Our followers who appreciate clocks are also often lovers of automata and early robots. There is a great article at The Smithsonian Magazine on a short history of robot birds. There's also a great preceding post on the history of the cuckoo clock.
We at North Coast Imports have often pointed out the importance of the development of the cuckoo clock and it's eventual ancestral relation to the modern computer. Be sure to check out our website at www.NorthCoastImports.com/museum for a wealth of information on the history of clocks in general.
The Smithsonian article cites the work of Archytas of Tarentum (c. 350 B.C.) which included a mechanical wooden dove and flying, and of course the famous 18th Century automata from France and Switzerland.
[via The Smithsonian Magazine]