Bird lovers must build birdhouses which protect our feathered friends, architects say

ZEYNEP ESRA İSTANBULLU
ISTANBUL
Published 13.06.2016 19:39
Bird lovers must build birdhouses which protect our feathered friends, architects say

Decorating birdhouses in bright, vibrant colors and designing them to resemble miniature versions of real homes, caravans or even windmills has become a popular trend. Construction market shelves and internet cafes are even decorated with a wide variety of birdhouses, which bring color and attitude to small spaces. However, the functionality of these birdhouses as actual habitats for live birds remains a mystery. Architect Funda Varlık and interior architect Oya Çavdar have brought this issue to the fore, claiming that the construction of these modern birdhouses could result in the deaths of birds, despite the maker's good intentions. Varlık and Çavdar stress that the construction of birdhouses includes a set of standards that must be adhered to to ensure that the houses offer peace, happiness and health to our little, feathered friends. "Birdhouses that have interesting designs painted in bright colors can pose a threat to birds. Studies conducted in Europe revealed that bright colors could invite birds of prey, potentially threatening the lives of smaller birds. Moreover, squirrels and cats are also drawn to bright colors. Therefore, people should stick to subtle designs for birdhouses," said Varlık.

Apart from the dangerous threats posed by other animals, birdhouses that are not built according to standards will not protect birds from weather conditions like freezing temperatures, rain or excessive heat. Namely, since ceramic birdhouses do not offer adequate protection from weather conditions and birdhouses with metal roofs allow excessive sunlight to enter, birds could be exposed to excessive heat that poses a major threat to their health. On the other hand, metal and plastic birdhouses could cause birds to become wet and cold during winter. "Unfortunately, you could witness the deaths of birds inside these houses," Varlık and Çavdar stressed.

The nests and birdhouses designed for sparrows, swallows and starlings, which are typically placed in gardens, should be simple in design. Rather than building birdhouses with nontraditional models and materials, people should construct wooden nests that closely resemble bird nests. While birdhouses are being painted and presented for use under the auspice of social responsibility projects, people must avoid using toxic paints when painting the homes of these winged creatures.

The architects also emphasized that that people should give priority to the care of small birds who are in need of extra care while taking into consideration the longtime tradition of using wooden birdhouses.

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