old aviary in March of 2000
first became interested in finch aviaries when my grandmother
became ill. The nursing home in which she was treated had a
lovely indoor aviary that captivated the attention of the patients
and visitors alike. Prior to this, we had never conceived of
owning a bird. Keeping a bird in a cage seemed too confining,
and allowing a bird to roam freely about our house seemed like
a housekeeping nightmare. But the idea of owning a furniture-quality
aviary that would be the focal point of our living room, in
which the birds would have the freedom to fly, interact, and
build nests, quickly consumed me.
we never do anything impulsively, we immediately started researching.
We bought every finch book the pet store stocked (most of which
rehashed the same information and shared the same photographs),
but which were a good first start. We then scoured the Internet
for information and ordered some more substantive books from
the online bookstores. Once we felt we knew what we were committing
ourselves to, we began looking for places that build these aviaries.
that time we were not ready to build our own aviary, even though
my husband, Tom, is quite handy and fully capable of building
what we needed. Not having had the experience of keeping birds
before, I was afraid I would design something that was in some
way hazardous to the birds or difficult to maintain and I preferred
to have it built by someone who had done this before.
meant that we were limited in size to something that would fit
through our door. The aviary that we had built for us was 7
feet long, 2 ½ feet deep, and 6 feet tall and cost about
$4,000.00 (including birds). Quite a lot of money, but it looked
nice in our living room and our birds lived there comfortably
for two years.
time went on, my husband noted many things about the construction
that he felt he could improve upon, such as the way the Plexiglas
was installed. There were elements that I felt were not safe
for the birds, such as the use of screen ventilation panes rather
than mesh and the use of Excelsior craft straw stuffed against
the back wall for bedding and decoration. There were also things
I wanted to add, like night lights and heat lamps, a feeding
door, and the ability to partition off sections of the aviary
in case birds need to be separated.
of course, once you have birds, you always want to give them
the new and improved aviary was born. We put a lot of thought
into the design of the new aviary and decided to publish this
site so that others in the process of building an aviary might
be able to find ideas here and avoid some of the problems we
discovered with the original aviary. We also intend to publish
the cost of all the materials and accessories and where we purchased
them from, to aid in the financial planning of a project like
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