Huevo al Nido (Egg to Nest)
Brackenridge Park Birdhouse


Architecture, Landscape Architecture


Estimates suggest that in the next fifteen years there will be over 450,000 acres of habitat loss in the hill country surrounding San Antonio due to poorly planned urban and industrial incursions. Climate factors create further stress on bird life where up to 30% of songbird nesting areas may soon be lost. Snøhetta, in addition to ten other architecture studios, designed birdhouses for an exhibition in Brackenridge Park in San Antonio, Texas to support a park restoration initiative. 

Technical details

Installation & Commissions
San Antonio, Texas, USA

Photo: Image by Josh Huskin

Organized by local manufacturer Lucifer Lighting and American music producer Randall Poster, the 2023 Brackenridge Park Conservancy Gala in early April featured custom sculptural and organic birdhouses, made for a wide range of species. The collection, known as "Birdsong Brackenridge," was displayed at the McNay Art Museum before being permanently installed in the park.

Craig Dykers and Elaine Molinar collected found materials for Huevo al Nido (Egg to Nest) for the small passerine bird, Carolina Chickadee. San Antonio’s Carolina Chickadee is a cove nesting songbird often using hollows of tree trunks in wooded areas to raise chicks and are among the most challenged. 

Our bird nest is simply an egg for eggs, composed of found or reused materials. Most dramatic of the found objects is the use of a repurposed ostrich egg which was acquired in a local flea market in Brooklyn. A 1-1/8” hole was carefully cut into the face of the egg for access and is about 4” above the bottom of the egg. These are dimensions favored by the chickadee. A small wood ledge at the opening helps for smoother access. Moss is provided inside to start the nest. The egg shape also keeps predatory mammals from entering the nest.

Carolina Chickadee
Image Courtesy: Indiana Audubon

The egg is anchored onto a large piece of repurposed Douglas Fir that was taken from a demolished 1930’s one story commercial building in Rego Park, Queens, New York City. Nails were removed and the wood is left unfinished, using only the natural patina the wood acquired during its over fifty years exposed to the weather.

A small moss-covered branch dropped from a 140-year-old Catalpa tree is used to create a small perch outside the nest. While not necessary for the chickadee’s access to the nest, it does provide a resting place for the bird before entering.