Crematorium Memorial Bird Boxes
Avian themes are replete in modern memorial practices and seemingly they have a special place in the commemoration of the cremated dead in our contemporary world. I addressed dimensions of this in relation to cemeteries, but also gardens of remembrance at crematoria in previous posts, including environments which foster avian presences – woodlands, lawns and bodies of water – as well as specific material cultures – dovecotes and bird baths. Avian motifs are a common element on gravestones and ornaments placed on graves.
One element I haven’t addressed before are actual bird boxes fixed to trees within gardens of remembrance. I saw these this year at Landican Cemetery and Crematorium, Wirral. These bird boxes are positioned without attention to isolated locations to prioritise fostering breeding birds. Instead, they are not only tightly clustered together, situated within the busiest location at the centre of the crematorium gardens as one element in an arrangement of kerb-side memorial plaques in the crematorium gardens.
Representing birds and encouraging birdlife constitutes a versatile set of memorial themes in contemporary mortuary commemoration. What remains unclear is whether the examples like this are exceptional or commonplace. Any further examples are very welcome!