraph Avenue in the Sixties,” a Berkeley Historical Society walk, on Nov. 8.