Basic rules for keeping songbirds
The following four are the most important conditions for the correct keeping of birds: premises, food, cleanliness, light. Let’s consider them separately.
A common room for birds is a cage. There are countless types of cells, as well as opinions on their merits. Thirty years of bird keeping experience told me some rules. I would like to share them with hunters.
A songbird cage must satisfy a number of requirements.
Firstly, it should be moderately spacious so that the bird does not feel oppressed in it, does not beat and spoil the feather.
A cage cannot be too large, cluttering up the room, such that the bird will fly like a sparrow in a barn.
The cage should be cleaned easily and quickly.
It requires that set of amenities on which a good mood, a peppy, clean and healthy look of a bird depends. Every cage should be equipped with poles, have a bathing place, a drinking bowl, a cup with mineral top dressing and sand and a mounted, rotary or, much worse, movable feeder.
In the cage there should not be gaps and places where parasites of birds hide and breed: lice, ticks, bird lice.
And the last condition – the cell must be beautiful. Its beauty is not meant as a pile of skates, domes, balconies, carvings, or, even worse, nickel-plated, plastic and plexiglass jewelry. I am categorically against the disgusting bazaar style of whipped up "little gardens" with domes painted in the brightest yellow, blue and even red color, little gardens designed for indecent taste. Such cells do not fit in any way with good furniture, the modern look of the rooms, because of the low sides they clog the room.
Cramped cages with domes, and especially with a top made in the form of an arc or arch, are the main reason for a particular defect in the behavior of birds, the so-called "helicopterhead". Carduelis, greenfinchs, repoles, sometimes finches and scallops, often already on the second day after being placed in such a cage, they begin to bend their heads to the tail and constantly twist them. The bird seems to dance, worry, sometimes falls from the perch. A learned defect is not corrected later in a good, normal cell.
A real cage for all singers should be strictly rectangular, made purely from solid deciduous wood. Best cells are beech or oak. They, if new, are good and without coloring – so the surface of a planed beech, pinkish with a small brown speck, is noble. Sometimes they are coated with colorless oil varnish or nitro-varnish. The varnish only slightly yellowes the cage, showing the texture of beech and oak wood, emphasizing its beauty.
In extreme cases, the cell may be birch, pine, aspen, but in such cases it is better to paint it outside in a light-green or beige color that is calm to the eye.
The sides of the cell are made at least 10 centimeters high. A wide door that locks well with two locks and a retractable bottom are required. If you add a hanging feeder and a bathhouse to this, then this is a normal good apartment for your bird.
The cells of all migratory strict and wild birds are best to have soft top. These birds often “throw up” and can break the beak. This is especially true for singing thrushes, nightbrowers, nightingales, bluethroats, who fly to nights, as well as for all types of buntings and larks. The soft top is made of canvas, oilcloth, burlap. It is beaten with wallpaper nails or clipped onto glue with small nails pierced through thin strips, which is much better and more beautiful.
The lark cage should have a sandbox, where these timid birds will hide and bathe (a detailed description of the cage below).
Some hunters may say, “Have mercy, what a luxury! Beech cells! Swimwear! Mounted feeders! All this is fiction, pampering … Grandfathers kept birds … "
To this, I can only answer that I am writing a book about the best, exemplary content – content that excludes the death of birds from various stupid reasons, content in which the birds are really CIRCUIT.
The answer is one. Do it yourself. A little knowledge is needed to build any most convenient cell. Only six simple tools are required: a hacksaw, a planer (preferably a half jointer), pliers, wire cutters, a hammer, an awl and a glass cutter.
A cell is made like this.
First, the length, width, height and distance between the spokes are calculated. Then a drawing of the future cell is drawn. Then you harvest planed boards boards, planks. Strictly on the ruler are marked the places of future holes in the slats. The next step is to drill all the holes with an awl, drill or rotor, in the chuck of which instead of a perk a flat-sharpened nail suitable for the wire diameter is fixed. If you drill with an awl, then its end is also sharpened in the manner of a chisel. Such sharpening protects the plank tree from cracks and splits.
When all planks, boards, plywood are prepared, assembly begins. The bottom is beaten to the sidewalls, then the posts, crossbars. Upon completion of assembly, wire is inserted into the holes with pliers.
It does not matter if the first experience is not entirely successful. You will make other cells better and in time you will reach masterpieces. For me, for example, working on a cell is one of the most enjoyable.
The awareness of what you are doing for your pet, not a nasty cramped chamber, but an apartment with all the amenities, always inspires.
The cage is ready. She is beautiful in her simplicity, cleanliness of work, the smell of fresh wood. The bird only wins in it, it looks completely different from that in the bazaar tower, where the brightness of the color crawls into the eyes, and the bird fades away.
I will give some more information useful to the builder.
It is better if the cells are made of the same type or of different sizes, but of the same style.
The top bar should always be thicker.
The average vein is placed not symmetrically in the middle, but lower, so that the bird does not rest its head on the ceiling of the cage.
The wire is better and more beautiful thick: 1.5; 2 and up to 3 mm in cross section depending on the type of cell.
Where doors and mounted feeders are installed, you do not need to drill and pierce the trims through.
A special kind of room is a cage-box (Fig. On page 248). Three sides of it are taken away by plywood painted inside with white. The top is soft, a box of sand is inserted into the base of the cage. Such cells are not made in us and are common in the West. But to make them yourself is quite possible. In a cage-box, all birds keep themselves calmer, especially insectivores. In addition, birds spoil the feather less, as they do not jump on the side walls. During flights, such a cage is indispensable if you want your nightingale or blackbird to remain with a whole tail and uninhabited wings. A bird, having well memorized a two-pole jump, even in the dark jumps on them, does not fall and does not beat. The drawback of the box cell is that it needs to be more closely monitored for cleanliness and it is slightly darker than an ordinary cell.
In my opinion, iron and soldered cells are completely unsuitable. The bird in them looks worse, often bruises and sings less.
All bird cages can be of two options: normal and small. The small-sized option refers to a cell without an average vein. The birds in them live perfectly, and with a lack of free space, this type of cell is quite acceptable.
For convenience, I divide all the cells into four numbers: from No. 1 – the smallest to No. 4 – the largest.
Here are the most suitable cell sizes, which are given in two versions:
No. 1. For siskins, carduelis, finches, tits, chicks:
normal option: length – 50 cm,
width – 23 cm, height – 32 cm;
small-sized: length – 40 cm,
width – 18 cm, height – 22 cm.
The same for Dubrovniks, cuts, warblers, warblers, warblers, but with a soft top.
The size of the box cells is the same.
The distance between the knitting needles is 1.5 cm. For tits, kings, feathers – 1 cm.
No. 2. For nightingales, waxwings and the like: normal:
small-sized: length – 45 cm,
The top is soft. The distance between the needles is 1.5 cm.
N 3. For larks, two types of cells:
Russian cage – 40 cm 30 cm, height 22 cm.
German cage-box – 70 cm23 cm, height 25 cm.
Mandatory: soft top, vestibule-sandbox, mounted feeder and drinking bowl.
The distance between the needles is from 2 to 3 cm, depending on the type of lark. For yulya – no more than 2 cm, and for dzhurbay you can also 3 cm.
N 4. For thrushes, Orioles:
normal: length – 70 cm,
small-sized: length – 60 cm,
All cells are only with a soft top. Better drawers of the same size. Mandatory glazed vestibule and feeders. The distance between the knitting needles is 2 and 2.5 cm. The wire is thick – up to 3 mm in cross section.
Cages for nightingales, blackbirds and larks good with wooden (maple or beech) knitting needles. If they are made cleanly, they are very elegant, the bird in them feels good, and the distance between the needles for thrushes and large larks, not wild "perched", can be up to 3–3.5 cm.
Cages A large cage for the general maintenance of several species of birds is called a cage. The sizes of the cages are very different – from 803550 cm to one and a half and even two meters in length with the corresponding width and height. It all depends on the possibility of placing a cage in the apartment and the taste of the owner. Any hunter needs one or two cages. Here you can contain groups of decorative, low-singing birds, for which individual cells are not needed. You can keep companies of different tits even with a small woodpecker and a landslide, and finally, collections of birds of close species, for example, plantain. The kindergarten makes it possible to create forest interiors for birds, interiors with stumps, branches, stones, bumps, Christmas trees. Well-chosen birds look wonderful in such a cage. How pleasant in such a cage is the red-breasted zaryanka, or bluethroat, forest lark-yula, snow-white bunting …
Remember, however, that you should never “overload” a cage with birds, otherwise it turns into a dirty and unpleasant ark.
Keeping good singers in cages along with other birds is unjustified. Even the best birds transferred to the kindergarten sing less. The exception is carduelis, siskins, repov, which can sing even in crowded cages.
The cage is good for birds during molting, when it is placed in the wild, in the fresh air. It is necessary to strictly monitor that it always has shadow corners where birds rest from the sun. Sometimes birds are released into the cage before the period of singing in the autumn-winter months, and since March they are seated in cages.
Indispensable cage if you decide to breed songbirds. This troublesome job succeeds patient lovers.
The dimensions of the average comfortable cage are as follows: length – 150 cm, width – 45 cm, height – 75 cm. Decorative birds for such cages: bullfinch, goldfinch, siskin, crossbill, blue tit, waxwing, reel, warbler, squint.
And the last remark on cages: it is convenient if the back wall of the cage is made of a solid plywood board painted in bluish or white. Decorative birds on such a background are very winning.
Aviaries Large enclosures for birds in the open air or in a room are called aviaries. A room enclosure is usually arranged near a window and enclosed with a metal mesh with a cell diameter of not more than 1.51.5 cm. It is equipped with branches and saddles of various sizes, but it is by no means an ideal room for songbirds.
What are the disadvantages of a room window aviary? Firstly, you somehow don’t see birds in it; it’s more difficult to follow them through the net. Secondly, singing in the general choir is so interrupted that you hear only continuous and unpleasant whine. Birds, especially in the spring, try to shout down each other, crack, quarrel, chirp, like budgies, the most annoying bird to hear. Thirdly, it is inconvenient to clean the indoor enclosure without scaring its inhabitants. Many parasites are always bred in it, which are very difficult to exterminate.
A street aviary, or a house, is much more needed for a bird lover. It can be built on a personal plot, somewhere in the corner of a kitchen garden, garden, courtyard. Here, for keeping birds, you can create the best conditions close to natural. The size of the aviary is arbitrary, it all depends on the capabilities of the hunter. On average, 4 m by 2, with a height of not more than 2 m. A good size is Z1.5 and 1.8 m in height.
The aviary is built on a foundation of wild stone or bricks dug into the ground. A stone recessed base is necessary so that small predatory animals do not make their way to the birds. If a hunter lives on the outskirts, and even more so in a village, he will soon be convinced that caresses, ferrets, and sometimes ermines will lay a pillar road to the aviary, not to mention cats and rats. It will be especially visible on the first snowball.
On the brick foundation of the house is laid a base of non-thick logs tied to the butt. The aviary is built with a facade to the south, southeast, southwest and west. The other two or three walls are sealed tightly with planks. The roof is made half mesh, half deaf, pitched, so that the birds could hide from the sun and find a place to sleep. It is not necessary to completely cover the aviary, as the birds love rain very much, they like to get wet under it, swim and clean. At the entrance door of the aviary, a wooden platform is made so that the birds do not fly out if you go inside. Then the grid is filled or the frames tightened by it are placed. The entire structure is carefully painted on the outside with oil or enamel paint.
The internal equipment of the enclosures is made to the taste of an amateur. Poles are placed, hollows hang out, the floor is covered with sand. You can sow grass, plant shrubs, but they will remain only if the aviary is not overpopulated.
Dry, strong branches are placed in different places in the house, and if a nuthatch, titmouse or woodpecker lives in the aviary, the rotten trunk of spruce, birch, and pine is required. Deciduous rotten mushrooms, especially aspen ones, eat well and love to hammer almost all birds.
It is not a bad idea to equip an open-air cage for granivores with automatic feeders in case of departure. To make such feeders is very simple, as shown in Fig. p. 169.
In order not to climb into the enclosures every time and not to scare the birds during cleaning, there should be several well-locking small doors. Through them it is convenient to put food, water, throw grass.
An aviary is needed by an amateur mainly for the summer period, when birds molt, but you can keep them in other periods of the year. It is better to have two enclosures or one enclosed for granivorous and insectivorous birds. It must be remembered that in summer all grain-eating animals eat ant eggs perfectly, and you don’t have to get enough feed for the whole company, if it is large.
A compulsory subject for an aviary should be cells with a wide door, like a trap. They are constantly in the aviary, they provide food, they catch the right bird so as not to rattle the rest.
The release of birds into the enclosure is done on a warm, warm morning, so that by night the immigrants are well acquainted with the new housing. The aviary of songbirds has the same advantages and disadvantages as the cage. Birds sing less. But to study the issues of molting, nesting, nesting and migratory instincts, behavior patterns, as well as for breeding birds, aviaries are absolutely necessary.
As for the circles of young naturalists in schools, houses of pioneers and zoos, here the aviary content of birds should be the main thing.
Accessories for cages and cages Cage equipment includes poles, drinking bowls, feeders, sandboxes. The poles are made of solid wood, better natural, that is, juniper, bird cherry, maple, pine. They are placed in a cage so that the bird can jump, slightly flapping its wings. The poles are made – one thicker, the other thin.
Drinking bowls should be quite wide and heavy – from glass, faience, porcelain. Plastics must be avoided because many of its species release toxic substances into the water.
The same can be said about feeders, if they are not movable or mounted. A hinged, glazed feeder with a drawer is the most convenient, preferred for blackbirds, larks, nightingales, starlings and other birds that often scatter food.
Swimwear and sandboxes are well glazed mounted or glued from plexiglass. Their sizes and shapes are different. They are hung on the door or side hole 2-3 times a week.