Attracting birds Birds Pets

An Aviary That Lets Birds In, But Keeps Pests Out

This bird cage is designed to let birds in, not keep them out! Photo: Alain Gagnon & Céline Cliche

Here is an interesting idea submitted by Alain Gagnon and Céline Cliche of Quebec City.

We had a problem in our yard, filled with flower beds and bird feeders of all kinds to please our feathered friends. However, an irresponsible neighbor lets her cat wander at will and it had picked up the habit of waiting for its lunch under the feeders, always well stocked with seeds and birds. That didn’t keep fat squirrels from emptying the feeders, when it wasn’t starlings coming by the dozens to squawk loudly and feed messily. 

Do note that the above is written in the past tense, because, after attempts of all kinds to get rid of these intruders, we seem to have found a solution. We’ve put in an outdoor aviary, not to keep birds inside, but to keep pests out. 

The grid that makes up the aviary walls allows small birds to come and go (and feed!) as they please, but it keeps out unwanted larger birds like starlings and pigeons as well as cats and squirrels!

Our “exclusionary aviary” has only been up for two months, but so far it has been 100% successful.

Sun and Safety for Kitty

This enclosed cat patio prevents the couple’s cat from attacking birds and also protects kitty from the numerous enemies a wandering cat can encounter. Photo: Alain Gagnon & Céline Cliche

Alain and Céline also sent a photo showing how they let their own cat bask in the sun while keeping it from harming wild birds by giving him access to an enclosed patio through an open window. Such a pen is sometimes called a “catio.”

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

2 comments on “An Aviary That Lets Birds In, But Keeps Pests Out

  1. John Wilson

    Excellent Ideas! Thanks to Alain and Céline for sending them in. Just another reason I enjoy reading this blog!

  2. That is a great idea for those who like the finches. Everyone else takes their seed. Those last pictures made me laugh though. They look like the baby cages that used to hang from high rise apartment buildings.

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