How to build an African grey aviary

Updated April 17, 2017

The African grey parrot is a highly intelligent bird native to central Africa. Its amazing mimicking capabilities and gentle nature have made it a popular pet parrot species. House your African grey in the natural surroundings of an indoor aviary. An indoor aviary offers more space than a cage, and also allows flight. By building an aviary within the confines of your home, you can ensure the safety and well-being of your bird and also provide it with companionship.

Decide on the appropriate location to build the aviary. Ideally, it should be in a corner of your house that has two walls. In this way, the two existing walls can double up as the aviary walls.

Use 50 by 100 mm (2 by 4 inch) wooden posts to prepare the frame. Cut the posts with a saw to create a rectangular-shaped frame for the base, front, one side wall and ceiling of the aviary. Connect the posts to each other and the walls with 75 mm (3 inch) screws and a screwdriver. Attach 50 by 100 mm (2 by 4) crossbeam supports to the base and ceiling frames for a sturdy structure. Although the aviary size is dependent on available space, it should be rectangular in shape, 150 cm (5 feet) tall and 90 cm (3 feet) wide on each side.

Create panels for the floor, side and ceiling with nontoxic hardwood such as redwood. Cut the panels and fix them to the frame with 75 mm (3 inch) screws. Convert the side panel into a door to enable your entry into the aviary. Connect the door to the frame by attaching hinges at the top and bottom. For additional safety, fix a barrel bolt to the door and the frame.

Cover the floor panel with linoleum or melamine sheets. Spread wood glue on the sheet and on the wood panel, and gently press them together to attach. This flooring can be easily cleaned when it gets dirty.

Fix Plexiglas to the front frame with screw-on mirror clips. Cover the ceiling frame with 12-gauge galvanised wire, to create the roof. Secure the galvanised wire with a staple gun. The wire ceiling also doubles as a source of ventilation.

Attach screw-on perches to the inside walls of the aviary. Fix natural branches such as citrus, ash, birch, magnolia, willow and apple to the sides. The uneven surface of these perches provides the desired foot and toe traction for your bird.


Place a layer of sand or pine shavings on the floor of the aviary for a natural environment feel. Replace this substrate every three days when it gets soiled.


Do not position the aviary in close proximity to an external door, window or heating and air-conditioning vent to prevent the bird from being exposed to hot or cold drafts, which are detrimental to its health.

Things You'll Need

  • 50 by 100 mm (2 by 4 inch) wooden posts
  • Saw
  • 75 mm (3 inch) screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Hardwood panels
  • Hinges
  • Barrel bolt
  • Wood glue
  • Linoleum or melamine sheets
  • Plexiglas
  • Screw-on mirror clips
  • 12-gauge galvanised wire
  • Staple gun
  • Natural branch perches
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