Top Tips For Cleaning A Bird Aviary

A bird aviary in your backyard can do wonders to the overall ambiance of the area. This can be situated within a garden as part of the design or a focal point. Many people who love to keep and breed various species of birds will tell you that this is no easy hobby to take. You will need to keep this enclosure clean at all times to ensure the health and safety of the birds and their young.

If clean-up time is a struggle for you, it is best to have a schedule and routines to follow. A daily clean-up is a must to keep diseases and germs at bay. What usually goes on during a daily clean-up are as follows:

[1] Cleaning of feeders and bird baths
Cleaning up of bird feeders, water dishes, and bird baths should be done on a daily basis. This is not just to provide fresh water and bird seeds, but also to keep away germs from developing over time. If you’ve set up a weekly schedule, it is best to still include these items during clean-up time.

[2] Set up a routine for you to follow and for the birds to get used to

Having a cleaning routine helps the birds from experiencing too much stress. It is also important that you’re the one who always do the clean up to also prevent stress and anxiety among the birds. As your pet birds become familiar and used to your presence, it will be easier to get in and out of their abode anytime.

[3] Use a corner of the aviary to isolate the birds

When things are still stressful for your pets, it is best to use a separator to isolate them from the area that’s being cleaned. Dedicate a corner for the birds whenever you need to clean up their living space and make sure it is cleaned first before they are enclosed in this portion. This usually helps in reducing restlessness and anxiety among birds, and it truly is beneficial especially when there are hatchlings.

[4] Use mild disinfectant when cleaning

You can dilute a strong disinfectant in buckets of water. If you like it chemical-free, you can use vinegar or baking soda instead. Wipe clean the bird boxes, perches, walls, and other dirty parts of the enclosure. On a daily basis, you can also do this especially on the most soiled or dirtiest portions of the aviary; otherwise, you can schedule on a weekly or bi-weekly schedule.

To help you clean up faster, it is best to put old news paper on the floor for the bird droppings and other mess. You can just collect the sheets everyday in the afternoons and replace with new sheets for the following day.

It is a huge responsibility to keep any kind of animal as a pet. If you love birds and lots of them, be prepared to do regular clean-up to help keep your pets healthy and happy.

Tips You Need to Know for Spring Bird Feeding

What to Feed Them

Now, it’s important to remember the significance of the breeding season. Over winter you can throw out whatever food you like and the birds will merrily peck it up, but in the spring there are children to think of!

Usually, birds will frequent feeders less as long as there are plenty of invertebrates lounging around for feeding. They’ll be able to sustain themselves easily and return to the nest to feed their children. Now, if the weather turns and creates a food shortage you may find yourself seeing many more visits from mature birds. The risk is they’ll not only use the feeder for themselves, but take food back to the nest. Fat, bread hunks, and large dry foods like peanuts can easily choke an infant bird.

Hand out high protein foods, including grated cheese, black sunflower seeds, mealworms and raisins. Sliced fruit such as apples and pears also respond well.

Keep One Eye on the Weather

At least in the winter you know what you’re getting. It’s going to be cold, and birds will need feeding. In the spring weather varies a lot more. For the most part food will be abundant and you can leave out minimal amounts, but a change in the weather can quickly result in food shortages. For insect-eaters, a bout of extremely wet weather will cut down their food source substantially, and you might want to leave out a few snacks appropriate to the species. A lengthy drought will harden the ground, and remove access to earthworms, a sizable loss for birds attempting to feed their young.

It’s incredibly different for humans to detect a food shortage. Rather than adjusting your feeding practices dramatically just keep track of your local visitors’ frequency. If they’re coming with regularity it may indicate an immediate food shortage, so be sure you’re not leaving out feed inappropriate for their young.

Keep it Clean

Unlike the winter, you’re likely to see a much slower turnover of feed. Keep your unused seed in a metal container to keep it from spoiling, and consider investing in a covered feeder for the garden. The combination of rain and heat can quickly create mould and disease in your seed, and you don’t want to be responsible for any health problems.

There’ll be more wastage, so try to keep the amount of feed out at any one time to a minimum. Clear up the debris left on the feeder or grass, as well. Hardily shelled black-oil sunflower seeds will slowly kill your grass, though fruit and sunflower chips will spoil extremely quickly. Try and give the feeder a healthy scrub around once a week, perhaps more.

The Complete Gouldian Finch Birdwatching Profile

If you are an experienced Australian birdwatching enthusiast, then undoubtedly you have heard of the Gouldian Finch, even if you have not had the privilege of seeing one in the wild. This spectacular bird has gained a lot of media attention in recent years due to its declining numbers, due to reduced habitat. Many birdwatchers agree that this finch is the most spectacularly coloured bird in Australia. There are a number of organisations that have taken to preserving the habitats of this remarkable creature. Recent research has found that there are only about 2,500 Gouldian Finch’s living in the wild.

Description

The little bird gained it’s name from John Gould, the discoverer of the bird. Taken by the beauty of the purple chested bird, he named it the Lady Gouldian. With it’s characteristic purple plumage, yellow feathered chest and green back, this little bird is hard to be mistaken.

Diet

As a grass-finch, the Gouldian Finch main diet source is from the ripe or semi-ripe seeds of native grasses. Interestingly for a few months during the year the bird changes its diet to cope with the arduous task of raising its young. During these months the birds diet consists mainly of small insects, which provide it with the added nutrients needed during this stressful period.

Habitat Location

It really is a tragedy when one considers the vast habitat that the Gouldian Finch once lived in, contrasted with the small areas that it occupies now. Many birdwatchers initially thought that the numbers of the Gouldian Finch were plummeting in the wild due to individuals capturing the birds for pets. Research has since shown that reduced habitats, and irregular fire patterns are primarily to blame for the reduced habitat. Nowadays the finch can only be found in the wild in the Top End of the Northern Territory of Australia. Mike Jarvis, one of the most respected birdwatching guides in Australia, regularly takes tours through the Mary River district and South of Pine Creek in the dry season, with great success with regular spotting’s of this endangered bird. If you are able to explore this region, keep an eye out for the finch in open woodlands near water sources. There is anecdotal evidence that they are often sighted near native spear-grasses.

How To Help The Gouldian Finch

Many kindhearted volunteers regularly monitor local waterholes in the Gouldian Finch’s native habitat to keep an eye out for the sightings. The more information that organisations can gather from volunteer birdwatchers on the habitat of the Gouldian Finch, the more that they can help protect that environment. Additionally individuals can take active steps to ensure that the current habitat of the bird is protected, and report any activities that are harming the area.

There have been new spotting’s of the Gouldian Finch in the Dampier Peninsula in Western Australia. Research has shown that this is not a population of birds that has moved to the area, but a population that has previously been undiscovered. This breeding population shows the importance of amateur birdwatchers reporting any sightings of the Gouldian Finch, as this area is now a protected area. With ongoing care and public awareness, generations of Australian will be able to enjoy seeing this most remarkable bird in the grasslands of Australia.

A Clean Bird Room – 5 Ways To Keep Your Aviary Clean

A clean environment for your bird will keep you and your pet healthier. Sometimes it may feel like effective cleaning is easier talked about than done. But following the 5 suggestions below will help you drastically reduce the number of particles in your bird room.

Avoid Particle Traps—-There are so many places in the usual home and even bird room that can trap allergens. Wall-to-wall carpet, upholstered furnishings, piles of books and magazines, fabric draperies, horizontal blinds, and the list goes on and on.

Most of these surfaces are woven and can trap an unbelievable number of particles that can and are sent airborne with daily activities. The more of these you can eliminate, the better you will be able to clean thoroughly and really reduce the number of particles that are even available to get into your air.

As you add to and replace furnishings in your bird room and home, think bird-friendly replacements. Opt for easy-to-launder throw rugs that are easy to launder. Consider furniture that can be wiped down with a damp cloth rather than fabric covered pieces.

Choose linoleum, tile, wood, or other hard surface that can be mopped clean. And think about shades that can be rolled up and wiped clean and vertical blinds as options that will allow more particles to fall to the floor.

Say No—Saying no to just one more bird can mean that the bird(s) you have already adopted will have a better life. If you are a bird-lover you probably want to give every homeless bird a good life. But depending on the size of your space, continuing to add birds past a certain point makes it nearly impossible to keep conditions healthy.

“The more the merrier” rule does not apply in this situation. Offering fewer birds a good life trumps having a ton of birds that you are unable to care for properly.

Clean Often—How often you clean will be your call based on your situation. But you’ll be able to tell if your schedule is working pretty quickly. Some people are able to clean every couple of days, and others feel they need to clean every day and sometimes more than once a day.

Your frequency will depend on the number and type of birds you have. Those with powder-down birds such as African Greys, Cockatoos, or Cockatiels may find that more frequent cleaning is necessary to keep up with the incessant white powder that these parrots produce.

The goal is to literally keep the dander and dust down. Your room doesn’t need to be able to be able to pass the white glove test, but almost.

Clean Smarter—One of the best ways to really take particles out of circulation is to use water to clean. Adding water to the mix with a damp mop or cloth makes the particulates too heavy to escape into the air again and gives you more of a chance of permanently eliminating them.

A vacuum with a HEPA or high efficiency particle arresting filter is also an excellent way to make sure that what is sucked into the vacuum cleaner stays in the vacuum cleaner. Keep the broom and dust mop out of the mix and opt for the vacuum cleaner.

Filter The Air—Regardless of how smart or frequently you clean, particles will get into the air. Particles just come with the territory when you live with birds. The only way to reliably keep the air clean is to filter it continuously.

HEPA filtration is best because its only by-product is fresh air. There are no ionized particles or ozone levels to worry about.

HEPA filtration is used by hospitals and will surely work for you in your situation. This type of filter must have proven that it is able to eliminate 99.97% of airborne particulates that are.3 microns or greater.

Together, these 5 steps can take you closer to providing a wonderful life for you avian friends, and a healthier life for all who live with them.

Breeding Lovebirds in a Colony Setting

Breeding Lovebirds is a fun experience as well as a hobby for most bird keepers. If you are planning on breeding lovebirds then you have two choices, you can either breed them in small cages with individual pairs or you can put all your lovebirds in a single large cage or aviary and breed them collectively with several pairs and you can call this a colony setting for breeding lovebirds.

I have been keeping lovebirds since my childhood when I was a school going kid. I first time bought lovebirds when I was in eighth grade and that was a pair of Fischer’s lovebirds. I have the experience of keeping lovebirds both as single pairs in individual cages as well as in small colonies of four pairs. By far I can say that breeding results I achieved in colonies were far better than individual cages.

Breeding results in individual cages as well as in aviaries mostly depends on the type of species you breed. The most common types of lovebirds such as the Fischer’s lovebirds, Peach faced lovebirds and the Masked lovebirds breed better when they are kept and bred in colony settings. This refers back to their natural instinct of breeding in the wild and this behavior is replicated in captivity.

Other species of lovebirds such as the Madagascar lovebirds, which I don’t have the experience of breeding anyway, is a better breeder when kept in single pairs. So you must be very sure which lovebird species you want to keep and select the type of cage accordingly. Also how many pairs you want to keep is also a determining factor in selecting the type of cage you should purchase or build yourself.

I have the experience of breeding lovebirds in different aviary sizes. The first colony I built for my Fischer’s lovebirds was a 4 feet square colony and I kept four breeding pairs in that cage. The breeding results were excellent with four pairs and each pair was raising 4-5 chicks in each clutch. But that aviary size had its disadvantages because it was difficult for me to inspect my birds because cage height was too short.

Now I am using aviary sizes of 4’x6’x7′ in height with ten or more pairs in a single large flight. Large cage sizes with more birds gives them the sense of security and a stress free environment and the better breeding results you get. What I realize now is that the depth and height of the aviary is more important than the front of the colony. The more deep the cage the more they get focused on breeding.

The environment and place of the colony is very important for their long term health and breeding. Make sure the aviary is situated in a well ventilated place where there is a lot of air passing in and out of the colony. Do not place your lovebirds colony in a place where there is excess heat and direct sunlight on the aviary especially in South Asian countries where the summer gets too hot.

The colony should be covered well with a roof so that the rain water do not enter their breeding boxes or pots because you may risk the chicks getting wet in the rain water. The roof should be in a slope so that the rain water may not accumulate on the top of the roof and consequently enters inside the cage. I have made water holes at the base of the colonies for water drainage in case if any rain water enters inside the breeding colonies from the sides.

Wire mesh with spacing no more than 1/2 inch is ideal for lovebirds. The wire should be strong enough so that lovebirds may not cut it out and fly away because they have very strong beaks and they can cut wires that are not strong enough. Wire mesh is preferred over bars because with it they can climb easily. Cages with darker colors gives the better view of the birds inside.

Make sure that you build an aviary that is easily cleanable. I have made double doors on all my colonies, the smaller one for placing food and water dishes and the bigger one is for cleaning the cage and inspection. The colonies with more birds in them need to be cleaned frequently at least once every week so that there may not develop any bacterial and viral infection in your birds.

I cover all my colonies with a green cloth so that any direct sunlight may not enter inside the colonies in the hot summer season. It also helps to lower down the temperature in the surrounding areas of the colonies and protect my birds from extra heat in the day time. It provides an increased sense of protection and security for my birds from predators such as eagles and cats. It also protects the colonies from winds and heavy rains.

The sticks you place inside the cages should be of varying sizes and shapes to keep their feet in good shape. Sticks should be considerably thick so that they can have a firm grip on them while sitting. If you can, place natural tree branches in the aviary because they are of varying diameters and are good for their feet. Also they provide a natural living environment for your lovebirds. Place the food and water dishes away from perches so that they may not get contaminated with droppings of birds.

The cage should be constructed from iron, steel or similar material and should not be constructed from soft wood. Lovebirds have very sharp beaks and they have a habit to gnaw anything and everything that is inside the cage. They can easily chew cages made from wood and similar material and you risk your birds chew the cage and fly away in a very short time.

I made all my colonies with angle iron and with separate frames for each side. I fixed them together with welding spots which provides them extra strength and they do not move. All my cages are three sides of wire mesh and one side is fixed with the wall. I can easily detach the frames and move the cages to some other location anytime I want. Also transporting the cage is easy because each frame is separate.

If you want to breed lovebirds in a colony setting first decide the number of birds and the species of lovebirds you want to keep. Then select the size of the cage according to your specific requirements. And finally decide on the location of the colony so that your lovebirds can live happily and breed to their maximum potential.