If you’ve read any of this site you’ll know I have birds. I love birds. I have 10 as of this writing and will probably get more. I find they’re happier in groups. So I decided it was time for an outdoor aviary. Two main reasons- the indoor aviary is just a regular room and they’re destroying things that they originally didn’t touch.
A couple of notes before I show you what I’ve done-
Outdoor aviaries can be dangerous for the birds. Why? They are now exposed to bird eating animals and/or animals that want the bird’s food. As such, security should be high on your list. Since I am doing a dirt bottomed aviary (so I can plant plants more naturally), there is the threat of predators digging into the aviary, so the floor must be secured.
Because some birds are always in escape mode, a single door in the aviary can be a great way for escape. Most big aviaries have an intermediate door after the main door to provide a catch zone for any escapees. My intermediate area will be integrated in to my house since space is limited (at some point…).
Ok so here goes- I removed my hot tub from it’s deck and put up 4 4x4x8 posts to start and began excavating the ground to just below the deck supports. After this I laid down 1/2″ welded/galvanized screen on the bottom and secured it all the way around the base. This will prevent the birds from digging out and any predators from digging in.
Next I covered the screen and started on the “walls”. Because certain home improvement stores decided to stop carrying the good 4ft wide screen after I bought the last one I had to adjust the plan so that there were two panels on each side with a door between them and two panels on the end.
All the stages are below. The roof is built up with 2x6s with chip board on top and galvanized metal roof panels on that. Probably overkill, but we get some nasty hurricanes around here!
I added some rather tacky blinds to the outside for the winter. This helped keep the wind down and will help keep the sun from cooking them in the summers.
As always if you have questions please feel free to email me!
Rats found a way into the aviary! The house caught fire in April 2007 and I was not there regularly until November. After evacuating the remaining birds, I found holes in the floor (the 1/2″ metal mesh floor). I found and killed the offenders, but have not had time to fully explore the floor to see how they got in.