Well, it seems I can build a small seagull that moves his head! Here is how I did it. Start with a 7/16" dowel and round off the end. This is going to be the top of his head.
Cut it to length, about 3/4", and drill a 1/16" hole into the centre of the bottom. This will be where the rod to swivel the head will go.
Make the beak starting with drilling a 7/16" hole in a piece of basswood. This will provide the curved surface which will be glued to the dowel rod. Cut the beak shape from the block contouring the edges before gluing to the dowel.
Into a block drill a 5/64" hole for the head and two 3/32" holes for the legs and cut out the shape for the body of the gull.
Make a horizontal cut dividing the top and bottom of the body at the widest point of the body.
Dig out a 5/16" deep bowl in the lower part of the body. Solder a small piece of 1mm brass wire around a 1/16" rod which will turn the head. Leave the legs wide enough to receive a 1/16" drive rod. Insert one 3/32" tube into one leg hole and a solid bar into the other. Bend a small offset in the crank and trim the end so it does not hit the upper half of the block, but merely touches it.
Glue the body back together. Slide the head on the post and test the mechanism. Finally carve the rounded shape of the of the gull from the block.
Here is the finished gull waiting for paint and addition to the automata mechanism!
Automata is a creative blend of my life interests , engineering, art and woodworking.