• Welcome to Avian Avenue! To view our forum with less advertisments please register with us.
    Memberships are free and it will just take a moment. Click here

Outdoor Parakeet Aviary

Destiny

Sprinting down the street
Joined
6/6/20
Messages
588
Real Name
Destiny
My mouth is hanging open in amazement! I am so happy for your achievement. If your budgies are as pretty as your other birds are wow! Are you in a cold climate during winter? Is there a lighting system?
I live in a temperate climate. It gets cold in the winter and we occasionally have snow or ice, but it rarely stays below freezing for prolonged periods. Likewise, our summers are relatively mild. We have hot days, but temperatures rarely stay over 90 F for long, even at the height of summer.

When designing the aviary, temperature control and draft protection were major considerations. I was more worried about it getting too cold, rather than too hot. The clear plastic paneling does not provide much (if any) insulation, so heat will be lost quickly through the roof and walls. I gave serious consideration to fully insulating the aviary so I could heat the room more easily during winter, but it wasn't possible without completely rebuilding the walls and roof. However, I didn't want to lose the natural light or tackle reconstructing the entire roof.

So rather than trying to insulate the entire structure, I decided to make a smaller box with perching space that could be insulated and heated in winter.

There are two windows on the back wall of the aviary. In the leftside window, I installed a thermostat controlled ventilation fan to vent hot air in the summer. The fan and window are covered by black wire mesh to keep the birds safe.

20200628_151636.jpg

On the other side, I setup a pair of cages on a shelf outside the window and built a wooden box to fit around them.

20200519_104216.jpg 20200519_104159.jpg 20200621_211133.jpg

In the winter, I will be adding additional insulation and using a heat panel with thermostat to keep the box comfortable for the birds. I'll also be covering the outer windows with plastic sheeting and blocking off any other sources of cold drafts.

In addition to the insulated box, I plan on setting up some kind of radiant heat inside the aviary for the birds that don't want to go inside an enclosed space, so the main perches are covered.

Without insulation, it will cost more to provide heat and it won't stay as warm, but I think it should be enough for my climate. If we have an unusually cold winter, I may need to move the birds inside, but I don't expect it will be a problem.

....

As for lighting, I use natural light during the day and I plan on adding small solar lights as "night lights" for the birds. I also have installed two shop lights that I can switch on if I need more light at night time. I mounted the lights vertically on the wall next to the two windows. The other one can be seen in the earlier photo next to the fan.

20200630_105231.jpg
 
Last edited:

hrafn

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
9/17/16
Messages
3,778
Location
Canada
What a masterpiece! Your flock is living in the lap of luxury! :drinks42:
 

Destiny

Sprinting down the street
Joined
6/6/20
Messages
588
Real Name
Destiny
The day has finally come! It is time to release my flock of parakeets into the aviary for the first time. I moved them into the boxed cages a few days prior to release day so they could acclimate to being outdoors and they could get used to some of the sights and sounds around the aviary before they left the familiar safety of a cage.

20200628_075159.jpg

Little did they know, their world was about to get a whole lot bigger.

20200630_155911.jpg

I started by opening all the doors on the two cages and seeing what would happen. Not surprisingly, the parakeets were hesitant to leave the cages. No volunteers, willing to take a chance, on an unexpectedly open door, like brave Jasper the Finch.

Fortunately, I had a secret weapon ... millet sprays!

I secured a tempting spray of golden millet on the ledge in front of the cages. And then I waited.

I didn't need to wait very long, either. Kiwi and Snowball are millet fiends. Pretty sure they would hop through fire for a chance at a millet spray. A scary open door was not even going to slow them down.

As soon as the first budgies were out, the rest followed, and in a few moments the millet was covered in hungry budgies. I was about to take a quick photo when something must have startled the birds ... because they took flight abruptly88. Half a dozen budgies launched into the air in all directions, flapping wings and blue tail feathers everywhere.

A few budgies were still in the cages, but most of them were scattered around the aviary, on the floor, on the wire, on the branches. Very confused and frightened. Most of them froze where they landed, not sure what to do next. A few tried to fly, with mixed results, mostly ending up at ground level. They were much slower, but less coordinated flyers than the finches. On the upside, most of them were able to figure out "controlled descent" and made it to the ground safely. Even better, they quickly discovered that the ground was full of cool things to eat and they all got super excited.

20200630_105703.jpg

20200630_105710.jpg
20200630_104928.jpg

I wish photos could provide sound because these parakeets were making the cutest happy chortling and chirping I've ever heard as they scuttled about on the ground like pigeons.

Most of my parakeets are still quite young and came to me with wings already clipped. None of them have had much flight practice beyond very short "flights" inside a large cage. The three youngest birds have not yet moulted so their primaries are still gone. I had hoped that they would have enough time while I worked on this project, but the aviary was finished before their wings were ready.

So I guess it shouldn't have surprised me when the parakeets decided that the ground was where they belonged. After the initial flight, the budgies all did their best to stay at floor level. Every time they were startled by a strange noise, they would temporarily burst into panicked flight ... then slowly reconverge into a ground-level flock.

20200630_104601.jpg
20200630_160041.jpg

20200630_110904.jpg

Meanwhile, the finches were curiously watching the budgies' antics from above. In just a few days, the finches had already achieved mastery over their wings and could effortlessly navigate from perch to perch. They had no trouble avoiding the frantic budgies. In fact, Crimson and Blaze seemed genuinely interested in what was happening below them.

20200701_194432.jpg

They kept moving from branch to branch above the budgie flock.

20200702_183124.jpg

At one point, they even came down to "budgie level" to check them out.

20200630_131925.jpg

The quail seemed less thrilled by the new neighbors. I get the feeling they wish all these other birds would just get off the ground and leave them in peace.

20200630_131336.jpg

Now for some introductions ....

This is Snowball. She is tiny, but fierce. And always the first to snag a treat.

20200630_132828.jpg

This is Cucumber. He is a bold and friendly budgie. One of the first ones to eat millet from my hand.

20200630_133355.jpg

This is Big Bertha. Bertha is a regal lady. Not sassy or spunky like some of my other hens. Bertha has a lot of class. She is also noticeably larger than my other budgies. But please do not call her fat. She just has big bones. I suspect she may have some English budgie in her ancestory somewhere.

20200630_133514.jpg

This is Sparky. I'm uncertain of his/her gender, due to his age and coloring. I initially named him Sunny, but he has such a fiery temper. Sparky suits him better.

20200630_132849.jpg

This is Skye. She is a calm and brave budgie. Rarely the first to approach, but almost always the second. She does not like to be touched but she loves a good bath.

20200630_133322.jpg

This is Lemondrop. She quite the character. A very adept climber who loves to dangle upside down.

20200630_132550.jpg

Here we have Cucumber on the left and Kiwi on the right. Don't tell the other budgies, but I think Kiwi is my favorite. He is such a friendly little guy and super curious. Always investigating everything around him.

20200630_154250.jpg

This is Misty. She is a sweetheart. Easily spooked but willing to trust if you are patient. And she has a soft spot for radishes.

20200630_160255.jpg

These two handsome birds are Dip and Dot. I must confess, I have a hard time telling them apart unless I check their leg bands. They are a bonded pair and tend to do everything together.

20200630_133018.jpg

Last, but certainly not least, this little gem is named Opal. I think she is female, but still fairly young, so I might be wrong. She is a little sweet, a little sassy. The best of both worlds.

20200630_180130.jpg

After a few hours, the budgies are settling in nicely. Still no upward migration, but the birds are getting more relaxed and not so easy to startle.

20200630_154429.jpg 20200630_154425.jpg 20200630_154347.jpg

Hopefully they can find the courage to perch more than four inches off the ground eventually. :D
 

Aoi♡

Meeting neighbors
Joined
6/21/20
Messages
48
Real Name
Elise
The day has finally come! It is time to release my flock of parakeets into the aviary for the first time. I moved them into the boxed cages a few days prior to release day so they could acclimate to being outdoors and they could get used to some of the sights and sounds around the aviary before they left the familiar safety of a cage.

View attachment 344519

Little did they know, their world was about to get a whole lot bigger.

View attachment 344521

I started by opening all the doors on the two cages and seeing what would happen. Not surprisingly, the parakeets were hesitant to leave the cages. No volunteers, willing to take a chance, on an unexpectedly open door, like brave Jasper the Finch.

Fortunately, I had a secret weapon ... millet sprays!

I secured a tempting spray of golden millet on the ledge in front of the cages. And then I waited.

I didn't need to wait very long, either. Kiwi and Snowball are millet fiends. Pretty sure they would hop through fire for a chance at a millet spray. A scary open door was not even going to slow them down.

As soon as the first budgies were out, the rest followed, and in a few moments the millet was covered in hungry budgies. I was about to take a quick photo when something must have startled the birds ... because they took flight abruptly88. Half a dozen budgies launched into the air in all directions, flapping wings and blue tail feathers everywhere.

A few budgies were still in the cages, but most of them were scattered around the aviary, on the floor, on the wire, on the branches. Very confused and frightened. Most of them froze where they landed, not sure what to do next. A few tried to fly, with mixed results, mostly ending up at ground level. They were much slower, but less coordinated flyers than the finches. On the upside, most of them were able to figure out "controlled descent" and made it to the ground safely. Even better, they quickly discovered that the ground was full of cool things to eat and they all got super excited.

View attachment 344522

View attachment 344523
View attachment 344524

I wish photos could provide sound because these parakeets were making the cutest happy chortling and chirping I've ever heard as they scuttled about on the ground like pigeons.

Most of my parakeets are still quite young and came to me with wings already clipped. None of them have had much flight practice beyond very short "flights" inside a large cage. The three youngest birds have not yet moulted so their primaries are still gone. I had hoped that they would have enough time while I worked on this project, but the aviary was finished before their wings were ready.

So I guess it shouldn't have surprised me when the parakeets decided that the ground was where they belonged. After the initial flight, the budgies all did their best to stay at floor level. Every time they were startled by a strange noise, they would temporarily burst into panicked flight ... then slowly reconverge into a ground-level flock.

View attachment 344525
View attachment 344528

View attachment 344532

Meanwhile, the finches were curiously watching the budgies' antics from above. In just a few days, the finches had already achieved mastery over their wings and could effortlessly navigate from perch to perch. They had no trouble avoiding the frantic budgies. In fact, Crimson and Blaze seemed genuinely interested in what was happening below them.

View attachment 344527

They kept moving from branch to branch above the budgie flock.

View attachment 344531

At one point, they even came down to "budgie level" to check them out.

View attachment 344529

The quail seemed less thrilled by the new neighbors. I get the feeling they wish all these other birds would just get off the ground and leave them in peace.

View attachment 344530

Now for some introductions ....

This is Snowball. She is tiny, but fierce. And always the first to snag a treat.

View attachment 344533

This is Cucumber. He is a bold and friendly budgie. One of the first ones to eat millet from my hand.

View attachment 344535

This is Big Bertha. Bertha is a regal lady. Not sassy or spunky like some of my other hens. Bertha has a lot of class. She is also noticeably larger than my other budgies. But please do not call her fat. She just has big bones. I suspect she may have some English budgie in her ancestory somewhere.

View attachment 344537

This is Sparky. I'm uncertain of his/her gender, due to his age and coloring. I initially named him Sunny, but he has such a fiery temper. Sparky suits him better.

View attachment 344534

This is Skye. She is a calm and brave budgie. Rarely the first to approach, but almost always the second. She does not like to be touched but she loves a good bath.

View attachment 344538

This is Lemondrop. She quite the character. A very adept climber who loves to dangle upside down.

View attachment 344539

Here we have Cucumber on the left and Kiwi on the right. Don't tell the other budgies, but I think Kiwi is my favorite. He is such a friendly little guy and super curious. Always investigating everything around him.

View attachment 344547

This is Misty. She is a sweetheart. Easily spooked but willing to trust if you are patient. And she has a soft spot for radishes.

View attachment 344548

These two handsome birds are Dip and Dot. I must confess, I have a hard time telling them apart unless I check their leg bands. They are a bonded pair and tend to do everything together.

View attachment 344549

Last, but certainly not least, this little gem is named Opal. I think she is female, but still fairly young, so I might be wrong. She is a little sweet, a little sassy. The best of both worlds.

View attachment 344550

After a few hours, the budgies are settling in nicely. Still no upward migration, but the birds are getting more relaxed and not so easy to startle.

View attachment 344552 View attachment 344553 View attachment 344551

Hopefully they can find the courage to perch more than four inches off the ground eventually. :D
Holy Moly this is amazing!
Your entire flock look so happy and joyful I am so glad you are giving them the best life!
:laugh:

Beautiful! :heart2:
 

Kiwi's Mom

Rollerblading along the road
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Joined
6/4/19
Messages
3,264
Location
Connecticut
Real Name
Riley
I didn't need to wait very long, either. Kiwi and Snowball are millet fiends. Pretty sure they would hop through fire for a chance at a millet spray. A scary open door was not even going to slow them down.
I think my Kiwi would too :rofl:

Your aviary is amazing!
 

fashionfobie

Rollerblading along the road
Mayor of the Avenue
Joined
1/4/19
Messages
3,534
Location
Qld, Australia
Real Name
Natalie
That is a fantastic space. I love the form and the way use embraced the structure. I love structural elements! Your flock is so adorable and it is great to see everyone settle in.

Really inspiring project!!
 

Lady Jane

Joyriding the Neighborhood
Avenue Veteran
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
8/25/12
Messages
23,383
Location
Maryland
Real Name
Dianne
I am so enjoying this thread and your birds. Thanks for letting us see how you can created a bird paradise. I think Sparky is female. Have you taken any precautions against predators?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ali

JLcribber

@cockatoojohn
Vendor
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Shutterbugs' Best
Avenue Concierge
Joined
10/16/09
Messages
21,889
Location
Alberta, Canada
Real Name
John
If ever there was a place that could be named Birds in Paradise. This would be it.

Those birds are going to start thriving like you’ve never seen before. I want to live there too. :hug8:
 

Destiny

Sprinting down the street
Joined
6/6/20
Messages
588
Real Name
Destiny
I am so enjoying this thread and your birds. Thanks for letting us see how you can created a bird paradise. I think Sparky is female. Have you taken any precautions against predators?
Yes, definitely. In my area, potential predators include hawks, snakes, cats, dogs, rats, and various nocturnal animals like raccoons and opossums.

I decided to keep the roof solid paneling as protection against flying predators like owls and hawks. If your aviary has a wire mesh roof, you should be wary of placing perches close to the ceiling because raptors have been known to kill small birds through wire. Either by reaching in to grab them off the roost or by scaring the aviary birds into reckless flight.

The outer wall is secured against large animals and reinforced with plywood paneling, so dogs and cats cannot enter. All gaps were filled with wood or packed copper mesh to keep out rodents and snakes. And when I installed the paver floor, I laid down heavy duty hardware cloth under the gravel and up over the foundation to deter digging animals from burrowing inside.

20200528_143622.jpg

This was necessary, because we have native wood rats that would happily dig inside for a tasty meal of finches and quail eggs.

My biggest worry is that I might have missed a tiny gap somewhere and I might end up with a snake inside the birdhouse. They can squeeze through very tiny holes.

In fact, when I was bringing in buckets of gravel for the floor, this little guy took a ride in one of the buckets. He is just a baby. Only the width of a pencil and about eight inches long. I took him back out to the woods, so he could go hunt for crickets.

20200528_155700.jpg

Back when I was emptying out the greenhouse prior to starting construction, I found a shed snake skin inside that was well over two feet long! Here's hoping that snake has found a different place to sleep. He is not welcome in my greenhouse any longer.
 

Dona

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
3/13/18
Messages
3,278
Location
Maryland
I love this thread! Thanks for sharing the story and pictures. Your finished aviary is just amazing and your beautiful birds are so very lucky!
 

clarousel

Rollerblading along the road
Joined
6/18/20
Messages
1,383
Location
Singapore
Omg I would literally be a budgie so I could live in that aviary. It's so beautiful!!!

I'm so jealous of everyone here who's so good at DIY-ing!
 

Lady Jane

Joyriding the Neighborhood
Avenue Veteran
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
8/25/12
Messages
23,383
Location
Maryland
Real Name
Dianne
I have been on AA for several years and this thread is one of the best i have followed. Five stars! Are you putting in nest boxes?
 

saroj12

Ripping up the road
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
10/15/09
Messages
54,368
Location
fl
Real Name
saroj
Two questions: do your plants get direct sun or is it covered with a plastic roof? 2. What is the size of your aviary? I only have 14 x32 square feet so have not too much space.
 

saroj12

Ripping up the road
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
10/15/09
Messages
54,368
Location
fl
Real Name
saroj
Oh I am just now reading the whole thread in detail. I see answers to my questions. Your plants are doing amazingly! I thought full sun meant direct sun and not through plastic! So I wasn’t picking trees that need full sun! Just realized a greenhouse doesn’t get direct sun anyway! thank you for sharing!
 

Destiny

Sprinting down the street
Joined
6/6/20
Messages
588
Real Name
Destiny
Oh I am just now reading the whole thread in detail. I see answers to my questions. Your plants are doing amazingly! I thought full sun meant direct sun and not through plastic! So I wasn’t picking trees that need full sun! Just realized a greenhouse doesn’t get direct sun anyway! thank you for sharing!
To be fair, I haven't had the plants in there very long. They were added about a month ago. Only time will tell if they will handle being in a greenhouse longterm. The plastic does block some of the natural light, so shade tolerant plants would likely do better than plants that need full sun to thrive.

I picked plants that I liked and that I knew would be bird-safe and preferably edible. Worst case scenario, I will transplant them outside if it looks like they aren't doing well or the birds are doing too much damage to them.

I have to admit, I got the dwarf apple mostly because I thought it looked really cool. It is a grafted tree with six lateral branches. Each branch grows a different variety of apple. I hope it is happy in the aviary and gets enough light to keep growing.
 

Kiwi's Mom

Rollerblading along the road
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Joined
6/4/19
Messages
3,264
Location
Connecticut
Real Name
Riley
Each branch grows a different variety of apple. I hope it is happy in the aviary and gets enough light to keep growing.
Wow! That's really cool.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ali

saroj12

Ripping up the road
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
10/15/09
Messages
54,368
Location
fl
Real Name
saroj
That’s an amazing apple tree! :bliss:
 

saroj12

Ripping up the road
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
10/15/09
Messages
54,368
Location
fl
Real Name
saroj
What about plant diseases? Any worries?
 
Top