Building a Finch Aviary


You might never know it now

but, like most people, I started out with a single bird, a

male Zebra Finch. It was less than a month later when I bought a female for him. Two birds quickly became four, then six, and so on. Many years later I have a flock of around 80 finches.

I started out with a cage for each pair but after my flock grew to eight pairs, I realized I was running out of space for cages. I also found that I was spending a lot more time than I liked cleaning cages and changing food and water for the birds.

I tried buying a few large cages for my pairs to share. That led to some fighting, though nothing more serious than a few plucked feathers. At the time, I really had no idea what size cage should be used to house a few pairs of finches, but now I realize that the flights were small and that I have some very aggressive females.

After talking with local finch breeders, I decided to try to construct an aviary. This aviary would allow my finches plenty of room and fulfill my greatest wish - to be able to stand amongst my finch friends. Then the

reality of the cost set in. One small walk-in aviary could cost from $500- $1,000. I do not breed birds for a living, and there was no way I could afford that expense, so I talked the


design over with my father and uncle and they agreed to help.

My homebuilt aviary cost about $250. It was built over a period of two weekends and assembled in my basement because that was the only place it would fit, and because it allows me to give the birds proper lighting. It stands 5 feet 5 inches tall. I'm a short gal so I have no problem standing up in this aviary which is 4 feet wide and 8 feet long. I use hanging bird feeders for their seed, and a small fountain that supplies fresh water constantly. I also installed large removable bowls (the kind you buy for T-Stands and Parrot Cages) to hold the fruits, veggies, egg, and other treats.

If you are interested in building an aviary like mine, feel free to use my design as a guide:

Flight area Building Supplies

• 17 - 10 foot sections of '/2 inch thinwalls electrical conduit.

• 1 - 50 foot roll of '/4 inch hardware cloth.

• 34 - 2 inch #8-32 steel machine screws and nuts.

• 100 - 1/2 #8 PH wafer k-lathe screws.

• 2 - small hinges

• 1 - door latch

Flight Area Construction Walls

This is the main framework of my aviary. All side panels are interchangeable. Screw holes are shown as small dots on the frame. Holes on top and bottom are drilled vertically and holes on the sides are in both directions as needed.

The corners are cut at an angle and welded together like a picture frame.

Height of the aviary is 66 inches but can be adjusted to your needs.

Width of the aviary is 47 and s/16 inches. (Subtracting the diameter of structural component.)

Cover frame with hardware cloth and screw tightly into place.


The panel with the door has the same dimensions as the wall panel. The only difference is that the door is mounted in this panel. The hinges can be any type of hinges that you can find and that will work easily with your aviary design. They must be mounted on the outside unless you want the door to swing inward.

Fit the door as tightly as possible to the frame so that none of your birds can sneak out or get stuck half way through during an escape attempt.

Top Panel

The top panel is one large panel.

The location of all the screw holes in the illustration is where the top panel is fitted to the wall panels. The screw over the door itself may not fit and still allow the door to swing freely. I have removed the screw in that one place on my aviary for that very reason.