Rufous Hornero (Furnarius rufus) is a bird symbol from Argentina. Typically from South America, more common in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguai and Paraguai, this small bird is considered the first architect in history. Sustainability? They are an example for us, of how the form follows the needs, and the natural materials coming back to nature.
Always in couples, together they build (team work) an interesting nest, in a baker oven shape (ergonomic), that is easily observed between the branches of trees or in wooden posts (local materials). Friendly animals, during the rain periods (June/August) they can be seen walking on the ground, searching for mud, small sticks and hale to build their home.
Extremely clever building with the mud (natural elements), the nests have always got the back wall to protect them from the rain direction (weather research), the entrance separated from the internal chamber (needs dictating the form – Bauhaus), where the female lays the eggs, protected against winds and possible predators (safety). The temperature inside this chamber is properly warm, to receive the eggs that will be laid there (thermic materials), giving life to new birds.
The birds do not use the same nest twice, and seem to build new ones, or rebuild others that have been destroyed (recycling), every season, always close to each other (urban groups, society). If the space is limited they can build more than 10 nests on top of each other (vertical buildings).
In urbanised cities they can built their nests under high windows sills (evaluating options), close to the wall, where predators have not got easy access. Takes between 20 to 30 days for them to build their homes (time efficiency), depending on the abundance of rain and mud (weather conditions). The nest is around 4 kilos, very strong, and can tolerate up 100 kilos force (structure). After the incubation period of the eggs, around 18 days, the new birds receive full attention from both birds (responsibility), that take turns to guard and feed them.
When the small birds are able to fly away, the empty nestes serve as home for other species such as sparrows and swallows (environmental responsibility) , or for small rats, geckos, snakes or even bees.
Well, nature is the first thing we have to turn our eyes to, always and forever. We still have a lot to learn…
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