I’ve seen — and blogged about — enough birdhouses to safely say that avian abodes truly do come in all and shapes and sizes, from shovel/birdhouse combos, to faux security camera birdhouses, to birdhouses with solar-powered landing strips. Now, thanks to Dutch designer Klaas Kuiken, we can add roof tile birdhouses to the list.
While I don’t know much about Kuiken (which is Dutch for "chicken" if I'm not mistaken) or his conceptual tile birdhouses, simply called “Birdhouse,” I do know that I like them. I especially admire the big-hearted intention behind Kuiken's design, which is expected to go on sale in the spring of 2011: “Nowadays birds are not welcome under rooftiles anymore, so they lost a beautiful nest place. Placing a house on top of a rooftile, now created a nice place for a birdsnest. And also better to spot!”
Points out TreeHugger’s Stephen Messenger:
As our communities continue to encroach upon on wildlife habitats, displaced birds have had to be creative when it comes to finding a residence, which is often in man-made structures where we never intended them to be. Sure, we've tried to make it up to our feathered friends with the occasional bird feeder or bird bath — but none of that says 'I'm sorry' quite like inviting them to move-in upstairs.
Nifty. But if rooftop solar panels are having a hard enough time getting green lit from conformity-obsessed HOAs in some communities, I do wonder how a roof festooned with clay birdhouses would fare. Not too well, I’m guessing.
And while clever, I also wonder how hot these birdhouses could become when directly exposed to sunlight. A bit toasty, I imagine, so strategic placement is probably in order to prevent a place of refuge from becoming a deathtrap.
On his website,
Nicholas Chicken Kuiken mentions that "functional changes in the interest of the well-being of the birds" are being made to the birdhouse before it's released. Maybe the potential oven thing has something to do with it.
One thing is for sure, if Kuiken ever needs a collaborator that's similarly concerned with providing housing for displaced birds, I know just the person: Gitta Gschwendtner, the designer behind Animal Wall, a 1,000 unit bird and bat condo in Cardiff, Wales.