Kenny Be's Yard Arteology: Birdhouse Village

The study of neighbors through their lawn ornaments...

Figure 12. South Park Hill: Birdhouse Village

A yard arteologist once said, "Some of us are born in birdhouses, some of us make birdhouses, and some of us have birdhouses thrust upon us." The comment was made while examining a shipment of newly constructed birdhouses that had just arrived from a recently retired parent. Who else but a retiree would have the time to consider the creature comforts of our feathered friends, let alone the desire to spend hours away from friends and family absorbed in the construction of public birdhousing? As harmless as it sounds, birdhouse makers are the enablers that make it easier for birdhouse collectors to continue down the slippery slope to becoming songbird slumlords.

The variety of designs and construction styles seen in Figure 12 indicates that this home owner is a complete birdhouse addict. One can imagine that it all started out innocently with half-a-dozen birdhouses, to which additions were made by gift-giving family members and codependent neighbors on birthdays and holidays. The hanging style suggests that this yard artist believes he is providing much-needed bird shelter, when in fact he is flooding the birdhousing market with units that are easily vandalized by gangs of inner-city squirrels. Recent studies demonstrate that these types of aviary apartment arrangements generate copious amounts of bird shit and are actually constructed by home owners to deter neighbors from parking in front of their house.

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