A Truly "Rosie" Aviary


T hat's what it is like in Jeannette Duyn's comer of the world, really Rosie - except when it's Grey. She has been actively breeding birds in Templeton, California, since 1980 and started with cockatoos such as Moluccan and Leadbeater's, plus some Amazon parrots too. Through the years she has eliminated all other species and her focus is now entirely on Rose-breasted Cockatoos and African Grey Parrots.

Innovative Aviaries

Privileged to visit this dazzling, bubbly redhead's domain, I saw many great ideas I'd never thought of before. The first great planning idea is that the aviaries all face a side of the house where they can be viewed at all times. If Duyn desires, she can walk out on a large deck for a closer look. Her nursery room is also on the aviary side of the house so any time spent with the hatchlings, can also be spent observing what the pairs are "up to" in their outside cages.

Each enclosure is a work of art in itself, with much thought and care put into every aspect. All cages are 4 feet wide, 6 feet tall and 7 feet long with framing of 4 X 4s and metal pipe. Side panels are of 3/4 inch plywood and some of these panels are removable during the summer heat for increased air circulation. Wire for the aviaries is '/z X 3 inch, 12 gauge.

Perches are made of pine 2 X 4s.

Double entry nests are used, with dimensions of 24 inches wide, 14 inches deep and 24 inches high. The nests are of wood with metal lining so the birds cannot chew their way out. The floors of the cages are sand which can be easily raked clean.

Aviary roofs are of PVC, rather than fiberglass. PVC will not dry out and split in the sun .. A plywood layer is just below and attached to the PVC, which amounts to a double roof and acts as insulation against the heat and cold of the area .. The roof is also hinged so it can be lifted up for maintenance of the sprinkler system or just for extra ventilation on hot summer afternoons. Summer temperatures often are over the 100 degrees mark and it also freezes many winter nights.