Any bird enthusiast will tell you that having a safe space for your feathered friends to live in is of the utmost importance. Walk-in aviaries are an excellent way to provide birds with a natural-feeling environment while simultaneously keeping them safe from predators.
In this article, I’ll walk you through ten incredible DIY building plans for outdoor aviaries that you can construct in your backyard or garden. These ideas may require a bit of hard work and some investment in materials, but it’ll be worth it in the end. Ready? Let’s dive right in.
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10 DIY PLANS
1. Walk-In Aviary with Perching Station
DIY Project Details: Free Range Parrots
This type of aviary is perfect for a mixed bag of bird species, like, for example, a combination of parrots and finches. It has a relatively long flight path for birds to move around freely and a multi-tiered perching station to help prevent inter-species conflict.
The design itself is pretty simple. One of the most essential features is a double-door system for would-be escapees. This allows the owner to enter the aviary, shut the first door behind them, and then enter the main area without any birds flying out.
Even more significantly, it features a one-of-a-kind perching station, with branches and boughs at various heights so that your birds can choose where they’d like to sit. The main limb of the perch structure is connected both to the roof and supported in the foundation with the help of a metal pole.
For this aviary, natural redwood lumber is used. Treated woods can be harmful to birds, so it’s better to avoid them. For the encasing of the frame, the designer has chosen an 18-gauge stainless steel wire that is ½” by ½” to provide maximum sunlight and keep intruders out.
Furthermore, slightly slanted PVC roof sheets have been installed to prevent rainwater from pooling on top of the aviary. This also stops the roof from sagging and damaging the enclosure’s structural integrity. Overall this is a wonderful design that ensures plenty of sunlight and shelter and lots of space for birds to thrive.
2. Sheltered Geometric Dome Aviary
This unique design is perfect for larger species of ground-roaming birds like chickens or quails. Together with this, its dome shape is visually attractive and adds an eye-catching aesthetic to your backyard. Building this aviary requires a combination of wood, galvanized steel tubing, quality wire mesh, and some patience.
First, the foundation ring is assembled from a series of 4×4 woodcuts. I recommend settling this in a raised gravel perimeter to prevent burrowing rodents like rats from entering the enclosure.
Next, you can install the door. A wooden door you build yourself is more than adequate, but you can beef up security with a storm door if you feel like it.
Finally, and this is the tricky part, begin construction on the steel frame, connecting the tubes to develop this design’s signature dome-shaped look. Wire mesh netting goes over the top and is secured into the foundation ring.
This aviary’s shape means it is sturdy and will keep your feathered pets safe. It is also great for other types of animals, like rabbits or chinchillas, depending on your needs.
3. Custom-Made Balcony Aviary
DIY Project Details: Bogdan Berg
For indoor/outdoor birds like parrots, why not consider building a walk-in aviary on your balcony? Custom-fitted balcony aviaries are an excellent use of space and a really special way to keep your birds safe while providing them with plenty of access to sunlight and fresh air. Depending on your chosen materials, they’re also non-obtrusive, fitting in seamlessly with your existing architecture.
The most important thing to consider when starting out on a project like this is design. You want to ensure that the structure you develop can be incorporated onto your balcony safely and securely, making the most of the existing “foundation” without putting too much weight or pressure on it.
It’s a good idea to keep your frames and roofing to a similar height as your railings and ceilings, respectively. In terms of materials, keep the health of your birds at the forefront of your mind. This may mean sanding down wooden balconies to raw lumber to prevent the ingestion of harmful substances.
By the same token, purchase mesh and roofing marked as “bird safe” and brush it thoroughly to remove particles that can get lodged in your birds’ lungs. With all this in place, you can start your construction. This great DIY project may take a few weekends but is infinitely rewarding.
4. Simple Square Plan
DIY Project Details: Pearl Parrots
Some aviaries are only intended as a space for birds to spend time in the sunlight during the day, not as permanent residences. This example reads more like a really large outdoor cage, but it’s perfect for birds to roam in during the day, like parrots or pigeons. It can also be customized to include perches and nesting shelves.
What I love about this design is the custom-built entry door that fits securely over the patio window. This allows birds to be safely transferred into the aviary from indoors, rather than undertaking a tricky transfer process outside where there is a risk your birds may fly away.
The construction itself is simple – a square frame of galvanized steel covered securely with 1″ aluminum wire netting. If you have the correct tools, you can easily DIY this at home. However, it does take a bit of skill, so you may want to bring in a contractor to assist with cutting and welding.
5. Homemade Quail Aviary
This beautiful design encourages natural behavior from quails by providing them with an environment that closely emulates their natural habitats. This aviary is not overly complicated but instead focuses on having a solid foundation, good space for growth and breeding, and sufficient shelter from inclement weather.
The first step is to dig and level your foundation area, also adding a wraparound of hardware cloth to the base beams to keep predators out.
Next, build your frame and walls to your personalized size specifications. This design is a simple rectangle with a slightly raised roof for shelter and rain run-off. Hardware cloth or wire mesh covers the frame and keeps the quails safely ensconced indoors.
Lastly, dirt and plants are added for the bird to burrow and nest in.
6. Easy Walk-In Pigeon or Dove Aviary
DIY Project Details: Pigeon Rescue
Are you looking for a safe spot for your pigeons or doves that you can build in under a weekend? This intelligent design requires minimal skill and yet can be made super safe for your birds, especially considering doves and pigeons are highly attractive to predators.
The basis of this design is a prefabricated outdoor dog kennel converted into a walk-in aviary. Once set up, you can start DIYing your cage by covering it with wire mesh.
This designer used cable ties – which are perfectly suitable and worked great. Just make sure to clip off any sharp pieces of hardware cloth, so your birds don’t hurt themselves.
Once the frame is covered, you can install perches, breeding baskets, and feeding stations by suspending them from the roof netting. After this, all that’s left to do is partially cover the aviary with shade cloth so that your birds can access both sun and shade.
7. PVC Piping Idea
DIY Project Details: Parrot Society of NW Ohio
This is one of my favorite ideas for a walk-in aviary for numerous reasons, first and foremost being the fact that it predominantly uses PVC piping, joints, and cable ties. And what does that mean? It’s a simple DIY project that almost anyone can make.
Aviaries like this are great as playpens for bigger parrots like cockatoos and macaws, but not necessarily for long-term living. The idea is to create a safe space for your feathered companion to play in the sun, away from risk or potential escape.
Constructing this aviary is simple – it is a rectangle made of even lengths of PVC piping, with one wall containing a door. Stainless steel mesh is then adjoined using strong cable ties to each wall, the roof, and also the base frame to keep critters from climbing in underneath.
Once completed, you can customize this aviary with toys and perches. Don’t forget food and water bowls. As it’s pretty light, this aviary can be set down anywhere, whether on grass, gravel, or paving.
8. Easy Backyard Aviary Plan
This simple-to-build walk-in aviary is perfect for finches, budgies, or smaller parrots like cockatiels.
All you need is some concrete paver blocks for your foundation, good quality lumber, hardware cloth or wire mesh, and some OSB board to create a sheltered area. Hinges, nails, bolts, and a staplegun will also come in handy.
The most crucial part of constructing this aviary is getting the foundation right so it doesn’t fall over and predators can’t get inside. Digging a trench and laying concrete pavers works great. The frame can then be attached around the foundation with the additional support of metal poles.
For shelter from bad weather, part of the roof is covered with bitumen sheets, which are durable and water-resistant. In this example, the hardware cloth is attached neatly with a staplegun, keeping it securely in place and taut.
Overall, this design is simple enough to make yourself and has a nice long flight path for smaller birds to enjoy.
9. Walk-In Deck Aviary
DIY Project Details: Bogdan Berg
This is another great design that uses an existing structure – in this case, a wooden deck – as its base. The end result is an aesthetically-pleasing, non-intrusive aviary that looks like it’s part of the home’s overall design.
In concept, the idea is simple. A door at the top of the deck staircase provides an entranceway for guests. Conversely, an interior door to the home inside the aviary creates a pathway for parrots that live inside and out.
To construct this aviary, the homeowner has used a combination of natural, untreated lumber and stainless-steel wire mesh. Frames were built and then joined to the deck railing, which serves as a type of foundation.
In keeping with the simplicity of the overall design, the roof is also made only of wood and mesh, given that shade is already provided by the house’s walls and overhanging ceiling.
This is a lovely recreational area for bigger, tamer birds like parrots. You can even include some patio furniture if you want to spend time watching your birds at play.
10. Designer Chicken Coup Plan
On the fancier side of aviary-building, this designer chicken coup is nothing short of breathtaking. That said, it does require some higher-end carpentry skills, or at the least, bucketloads of patience. At its core, the idea behind this design is a standard square-shaped aviary but with a sheltered corner area for breeding and a striking gabled roof.
Pouring a foundation in concrete allows you to leave a spacious gap for a sandpit for scrubbing.
To create this aviary, you’ll need quite a few materials, including mesh, hinges, nails, screws, OBS or plywood, and roof tiles. You’ll also need a variety of tools.
From there, it’s a case of designing your coup to suit your space and building it carefully to accommodate the weight of the roof and mesh. This is aided by the shaded, fully wooden corner unit used for breeding.