Bird lovers, breeders and hobbyists alike shouldn’t go without providing their birds with a place to fly, perch, roost whilst being protected from the environment and prevented from escaping. Aviaries can come in a variety of sizes and have different features that you can choose from to suit the specific needs and requirements of you and your flock.
They’re also a nice opportunity to spruce up your yard with some designs that are not only pragmatic but are aesthetically pleasing; a compliment to the beautiful birds that give your garden a splash of life, of color and a magnificent atmosphere! Overall they are a better choice than a small birdcage as it’s more ethical and comfortable for the birds and has many benefits for you.
Types of Aviary
There are two main types of aviary if we are considering outdoor walk-in aviaries rather than indoor cages, and they have everything to do with the material they are made from.
Metal Frame – Metal aviaries are more robust and secure. They are much more resistant to environmental stresses such as water and wind damage. The downside to them is that they can get quite hot in direct sunlight which can then burn the birds that come into contact with the heated metal and they are mostly not as nice looking as wooden aviaries.
Wooden Frame – Contrary to metal aviaries, wooden ones look nicer and have a more natural look to them which compliments the yard. They’re not as robust though and will need more maintenance to ensure protection from the elements.
You could also consider flight cages which are larger versions of bird cages that can be used indoors because they allow enough space for smaller birds like canaries to fly around comfortably or enough space for a large bird like a macaw. So a flight cage might be a better option for those who do not intend on keeping many birds in one space and would also like them to stay comfortably indoors.
Factors to Consider
Purchasing an aviary is a great choice for the birds you have or are going to buy, but there are some considerations you must have before making the purchase.
The size of your aviary is going to depend greatly on the species of birds you are going to be keeping in there. The body size and wingspan of the birds should be kept in mind as you’ll want to give them enough room to flex and fly from perch to perch.
Not only that but you may be planning mixing bird species together, maybe even with some ground-dwelling birds like quails or pheasants so there needs to be plenty of room for them to wander around and peck at the ground.
Also, of course, the space you have available is going to come into it, so make sure you have enough space in your yard for you to be able to actually fir the aviary in and for you to get access whenever you need to, but to try and emulate the birds natural environment, the bigger the aviary the better is always the rule to go by.
You should also keep in mind the climate of your location, as just like humans, birds have an optimal comfortable temperature and since they will be exposed to the elements out there 24/7, it’s best to make them as comfortable as you can be shielding them from direct sunlight or insulating them against the winter coldness.
In the wild, flying birds usually seek shelter from the bad weather conditions in trees but the climate in your local area might be just that bit colder or hotter than what they are used too in their natural environments. Even though most pet bird species are recommended as pets due to their adaptability, please ensure you supply them with shelter from harsh weather, here are some ideas to help you:
- Nest Boxes: Nest boxes can be attached to the mesh that secures the aviary together, this is where the birds will roost at night and lay their eggs. Ensure your aviary can support as many nest boxes as required for the number of flying birds you plan on keeping.
- Shade Cloth: Shade cloth can be installed on the roof of the aviary if it has no other roof; this provides effective relief from direct sunlight for the birds.
- Corrugated Plastic Roofing: You can also use this on a mesh roofed aviary to section off a portion of the area to be relief from the rain, snow, sun and stormy weather.
Consider where in your space you are going to place your aviary. Birds can be noisy, especially at the crack of dawn and so your neighbors may not appreciate it being close to their house. It’s also preferable that you build it over natural dirt/grass and plant life rather than on concrete or stone just to provide your birds with as close to their natural habitat as possible, particularly if you plan to have some ground dwellers at any point.
Additionally, the best locations you can choose would be nearer to fences, trees or other structures that will obstruct the raw wind from blowing in through the mesh.
Aviary Birds and Size Guide
It’s not easy to judge the size requirements of the bird you want by eye and so here is a handy aviary bird size guide that you can use to match the size of your bird and their space requirements.
Species: Budgies/parakeets, canaries, doves, finches, lovebirds
Minimum aviary dimensions: 20x24x24 inches
Species: Cockatiels, conures, lories/lorikeets, parrotlets, quakers
Minimum aviary dimensions: 25x32x35 inches
Species: African greys, amazons, caiques, cockatoos
Minimum aviary dimensions: 35x40x50 inches
Extra Large Birds
Species: Large cockatoos and large macaws
Minimum aviary dimensions: 40x50x60 inches
Just remember that the size required by the birds would increase depending on the number of birds you wish to keep in the aviary; a general rule of thumb to go by is to multiply the dimensions by 1.5 per individual bird you are adding to the collection.
Our Top Picks
Pawhut 65” Hexagonal Outdoor Aviary Bird Cage
Starting off small for an aviary, this pawhut would suit those who want to conserve some space in their garden and are not worried about keeping a whole host of birds. Of course just how many birds you can keep will be dependent on the size of birds that will be calling this rustic looking aviary their home.
It comes with a roof already which is great that you don’t need to purchase additional materials and do your own DIY. It’s certainly suitable to keep the elements from beating down on your birds. It’s small size and hexagonal shape also allows for more optimal placement, meaning you could fit it comfortably into a corner to protect the birds from the wind.
The frame is made from fir wood; it’s sturdy and rigid and quite resilient from weather damage making this aviary great value for money despite its cost. It has double doors that allow you to walk right into the aviary if you wished to, with a latch locking mechanism to keep it secure.
Be sure to employ some help when assembling this aviary, it is quite straightforward but the instructions are not wholly clear and the roof can be a bit of a pain and so two brains are better than one and four hands are better than two.
Pawhut 71” Wooden Large Vertical Outdoor Aviary Bird Cage
Another aviary form Pawhut; but this one is more compact than the last however it is somewhat taller. It’s suitable for small-medium birds depending on how many you wish to keep and could even host a couple of quails to roam on the ground.
The build quality is as good as their larger hexagonal aviary being robust and durable but an extra feature you have is the built-in nesting box that you can access via a hatch on the back of the structure. This allows you to have an easy way to check on the birds during the night when they are sleeping or also to collect eggs, check on chick growth, etc.
It has a small double door opening at the top and a larger double door opening at the bottom of the aviary, the bottom will allow you to climb into the aviary for feeding, furniture replacement, and general maintenance.
Again, the assembly instructions are not great and it will require some additional intuitive from you to get it set up but it’s still pretty easy and defiantly better with some help.
PANEY Large Aluminum Walk-in Aviary
For the people who would like something larger and more durable, this aluminum walk-in aviary would be perfect! It’s of a premium build quality and allows easy access into the aviary and is certainly secure by design.
It has a single door that is sectioned into windows which you can open independently from one another allowing you to access the aviary without walking in which reduces the risk of escaping birds. Each section of the door has its own latch lock mechanism adding extra security.
If you live in a place which has a temperate climate, this aviary would be absolutely perfect but for those of you who experience a lot of sunshine and heat, especially in the summer, then it would be an excellent idea to install some shade cloth over the mesh on the roof. If possible some plastic waterproof sheeting or even tar sheets, at least on one side would be a good idea too if possible, just to make the life of your birds more comfortable.
There’s so much room for you to put some nest boxes, branches, perches and other furniture items to give your birds a happy home that mimics their environment ensuring them a carefree lifestyle and good health.
Best Outdoor Bird Aviaries
Sliverylake Big Walk-in Bird Aviary
This silverylake walk-in aviary is another example of how metal aviaries can be built to be exceptionally durable, have much space and easily accessible. The mesh which surrounds the cage is very spacious, allowing larger birds to easily grasp and climb around the cage as they love to do. It’s a great built for keepers of large birds like macaws and is easily enough room for a couple of them.
The door has a similar latch lock system to the previous metal aviary but the door splits into two, allowing you to securely access the cage from the bottom if you feel your bird might try and fly out. It has an extremely secure built and will have no problem keeping out predators that might see your flock as an easy meal with other less durable aviary designs.
It’s also very easy to assemble in comparison to other models, it’s similar to those metal dog carrying cages in which it folds out and the joints snap together. Just like other metal builds, you may need to DIY the roofing with some shade or waterproof roofing if you live in a location that rains a lot or is particularly hot and shadeless.
JAXPETY Large Walk-in Bird House
If you would like an aviary that’s larger than all previously mentioned, made from metal but also has a natural look to it, look no further than the Jaxpety walk-in birdhouse. It’s strong, durable, spacious, has double door access and would suit any yard or garden aesthetically.
It has a hexagonal shape, which in itself looks nice but this also makes it easier to place, especially if it’s going to be freestanding in a larger garden. Its build quality is just a work of excellence with a latch lock mechanism double door. The only downside here is the double doors can open very widely which could be a security risk, so ensure you have full control of the doors when entering and leaving the aviary.
The aluminum mesh is very spacious but designed so that the smallest birds couldn’t escape through but any bird could climb around and also see their environment clearly, making them feel they are outside in nature as if they weren’t in captivity at all!