Living in an outdoor aviary provides many advantages for pet birds. They will receive plenty of fresh air, sunshine and exercise. However, outdoors birds are susceptible to predators. Keep a baby monitor in your outdoor aviary so you can hear if something is wrong.
Healthy birds will thrive outside. Birds who are weak and underweight cannot tolerate the cold. Obese birds will overheat easily. The excess fat acts as insulation and prevents the body from cooling itself. A bird who is a healthy weight will be able to tolerate temperatures of 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Obese birds will most likely suffer heat stroke at 85 degrees.
Birds Acclimated to the Outdoors
Sudden changes in temperature can be stressful for pet birds. If you plan on housing your bird outdoors, gradually acclimate him to the climate. Place him outside for a few hours at a time. Within a few weeks he should be able to stay outside without any ill effects. Watch for drastic temperature fluctuations: Birds should not experience temperature changes of more than 10 or 15 degrees within 24 hours.
Birds With Proper Shelter
Numerous pet bird species originate from tropical climates and prefer warm temperatures. African greys originate from Central Africa. Amazons are found in the jungles of South America. Lovebirds come from Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands; the eclectus parrot is found in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. In the United States, California and Florida provide ideal temperatures for housing birds outside year around. If you live in any of the northern states, where winters can be cold and harsh, adequate shelter is critical. The outdoor aviary should include an enclosed area that is insulated and heated with a heat lamp or other device. If you live in a region with extreme summer heat, install a mister or mist your pet birds with a squirt bottle to keep them cool.
Like any other animal, most pet birds can be housed outdoors in a large aviary or flight cage. The majority of birds should not be kept outside when the weather is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or more than 90 degrees Fahrenheit, unless adequate shelter is provided. The ideal temperature for most birds is between 65 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. African greys, cockatoos and amazon parrots prefer temperatures ranging from 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, while canaries favor 75 degrees. Miniature parrots, such as the parrotlet and fig parrot cannot be kept in temperatures below 50 degrees.
- BirdChannel.com: Keep Pet Birds Outdoors Safely
- BirdChannel.com: Ideal Temperature Ranges for Parrots
- LafeberVet.com: Basic Information Sheet for the African Grey Parrot
- BirdChannel.com: Build an Outdoor Bird Aviary
- The Parrotlet Handbook; Matthew M. Vriends
- PetPlace.com: Keeping Your Bird Safe in the Summer
- John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images