Wellesley Students Build Birdhouses from Recycled Pallets

July 5, 2018

Pallets—those wooden platforms used for storage and shipping—have been enjoying new lives recently in DIY home decor as coffee tables, patio furniture, and planters, and now, at Wellesley College, as birdhouses.

Students of Andrew Mowbray, lecturer in art and director of 3D arts, who took his course in three-dimensional design this spring built 14 bird boxes in Pendleton Hall from recycled pallets, then mounted them on trees across the campus.

This summer, interns from the Paulson Ecology of Place Initiative are monitoring the boxes to see if birds are using them; much to their delight, they are! So far, a family of black-capped chickadees (the state bird of Massachusetts) and a group of tree swallows have settled in and hatched chicks, said Suzanne Langridge, director of the Paulson Initiative. And in one box the students found a surprising resident: a tree frog.

Photo Credit: Samara Pearlstein 

A student places a wooden birdhouse on a campus tree.

A Wellesley student installs one of 14 bird boxes on a campus tree.

A wooden bird box stands outside Pendelton West. A Wellesley lamp post is seen in the distance.

A bird box mounted on a tree outside Pendelton West.

Andrew Mowbray and his students stand in a group photo outside wth their bird boxes.

Mowbray with students from his class, who built and installed the bird boxes around campus.