Bird House Bricks Build Critter-Friendly Buildings

Kingston graduate designs a cavity brick that allows endangered birds to nest in new buildings and garden walls.

The U.K. sparrow population has dropped as much as 70 percent in the past three decades. Urbanization is taking away their nesting sites and the insects they feed upon. The Royal Society of Bird Protection believers their survival depends on urgent action. Aaron Dunkerton is a 22-year old Kingston University graduate who designed the Bird Brick for the conservation of House Sparrows which consists of a five-piece hand-made cavity nesting box.

Bird Brick provides a nesting site for sparrows, in the form of hand-made, clamp-fired bricks. These are installed, in clusters of two or three, into new buildings or garden walls to suit communal nesting habits. As Dunkerton commented on his website:

The material properties of brick – low thermal and moisture movement and high durability – make the cavity ideal for nesting without affecting the building structurally, as well as being visually unobtrusive.

Each cavity must be cleared out once every 2-5 years, between September and November. The stopper twists out and must then be repositioned once the brick has been cleaned The designer plans to test out the bio-centered building blocks after the winter. “I have unfortunately missed the breeding season,” he says, “but I commissioned more to be made the other day and I am hoping to install some soon to catch the breeding season next spring!”

Dunkerton’s prototype is manufactured by U.K based brick manufacturer MBH Freshfield Lane.

The assembled nest:

bird brick design 01

The cleaning process:

bird brick design 02

MBH Freshfield Lane

Images by Aaron Dunkerton

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