Animal Architecture…

Some of the most amazing architects and designers are the most unsuspecting creatures. They are inventive, resourceful and meticulous when designing their living spaces and homes!

We started our exploration of the subject by watching short clips of animals and how they build their spaces. Then we went out to the river to spend time looking for muskrat burrows that have become rather plentiful this winter. On our walk back home, we collected natural supplies that would eventually assist us in building a structure that was inspired by animal homes we had learned about prior to our outdoor excursion.

It was tougher than it appeared! Those are super dexterous creatures with a whole lot of patience! Check out our creations… a mud type tube inspired by mud wasps and sparrows that used shells, stones and clay to make a safe (although not waterproof!) place for a small creature, and a sewn leaf home inspired by the Tailor Bird’s nest. Olive thought it was really pretty left flat, so while it wouldn’t protect anything from a predator, it might be found near or as part of a Bowerbird’s installation. If you haven’t seen these, look them up -They are INCREDIBLE!

A muskrat burrow in the Kalamazoo River…



An actual Tailor Birds’s nest


An actual Barn Swallow’s nest…


There is an incredible documentary by National Geographic, Amazing Animal Homes that is well worth watching. It is an inside look at birds, mammals and insects and the way they construct!  Next time you are outside, look all around, you’d be surprised where animal architectures are at work!

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