Here are some bird designs for the ones that stare at Aluki and transform into the Creature. So they need to be very starey. I'm basing them on the Inuit owl carving shown below.
I tried carving a bird out of balsa wood, but it was very hard to even get this crude shape, so I do not think balsa is a suitable material to make the puppets out of. It does have a cool texture though. Shame.