Magazine article Sunset

Bringing Birds Up Close; These Outdoor Aviaries Are Sociably near Decks and Patios

Magazine article Sunset

Bringing Birds Up Close; These Outdoor Aviaries Are Sociably near Decks and Patios

Article excerpt

Designed for viewing, these three outdoor aviaries show sensible, enjoyable ways to house pet birds. Rather than isolate them in cages where they would rarely be seen or heard, these California structures, designed as integral parts of outdoor living areas, keep birds sociably close to decks and patios. A porch swing to enjoy the singing In Whittier, Priscilla and Michael McClure chose to build their aviary in their property's best location for birds-under trees in the southwest corner of their garden, next to an 8-foot wall. The birds thrived, but the McClures discovered they had little interaction with them except at feedings. They couldn't bring the birds closer to the house, so they built a deck around the aviary (see photograph above). "Now the deck provides an intimate setting, where we can relax and enjoy the birds," says Mr. McClure. Patio aviary for indoor/outdoor viewing Taking advantage of a patio overhang, Martha and Manuel Coronado of Citrus Heights tucked their aviary part way under its eave This shelters the aviary and also makes it an intimate part of their living area. In the Sacramento Valley, some winters can be nippy. "When it's cold," says Mrs. Coronado, "we cover the north and south sides with plastic and plug in a covered electric light to warm our birds." Freestanding aviary, viewing deck In Santa Rosa, Carol and Bill Dickinson put an aviary off an existing deck (see photograph at near left) so they could watch their birds-doves, canaries, and finches-and listen to their songs. "It's like a symphony when they all sing together." Two dead madrones support the aviary's roof beam. Branches, secured into holes drilled in the trees' trunks, form perches. The front, part of the sides, and about a third of the roof are open for viewing; the rest of the structure is shingled. …

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