Image via: Ooms
Sooo, birdhouses these days are made from a variety of materials: plastic, recycled plastic, composite, wood, reclaimed wood, recycled milk jugs, you get the picture. And, oftentimes birdhouses today come with upgrades and new gadgets, like lids and mesh to keep squirrels out or special compartments for different food types, etc etc. But, to be honest, birds have gotten along for years without manmade birdhouses and mother nature has gotten along just fine for all of these years without the need for electricity and it seems she was better off without it. Thank you, climate change. So why would birds need solar power on their homes? Is it to power the saunas in their birdbaths? Are we going to have to start monitoring the carbon footprint of our winged friends as they too enter the modern, digital, electrified age? Turns out, Ooms, the Dutch design studio that also brought us the Wooden USB Stick is at it again merging nature with technology in their latest design - the solar birdhouse. Now, we must ask, why is solar for the birds? Turns out a very tiny solar panel on the roof, charges a very small battery inside the house which then is used for light at night. The light is not intentionally to help the birds find their way home, but rather to lure bugs essentially right onto the bird's dinner table. The light draws the bugs near and the birds pop their head out for a snack.
Odd as they may be, these birdhouses have given us something to think about. No telling whether mother nature will figure out this trick and learn to stay away from this lighthouse of doom, or whether this will somehow teach baby birds not to forage for their own food if all they have to do is lift their head out of bed. Will we soon find ourselves with birds that are obese and can't fend for themselves? Or will we find that suddenly backyard barbecues are suddenly a lot more fun now that there are fewer bugs around?
Also, to be noted is that the birdhouse is best installed on a wall or some area that won't get shade. Hanging in the birdhouse in a tree, seemingly where many birdhouses (both real and fake) are installed, will more than likely just block light to the panel defeating the purpose of the solar power, but not damaging the essential functions of a bird house. Also, its hoped that the battery is either protected by some wall or barrier, otherwise the birds could essentially disrupt this circuit while setting up home.
If you want to give birds a leg up over nature and bring food right to their doorstep, literally, you can find the Ooms birdhouse online. The birdhouse itself measures 18 X 9 X 9 cm. Currently they retail for 70 Euro. :Ooms
More on Birdhouses
Gifts for Kids: Solar Birdhouse Kit
Make a Little Recycled Birdhouse in Your Soul
DIY: Minimalist Gourd Birdhouse
Flatpack Birdhouse by Thomas Rasmussen