Outdoor Parrot Aviary

Whether building your own aviary or installing something more ‘ready-made’, or converting an existing outbuilding into a birdhouse, there are some basic essentials to bear in mind:

Legal Requirements for Building an Aviary

Always check to make sure your planned construction doesn’t contravene any local building or environmental regulations. In general, anything under two metres in height will not require planning permission; but always check that what you are planning is allowed in the place you live.


White cockatoo cage
Getting the space right is vital for the happiness of fussy parrots like this White Cockatoo

How Big Should an Aviary Be?

Size matters! An outdoor aviary isn’t just an al fresco cage. It should give the parrots as much space as possible for flight, and offer a warm and comfortable roosting space too. The species of parrot you keep will determine the minimum size of the space, although even smaller species enjoy long, unimpeded flight-paths. In fact the smaller parrots tend to fly more than their larger cousins. The size of the area you have available should act as a starting point for the type and number of birds you are going to keep.

As a rule of thumb, allow for a length equivalent to twice the span of a parrot’s fully extended wings, per bird. The height should be at least twice the length of the largest bird; but ideally you should go for at least a metre and a half to ensure a good flying and climbing space.


Yellow-naped Amazon pair
Yellow-naped Amazon pair enjoying the great outdoors

Best Location For an Outdoor Aviary

  • Avoid locating your aviary in a place with overhanging trees – they block out lots of light, and act as handy toilets from which wild birds can poo on the aviary roof! This can contaminate food and water, and will increase the chances of passing on diseases. The outdoor space should offer plenty of relief from cold winds too, and shelter from unrelenting sunshine.
  • Remember your neighbours! An unannounced, noisy aviary can be the cause of major fall-outs. Avoid fumes: an aviary next to a busy garage with copious exhaust fumes will not benefit your birds’ health near exhaust vents (oil, gas, fire place).
  • Noise issues can unsettle parrots too – not their own screams and squawks, but roads, railway lines, flight paths and other possible disturbers-of-the-peace.
  • Outdoor sensor lights (yours or your neighbours) will disturb the birds if they illuminate the interior of the roosting pace. Birds whose sleep is interrupted regularly will become stressed and prone to poor health as a direct result.
  • Think weather. Too much sun or wind, or incessant drenching from rain, are all hazards to avoid.
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