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Outdoor Parakeet Aviary

mak

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Wow! Absolutely stunning. Not only is the aviary awesome but seeing the process with your step by step narration and accompanying pics was phenomenal!
 

Destiny

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What about plant diseases? Any worries?
Not really. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I don't plan on using any herbicides or pesticides for obvious reasons. Although there are a few treatments which are safe to use around birds, like diatomaceous earth to kill small insects.

If a plant gets sick or doesn't tolerate being in the aviary, I will probably just remove it. Then I can treat the individual plant and replace it with a healthy one.
 

Destiny

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Aviary Update

It has been a few days and the parakeets are settling in nicely. They spent most of the first day on the ground, but they slowly started to build up confidence as the day progressed

Here they are "perching" on the rungs of a chair.

20200630_160345.jpg

Then they moved up a few feet. Halfway there!

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By the end of the day, most of the parakeets were roosting on this branch and this is where they spent the night.

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On the second day, they were spending most of their time up in the branches and freely flying from place to place. They had learned how to be birds!

20200701_194455.jpg 20200701_194503.jpg
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Action shot!

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Unfortunately, some of my birds can't fly. Opal, Misty, and Sparky have no primaries. They were severely clipped when I got them and have not yet grown new flight feathers.

Despite this disability, they are able to reach some branches by climbing. They spend a lot of time on this branch because the wire mesh creates a natural access path. I added a ladder and extra perches so the whole flock can join them.

20200704_100302.jpg

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The finches are doing great. Crimson and Blaze are curious and adventurous. They swoop from branch to branch like rainbow-colored missiles. And they have been hopping around, dancing, and singing constantly. Happy, happy finches.

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Here they are scoping out my latest offerings. I was so proud to see them eating their veggies.

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Meanwhile, Jasper and Sterling have claimed a nest box, just in case I ever decide to get them some lady finches. They are so ready.

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The quail are also happy and healthy. And glad that the parakeets are finally off the ground.

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Most of the time, anyways. :)

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I added a dustbath for the quail. I haven't managed to catch them using it, but someone must be kicking all that sand out.

20200704_100343.jpg

The birds are doing well and they survived Fourth of July fireworks without any issues. Thank you everyone for the kind comments. I've enjoyed sharing this journey from greenhouse to aviary. You can expect more pictures later on. I'll be spending a lot of time out here.

It is awesome. :D
 
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saroj12

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Makes the heart glad to see everyone so happy! :swoon:
 

Destiny

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**Aviary Update**

Time for some happy bird pictures. :)

20200704_135938.jpg 20200702_183408.jpg 20200705_172653.jpg
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I also have some exciting news to report. Over a month ago, I was contacted by a lady who was looking to rehome her three parakeets. She had read about my aviary build on social media and felt they would be happier joining my birds. The new parakeets passed through quarantine with a clean bill of health and are now ready to be introduced to the aviary inhabitants.

First, I moved their temporary cage in to the aviary and monitored how the other birds reacted to the new arrivals. Everyone was fascinated by this strange new toy filled with birds.

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I left them in the cage for one full day to adjust to aviary conditions. The next day, I let them free and watched them closely to make sure that no one bothered them. They integrated with the existing parakeet flock without any trouble.

The three new birds are all girls. This is June. She is a little shy, but very acrobatic.
20200705_134415.jpg

The yellow bird on the branch is Goldie. She is quite hand-tame and very sweet.
20200706_172014.jpg

And this green lady is Johnny Girl. She is an excellent flier and spends a lot of time hanging out with Kiwi and Cucumber.
20200705_134447.jpg

The new birds have settled in nicely and I couldn't be happier.

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I also added a new feature - sisal rope perches to help assist the clipped birds to reach more branches. The fully-fighted birds also seem to appreciate having new options.

20200719_164856.jpg 20200719_183718.jpg 20200719_184041.jpg
 

clarousel

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**Aviary Update**

Time for some happy bird pictures. :)

View attachment 346718 View attachment 346720 View attachment 346721
View attachment 346722
View attachment 346723 View attachment 346724

I also have some exciting news to report. Over a month ago, I was contacted by a lady who was looking to rehome her three parakeets. She had read about my aviary build on social media and felt they would be happier joining my birds. The new parakeets passed through quarantine with a clean bill of health and are now ready to be introduced to the aviary inhabitants.

First, I moved their temporary cage in to the aviary and monitored how the other birds reacted to the new arrivals. Everyone was fascinated by this strange new toy filled with birds.

View attachment 346747
View attachment 346743
View attachment 346744
View attachment 346748

I left them in the cage for one full day to adjust to aviary conditions. The next day, I let them free and watched them closely to make sure that no one bothered them. They integrated with the existing parakeet flock without any trouble.

The three new birds are all girls. This is June. She is a little shy, but very acrobatic.
View attachment 346749

The yellow bird on the branch is Goldie. She is quite hand-tame and very sweet.
View attachment 346750

And this green lady is Johnny Girl. She is an excellent flier and spends a lot of time hanging out with Kiwi and Cucumber.
View attachment 346751

The new birds have settled in nicely and I couldn't be happier.

View attachment 346752
View attachment 346753
View attachment 346754

I also added a new feature - sisal rope perches to help assist the clipped birds to reach more branches. The fully-fighted birds also seem to appreciate having new options.

View attachment 346755 View attachment 346756 View attachment 346757
Omg the first photo is so pretty!!!!

Also does candy corn finch have a name? Right now I just squeal 'Candy Corn' inside when I see him/her in photos :roflmao: The other finch with a white breast is also so pretty :')

And you have some really pretty budgies!
 

Destiny

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The yellow-backed finch is Jasper. He is my friendliest finch and I am trying to get him hand-tame. He is such a cutie. Look at him posing for the camera.

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The silver-backed finch is Sterling. Jasper and Sterling spend a lot of time together and also like to build nests together. They are both boys, unless the breeder made a mistake. It is kind of hard to tell with silvers.

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This is Blaze. He is a green backed Gouldian finch with an orange head and white breast.

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And this is his partner in crime, Crimson. Such a proud and pretty boy.

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I love the bright colors and equally bright personalities of my little finches. They are beautiful and fun.

....

In the wild, Lady Gouldian finches are commonly seen with three different possible head colors - red, black, or yellow (orange). They were originally believed to be completely different species of finch before it was determined that the different head colors were natural color variations within the species.

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Female coloring is more muted than male coloring, but still quite striking. The bird on the left is male and the bird on the right is female. All my finches are male.

gouldian_finches_01.jpg

In captivity, different color mutations have been developed that affect the color of the bird's back - yellow, silver, and blue finches. Breast color can also vary from purple, lilac, or white. I don't have any black-headed or blue-backed finches, but I really want one. They are gorgeous.

young-pair-of-gouldian-red-faced-finches-wanted-53bc639482d07.jpg

Some day ...
 

clarousel

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The yellow-backed finch is Jasper. He is my friendliest finch and I am trying to get him hand-tame. He is such a cutie. Look at him posing for the camera.

View attachment 346771

The silver-backed finch is Sterling. Jasper and Sterling spend a lot of time together and also like to build nests together. They are both boys, unless the breeder made a mistake. It is kind of hard to tell with silvers.

View attachment 346772

This is Blaze. He is a green backed Gouldian finch with an orange head and white breast.

View attachment 346770

And this is his partner in crime, Crimson. Such a proud and pretty boy.

View attachment 346773

I love the bright colors and equally bright personalities of my little finches. They are beautiful and fun.

....

In the wild, Lady Gouldian finches are commonly seen with three different possible head colors - red, black, or yellow (orange). They were originally believed to be completely different species of finch before it was determined that the different head colors were natural color variations within the species.

View attachment 346776

Female coloring is more muted than male coloring, but still quite striking. The bird on the left is male and the bird on the right is female. All my finches are male.

View attachment 346778

In captivity, different color mutations have been developed that affect the color of the bird's back - yellow, silver, and blue finches. Breast color can also vary from purple, lilac, or white. I don't have any black-headed or blue-backed finches, but I really want one. They are gorgeous.

View attachment 346779

Some day ...
I love Jasper!!! But they're all really beautiful!

Thanks for explaining the colours :)

Something about finch feathers - they look so perfect and flawless. When I was at the store and saw these long tailed finches, they looked almost fake cause you can't see the individual feathers but just solid colourations. Not sure if this makes sense :roflmao:
 

jh81

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UGH! UGH! UGH! I SO SO SO HATE YOU!!!

No seriously, i’m obviously kidding but DAMN am i looking green, purple, red and yelow out of jealousy :)
NICE! VERY! VERY NICE!

one thing though.. are you not worried the keets will demolish all the wooden paneling? And then escape?
 

Ali

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Hi @Destiny !

Two questions...
What is the coldest temperature you get?
Will you take the gouldians in for winter (I read they struggle with cold)?

Thanks!

Also, @jh81 ,

one thing though.. are you not worried the keets will demolish all the wooden paneling? And then escape?
In four years I have never had a problem :)
 

Destiny

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one thing though.. are you not worried the keets will demolish all the wooden paneling? And then escape?
I'm not too worried about it, but I am monitoring the situation. A dozen hormonal budgie hens can do quite a bit of chewing. So far, they have mostly directed their efforts at the various chew toys and boxes I've set out for them, but they obviously don't just stop at chewing what they are SUPPOSED to chew. They are parrots, after all.

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Caught in the act!
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Most places they are chewing are not structural significant. I've added a few pieces of wood in prime chewing locations to discourage them from nibbling on the finished wood and to protect the aviary from long-term damage, since it is easier to replace a piece of scrap wood than an entire window sill, but so far, they aren't trying to drill holes through the walls so much as rounding off all the sharp edges.

This weekend, I need to get up on a ladder and block off the area behind this piece of wood. Both Snowball and the finches think it might work as a nest site and I am against that idea.

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Sylvi_

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What a stunning aviary! Your flock are such a joy to see. :cloud9:
 

Destiny

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Hi @Destiny !

Two questions...
What is the coldest temperature you get?
Will you take the gouldians in for winter (I read they struggle with cold)?
I live in a mild temperate climate, so it does get cold in the winter, but it rarely snows or stays below freezing for too long, even in the dead of winter. If you know plant hardiness zones, I'm in zone 8b, with average lows around 15 to 20 F.

I plan on providing supplemental heating in a couple of ways and completely sheltering the birds from wind and rain. I'm pretty confident that the parakeets and quail will be fine, but I do worry about the finches, since they can be more sensitive to cold temperatures and are generally more fragile. At this point, I intend to watch them closely and move the birds inside if they show signs of distress or if the weather takes a bad turn.

On the other side of the temperature scale, we have been having an unusually hot summer so far, with multiple days in the upper eighties and nineties this week, but I think my cooling measures are doing a decent job keeping the birds comfortable. It helps that one side of the aviary is shaded for most of the day, so there is a noticeable temperature gradient as you move from one side to the other. The more shaded side stays pretty comfortable, even at mid day.

I also decided to open up the extension to let the birds have somewhere even cooler to explore, if they wanted.

When I converted the greenhouse, I removed a large ventilation fan from the back wall. Rather than simply blocking the hole, I decided to use it as a passageway. On the back wall of the aviary, I added this structure.

20200504_142949.jpg

It is a an outdoor aviary/cat enclosure kit that I got off Amazon, because woodworking is hard. I was worried about predators and/or my own dogs busting through the cheap wire, so I bulked it up with some sturdy wood siding.

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Then I added food, water, perches and toys for the birds.

20200719_163303.jpg

This side of the aviary is completely shaded by a large fir tree and it gets a nice cross-breeze, so it stays noticably cooler than the main aviary. I've seen a few of the birds poke their heads inside to check it out, but I haven't managed to catch them on camera. Overall, they seem to prefer the main aviary, probably because it is bigger and full of birds. But .. hey .. at least they have options!

As a bonus, the opening in the wall allows a nice breeze into the main aviary which is quite pleasant in the heat. When the cold weather comes, I plan to cover the hole to block off the draft. I kept the hole covered for the first couple weeks after releasing the birds, because I didn't want any of my flight-challenged birds to get lost or trapped in the smaller section by mistake. At this point, I think everyone is able to navigate the aviary well enough that shouldn't be a problem.

Here you can see the covered hole. Notice the "landing pad" in front of the board. I need to take a picture of it after I opened it up.

20200701_191826.jpg

And here it is from the other side with a matching landing pad/cat platform.

20200713_131751.jpg

The entire extension is 4'x6'x6' which sounded really big when I bought it online, but ended up feeling pretty tiny in comparison to the main aviary.
 
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clarousel

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I live in a mild temperate climate, so it does get cold in the winter, but it rarely snows or stays below freezing for too long, even in the dead of winter. If you know plant hardiness zones, I'm in zone 8b, with average lows around 15 to 20 F.

I plan on providing supplemental heating in a couple of ways and completely sheltering the birds from wind and rain. I'm pretty confident that the parakeets and quail will be fine, but I do worry about the finches, since they can be more sensitive to cold temperatures and are generally more fragile. At this point, I intend to watch them closely and move the birds inside if they show signs of distress or if the weather takes a bad turn.

On the other side of the temperature scale, we have been having an unusually hot summer so far, with multiple days in the upper eighties and nineties this week, but I think my cooling measures are doing a decent job keeping the birds comfortable. It helps that one side of the aviary is shaded for most of the day, so there is a noticeable temperature gradient as you move from one side to the other. The more shaded side stays pretty comfortable, even at mid day.

I also decided to open up the extension to let the birds have somewhere even cooler to explore, if they wanted.

When I converted the greenhouse, I removed a large ventilation fan from the back wall. Rather than simply blocking the hole, I decided to use it as a passageway. On the back wall of the aviary, I added this structure.

View attachment 346915

It is a an outdoor aviary/cat enclosure kit that I got of Amazon, because woodworking is hard. I was worried about predators and/or my own dogs busting through the cheap wire, so I bulked it up with some sturdy wood siding.

View attachment 346918


Then I added food, water, perches and toys for the birds.

View attachment 346917

This side of the aviary is completely shaded by a large fir tree and it gets a nice cross-breeze, so it stays noticably cooler than the main aviary. I've seen a few of the birds poke their heads inside to check it out, but I haven't managed to catch them on camera. Overall, they seem to prefer the main aviary, probably because it is bigger and full of birds. But .. hey .. at least they have options!

As a bonus, the opening in the wall allows a nice breeze into the main aviary which is quite pleasant in the heat. When the cold weather comes, I plan to cover the hole to block off the draft. I kept the hole cover for the first couple weeks after releasing the birds, because I didn't want any of my flight-challenged birds to get lost or trapped in the smaller section by mistake. At this point, I think everyone is able to navigate the aviary well enough that shouldn't be a problem.

Here you can see the covered hole. Notice the "landing pad" in front of the board. I need to take a picture of it after I opened it up.

View attachment 346919

And here it is from the other side with a matching landing pad/cat platform.

View attachment 346921

The entire extension is 4'x6'x6' which sounded really big when I bought it online, but ended up feeling pretty tiny in comparison to the main aviary.
This is all really impressive! Did you build it all by yourself? I would love to do the same in future if I ever own a property :) I know nothing about woodworking though.
 

Destiny

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I assembled the pieces, but I bought it as a kit online. The only tools needed were a screwdriver, power drill, and a hammer. No actual wood-working skills required. This is the product I used:


It is intended as a cat enclosure, rather than an aviary, but it was exactly the right dimensions to fit my space, I liked the design, and the wire spacing was appropriate for finches and parakeets.

Unfortunately, as I have found in the past when buying these kind of pet products, the build quality is quite low. The wood is VERY light and flimsy. I jokingly call the wood they use for these things "balsa wood" because it is so soft and rots out quickly in my wet climate. I will probably need to replace the entire thing in a few years, if the roof lasts that long.

It has a very flat roof that is already starting to warp and leak along the seams. It doesn't matter for my application, because the birds have plenty of dry places to go when it rains. However, if someone wanted to use this as a stand-alone aviary, I would advise against it, because there is no proper shelter and it will not hold up to the elements. The wire is also a very thin guage - thinner than chicken wire. It provides minimal protection against predators.

I think this product would work as a supervised outdoor exercise cage, especially if you set it up on a covered patio or somewhere sheltered from wind and rain. I wouldn't recommend keeping birds in it outside overnight unless you are prepared to do some serious modifications. Alternatively, you could use it as an indoor aviary, as long as you had enough space and figured out a flooring solution.

If you are planning to use a product like this one as an aviary, I would also suggest removing the flimsy wire mesh and replacing it with a better quality wire that is bird-safe. Zinc from galvanized wire can cause heavy metal toxicity in birds. You can remove surface zinc by washing the wire with vinegar occasionally, but switching to stainless steel or coated wire would be better in the long run.
 

tka

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Thank you for sharing so many photos and for documenting the build so clearly! It's really nice to see the birds' personalities emerge in the space and in the context of the flock. They're seriously living the dream.
 

Destiny

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**Small Update**

Just wanted to share a little discovery I made. The button quails are laying eggs!

20200802_092512.jpg

Well, to be more accurate, at least one quail is laying. I have four quail, but I don't know how many are female/male.

As you can see, quail are not big into nest building. I've so far discovered eggs in four different spots, laid directly on the floor, usually close to the wall or in a corner.

From left to right, the quail are named Clay, Terra, Slate, and Geo.

20200719_184131.jpg

I am pretty sure that Terra is the lone female. I have observed both Geo and Clay mating with her and I saw Slate doing a call that sounded like a mating call. I haven't actually witnessed any egg laying or setting, but since everyone's interested in Terra, I'm betting she is the hen. There is a small possibility that Slate is female, so I've been checking each day to see if I get more than one egg on the same day. So far I've only found one or none.

I'm not interested in allowing the button quails to breed, since they all came from the same breeder at the same time and they are probably too closely related to provide robust offspring. So I have been gathering the eggs as I find them. If I do have three males, I will probably need to separate or sell two of the boys. From what I've read, buttons can be kept in a colony setting, but they prefer to be in mated pairs. And if you do keep a group, it is better to have a higher female to male ratio.

Also, quail eggs make the tiniest little hardboiled eggs that I have ever seen!

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So cute that I felt a little bad eating them ...but they really are quite tasty and I hate to just throw them out. :)
 
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Kiwi's Mom

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Slate is my favorite! :loveshower:
 

clarousel

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Quails eggs are my fav oops! And that pancake looks really good :starscfe:

Your button quails have very pretty colours :laugh:
 
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