Monday, August 3, 2009
Summer's Almost Gone!

By Linda Costello
Explore the diaries of daily life with large birds.

Renee enjoys the outdoors during summer
Scarlet macaw, Renee, waits eagerly to go outside.

Morgan enjoys the outdoors from inside her carrier
 Blue-and-gold macaw, Morgan, spends time outside, safe in a carrier.

It's August already! I can't believe summer is almost over. I always plan on letting my birds outside to enjoy the warm weather and sunshine more often than they actually do.

Although their cages give them a big view of the outside, it is still not the same as actually being out there to feel the breeze in their feathers or hear the sounds of other birds, animals and even bugs. To put it bluntly, their life is limited to the indoors except for the too few times I get them in their flight suits or drag cages out on the patio. I do have a screened-in deck on the back of our house that gets little human use since we made a nice patio out front with a gazebo we use now.

I guess it's time to redo the deck as an outdoor oasis for the birds!

Every year I think how nice it would be to have a big outside aviary. Even then, all the birds couldn't be out at once since there are too many differences in size and temperment in my little flock.

Ok, my flock of 14 is not so little. Actually, two aviaries would be nice but even with one we could let the birds enjoy the outside (in shifts)!

My friend Carol has a beautiful aviary. Every time I come home from visiting her I am more determined than ever to get one.

I want my birds to be able to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine outside safely, which means always being aware of the chance of attack by the natural predators that could strike out of the blue. Hawks can be a big threat as I was just reminded when someone sent this link to an e-mail list I am on:

A timely reminder of how fast a predator strikes. Thank goodness for the trainer’s fast reflexes.

Have you remodeled a deck or set up an aviary outside for your birds? If so please share the URL or a link to your pictures.

Here is a slideshow below of my birds enjoying some time outside:

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Reader Comments
Linda --

Hi there! Yes, I enjoyed your blog as always...

I couldn't say it any better than what Charles from Orlando wrote. WE must be aware of what's going on around our parrots while WE ARE OUTSIDE WITH THEM.

Linda, I can hardly wait for your next blog... 'Bring it on! LOL!

The only thing I could add is that hawks, eagles, and snakes are not the only predators that we have to worry about. Sadly, as much as I personally find racoons cute and curious creatures, they will not hesitate to reach in a cage when we are not lQQking (or even when we ARE lQQking) and pull a bird or other pet close to the cage bars in order to kill and eat them as a meal. Your neighbors cats and dogs too are a threat, etc.

I'm all about getting my birds some fresh air and sunshine, but only under my DIRECT and PRESENT WATCH...

I have a big cage that I clean and keep on the deck just outside my backdoor. I would never think to just sit outside where I live (rural woodlands) and have one of my precious parrots exposed on my shoulder or lap. Hawks and eagles especially swoop right down right in front of you in attempt to take your parrot(s). Your presence does not sway them in their attempts to "get lunch"... They are brazen!

Unfortunatly, this year we've had too much rain and the local lakes have been sprayed with pesticides. The mosquitoes and tics are gigantic!!! My parrots won't be let outside this summer... 'Hopefully, next year.
Jan, Upper Greenwood Lake, NJ
Posted: 8/7/2009 11:16:06 AM
Linda, you write the best articles and always include wonderful photos of your parrots. Scary video of that hawk. Sometimes a redhawk visits my bird feeders in the front lawn, looking for an avian lunch. This week, my husband saw a bald eagle sitting on the side of Rt 22, near Steubenville. I hope he wasn't looking for little birds.
Elba, Bloomingdale, OH
Posted: 8/6/2009 10:14:55 AM
Linda~ always nice to see your flock. I'm still waiting for an aviary also, I'm hoping in 2 yrs, until then on the yard swing with a harness is where we hang out. Great video!
Brenda, DM, IA
Posted: 8/4/2009 6:40:25 PM
I am owned by a Mo-Brella Cockatoo. We did purchase an aviary and I couldn't imagine owning a large bird without one. Before we would take her outside and she would stay stuck to me like glue. So hard to work in the garden that way. Now she enjoys seeing me outside and I am free of my velcro bird. I couldn't imagine so many birds. I have 3 and they keep me busy..
Lettie, Mempphis, TN
Posted: 8/4/2009 3:41:27 PM
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