When built correctly, a bird aviary can ultimately lead to happier, healthier birds. Having an aviary will allow your bird or birds to nurture their natural instinct to fly and will provide a more natural environment to help them feel more at home. Your aviary can take any shape you can think of but for all aviaries, careful planning and consideration is the main key to providing your birds with the ideal aviary home.
Choose your location. Your aviary can be built in a spare room, a garage, a screened patio, porch or gazebo. When determining location, safety and climate must be carefully considered. Your aviary must provide your birds with protection from the sun, rain, wind, heat and cold, and predators.
One way to provide your birds with a natural habitat is to provide both indoor and outdoor space. This can be done by building your aviary in a spare room that provides access to an outdoor aviary via a window or door. This will also work well if you live in an area that does not provide a natural year-round climate that is safe for your birds. You can simply close off the outdoor section of the aviary during the winter months.
Determine the size of your aviary. The purpose of an aviary is to give your birds space to fly, so it is important that they have plenty of space. When determining your space, you will not only need to consider the size of your birds, but also the number of birds in your aviary. Calculate the total gram weight of all your birds and provide at least 0.062 cubic metres (2.2 cubic feet) for each gram.
The length and width of your aviary space must also be calculated to allow for proper flight. For smaller birds to take flight, you will need a space at 3 to 3.6 m (10 to 12 feet) long and 1.5 to 1.8 m (5 to 6 feet) wide. For larger birds you will need to provide a space at least 15 to 18 m (50 to 60 feet) long and 9 to 12 m (30 to 40 feet) wide.
Consider building materials carefully, as they must be safe for your birds and be able to keep the birds in and predators out. Line your aviary with a wire mesh to properly secure the space. Base the strength of the wires on the largest bird in your habitat. A 16 gauge wire is appropriate for small to medium sized birds, such as Amazons. A 14 gauge wire is appropriate for Macaws and 12 gauge wire should be used for birds larger than Macaws. Openings should be about 2.5 cm (1 inch) to allow birds to safely climb on the mesh. Galvanised steel that has been weathered for at least a month and cleaned with white vinegar and a wire brush is usually the best and most cost effective option. Make sure the wire is too heavy for your bird to break, as swallowing a piece of this wire can be potentially fatal to your bird.