The Society for a Re-Natural Environment constantly seeks to uncover examples of how animals are adaptating to the ever increasing number of habitats that have become human dominated. In addition to documenting and raising awareness about this phenomenon, we sometimes deem it appropriate to propose strategies to help reimagine our coexistence with animals who have adapted to live in our built environment. These proposals are designed to reduce conflict and benefit both non-human animals and the human animals who encounter them.
To this end we present a project designed to investigate wild birds that visit and sometimes take up residence in and around big box stores. Our investigation led us to developed a plan to shift this phenomenon from a perceived negative into a potential positive: rather than viewing birds as nuisances, consumers can take pleasure and interest in their avian neighbors.
Our proposal is hatched from the belief that today's big box shopping experience has great untapped potential regarding its avifauna. What if we combine shopping with an activity akin to bird watching, going on a nature walk, or visiting an aviary at a zoo? Our proposed Bird-Enhanced Stores, or “Big Box Aviaries,” offer a non-destructive way for companies to manage their existing bird populations while establishing a more stimulating environment for their customers.