This project is not difficult - my kid even helped me create some--it's kind of like working with playdough, but it IS time consuming. But the results are just too cool!
The birds themselves are (mostly) cake donut holes, covered in marshmallow fondant. Marshmallow fondant is cheap and easy to make, and tastes much better than regular fondant, however it doesn't get or stay as stiff as regular fondant (particularly the next day, it tends to droop), so you can't make these quite as 3D as you could with regular fondant. But they are much tastier than a ball of 'real' fondant would be!
Step 1: Prepare your cupcake base
I'd suggest doing this the day before.
Save about 1/2 cup of icing for the bird preparation step.
If you want to do a yellow triangle bird, you'll need a square block of cake to cut your pyramid shape out of. I made a small loaf pan of some of the extra batter from the cupcake batch, and used that. You could also just a small loaf of purchased poundcake or similar.
Step 2: Make your marshmallow fondant
Make this the night before.
Follow the recipe here: http://foodwhirl.com/techniques/technique-make-marshmallow-fondant
For 12 birds, you can do 1/2 recipe (1 lb sugar and 8 oz (1/2 large bag) marshmallows). But to be on the safe side since it's cheap, you can go ahead and make the whole batch -- that way you don't have to worry about running out., and allows for mistakes where you have to redo a bird.
Also, I didn't have any Crisco on hand, so I just skipped using it. Your hands get sticky at the beginning, but just keep working with it and you'll be fine.