Today, 58% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, according to the UN. As a result, animals are forced to find ways to live in tight urban spaces and it’s not always easy. And birds are no exception.
It turns out, a creative design was key to solving a decline in urban bird populations. It all started when the Dutch product design agency Klaas Kuiken came up with the idea to design a roof tile that doubles as a bird house. The idea was snatched by Hitit Terra, a Turkish terracotta manufacturer based in the town of Çorum, which then started producing the bird nest tiles for the local communities. Mahmoud Basic, the regional director for the national parks, told a local news website that the tiles were to be produced and distributed to the people free of charge.
The Turkish company Hitit Terra is now manufacturing these roof tiles that double as bird shelters. The Hitit Terra founders, Cengiz Başaranhıncal and Ali Arslan, said that the idea to produce bird nest tiles came after they saw the design on social media. Ali explained that the price of the tile online came out at around $65, which, in his opinion, was too high and they started making their own product for a local market.
Hitit Terra’s bird nest tiles were tested by Afyon Nature Conservation and the 5th Regional Directorate of National Parks and re-designed according to the demand. They now produce 4-5 different tile designs that accommodate different bird species.
In fact, bird houses are rooted in Turkish history. Back in the times of the Ottoman Empire, people would build elaborate miniature palaces for the birds. Not only did they give animals shelter, they were also believed to grant good deeds to whoever built them.