Aviary: Bookshelf Aviary

Submitted by: Amanda

Author’s Note: My dad and I once built a finch aviary and I modified our plan to build my budgie’s aviary. Now Lucky can be up high and have plenty of play space! Once he pulls out hay or Spanish moss to play with, it is easy to remove the screen and add more materials. Cleanup is also a snap because I cover the floor with paper, then roll up and toss!


What You’ll Need:

  • At least 2 empty shelves of a bookshelf (make sure there is enough room for your budgie to roam around on the floorspace)
  • Plexiglass
  • 2 drill bits – one large, one the size of your hinge screws
  • 4 small hinges
  • Carpenter’s mesh or any other screen with wide holes
  • Fresh hay or Spanish moss
  • Twine or thread
  • Curved mattress needle – the bigger the better
  • 2 tiny cup hooks
  • Clean natural wood branches
  • Adhesive hooks

Steps:

  • Step 1: First, take out as many shelves as you want in order to make the aviary as spacious as you like. The rest of the bookshelf will still be functional.

  • Step 2: Next, measure the inside of the bookshelf for height and width. Have your hardware store cut the Plexiglass to that height and width. For ease of care, I also had them cut it again short-ways about 1/3 way up – this will create a big door for the top and a small door for the bottom.

  • Step 3: Cut the carpenter’s mesh to the same dimensions with wire cutters. *Safety note – bend any loose wires backwards so they won’t stick your budgie on accident.

  • Step 4: Screw in the two very small cup hooks at the very top and very back of the aviary to hang the mesh from.
  • Step 5: Thread your needle and begin to loosely “sew” the hay and/or Spanish moss to the back of the mesh. I put in a “stitch” about every 4 inches or so.
  • Step 6: Hang the mesh from the cup hooks, bending it slightly if you need to in order to make it fit – it will flatten out once it is in place. That was the hardest part!!!
  • Step 7: Get your big drill bit and drill a pattern of holes through both pieces of Plexiglass for air holes. Drill slowly and gently or you may accidentally crack the Plexiglass.
  • Step 8: Now get your small drill bit, decide where you want your hinges to go on each door (big one above and small one on bottom) and use a marker or pen to mark where to drill. Be sure to leave room at the edge for the hinge to move! Drill the holes slowly and carefully or the Plexiglass may crack. Put in the screws and secure them with very small nuts. (I used rubber bumpers to keep sharp ends from sticking into the aviary.)
  • Step 9: Hold up the door to the bookcase and mark where the screws go to secure the other half of the hinge. Screw them in.
  • Step 10: Repeat above steps for smaller door.
  • Step 11: Hang up adhesive hooks for toys, sweet treats, cuttlebone, millet, be creative!
  • Step 12: Natural branches for perches can be secured to the adhesive hooks or you can put screws directly through the sides of the bookcase to hold them even better.

This project may take a bit of your afternoon, but be prepared for it to look lovely and you will be able to store your budgie’s supplies right below the aviary – pretty handy! ENJOY!

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