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earthbox

An eco-friendly birdhouse designed for the tree swallow

     A birdhouse’s main purpose is to shelter birds, protecting them from the elements and various predators while they nest and lay eggs. earthbox not only meets the specific needs of the Tree Swallow, but gives them a home without the use of glues, metal, or any other non-biodegradable materials. This birdhouse was designed to be mass manuafacturable and relatively inexpensive. Material and processing costs totalled to about $20.

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   The process of laser cutting allowed for the addition of small wall vents located on the back of the enclosure. These shape of the vents are thin and uniquely shaped in order to minimize water intake and maximize heat escape.

 

     earthbox's living roof has a number of advantages. Its angle prevents rain from entering the entrance hole and upper vents. It also acts as a secondary food supply for the Tree Swallow as while its primary food source is insects, it can survive on seeds provided by the living roof during the winter months. Grasses and mosses also can retain water enabling the bird to drink water without leaving the vicinity of its enclosure. A slit at the bottom of the roof enables any build up of water and moisture to escape to avoid rotting wood.

THE TREE SWALLOW RESEARCH

DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

     Waste and water accumulation on the inside of can be deadly for developing birds. earthbox is equipped with multiple ways of keeping the inside of the enclosure clean, and waste and water free. The base of the shelter fits into the aviary in a way that leaves the edges surrounding it open, allowing waste and water to drain out of the birdhouse. The space allowed for the drainage is small and is not enough for fledglings to fall through. The second method earthbox uses is a slit that allows a person to pull the base of the enclosure out, all debris accumulated on the inside is pushed off and falls to the ground through the now bottomless shelter. The base can be slid back into place allowing for new or returning birds to roost in a clean, dry space.

     Due to the shape of the enclosure, the interior space is a little larger than recommended to ensure fledglings can have the space to instinctively flap their wings as they grow.

     The supports going across the inside of the earthbox also act as an inner perch for parent birds to stand and feed their young. In addition, the inner perches combined with the depth inhibit any predators from reaching into the enclosure and snatching the young.

     earthbox is made entirely out of wood. Each piece has been laser cut to exact dimensions which allows the user to build the enclosure by locking edges in together and using wooden dowels to keep layers together and act as supports. This lowers the overall cost of the unit and raises simplicity. Every piece can be dissasembled and reassembled at anytime including the main enclosure and the living roof.

© 2021 by Michael Rubin.

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