Birds in Greenhouse

daveg(z9 CA)October 2, 2007

I have a greenhouse that is 60' by 26' and 12' high. I has a heater, misters, and ventilation fans. It can still get up to 90 degrees when the sun and outside heat are intense. I grow citrus, vegetables, and tropical plants and start plants from cuttings and seeds. Can you suggest any birds that will thrive in such an environment?

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anya_101(z5b central,IL)

Whatever you do, make sure it is safe for them. I thought I had mine pretty much "wild bird proof", with some twirling whirly gig's & shinning prisims hanging up in mine, but for the first time, a little wild yellow canary just lost his life do to ventalation fan. : (
Looks like I am going to have to put a smaller mesh over it to prevent that from happening ever again.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 11:11PM
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greenhouser(Middle TN Zone 6)

I would think any of the tropical birds would thrive in it but do you really want that mess? They may also damage the plants and how will you keep them from escaping when you open the door? Or do you mean caged birds?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 2:21AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

I kept birds for several years in my shadehouse with many different problems.. Do you intend to keep them in cages or let them roam?? Since it's now against the law to keep almost any type of domestic birds your left with mostly tropicals. Parrots of course will destroy your plants lol Most finches are only slightly less destructive.
though there are some that are controllable.
Softbills are good if your willing to work with the diets.. I like nectavores which are excellant in this type setup. You can often get them to breed with large planted setups.
Have you priced any birds lately?? Be ready for sticker shock lol gary

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 7:19AM
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I kept, bred and exibited exotic finches and softbills for many years and would have killed for your GH. It's a large, walk-in flight cage under shelter- just waiting to happen.

I agree that you would not want them to fly free throughout the GH unless you are really planning a bird/tropical conservatory, and would need to install a security cage inside the entrance, but if you want spectacular color and birds that will thrive in heat, check out Gouldian Finches. They have been bred in captivity long enough now and in such numbers they are readily available, although the prices seem to be holding. If you don't want to breed them and at the same time, avoid squabbles, keep only males, which are far more colorful anyway.

Or- male canaries, and have song as well as pretty. Just make sure you buy your stock from reliable, experienced breeders and if you can find one who would be willing to help you set up your flight, all the better, because the birds need specific care.

However, one very large flight inside of a GH would not be difficult to care for. A garden birdbath, some hanging water bottles to make sure they always have clean fresh drinking water, a large shallow dish for seed and a few other smaller pots for mineral grit and greens. I used large plastic plant pot trays. They were easy to clean and with the seed spread out, there was little waste.

If you could give your birds a splashing waterfall, with shallow dips for them to use as baths, they would love you for it and with a filter, it would stay a lot cleaner than a simple birdbath. You could then eliminate water bottles too.

BTW: All walk-in flights, regrdless if an entire GH or a flight cage built inside of one still requires a security cage; a double entry, with an unbreakege rule- when entering, the outer door must always be closed before the inner one is opened and the reverse when exiting.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 2:30PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

What type of softbills have you kept?? I keep a separate aviary as well as a shadehouse . The nectavores worked best
kept with the plants for me but was gratefull many times that I had a dedicated aviary.
The most serious problem I've had was RATS lol
Since the hurricanes I've let my birds decline so now all I have are fruit doves ,seed doves and a gift budgerigar lol.
Was thinking of adding some birds to the shadehouse .Honeycreepers,Hummers or Tanagers. should be compatible with my plants but WOW the prices lol gary

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 6:35AM
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I kept and bred primarially African and Australian finches but also Pekin Robins, Silver Eared Mesias and Diamond Doves. My greatest pride was in producing close banded Mesias, but I knew a man who not only kept Hummers, but actually bred them, so my pride was and remains, well tempered with a hefty dose of humility.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 12:15PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Do you have any of the robins or mesias for sale.?? They have almost disappeared from the hobby.
I miss the softbills so much Of the nectavores the only ones I've kept are Honey creepers and Dacnis. I believe all the hummers have been pulled into CITES now but there does seem to be some export from s.America. Seems to be illegal to import now. What with west nile and now bird flu aviculture seems to be pretty grim.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 7:11AM
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We have had birds in our 40x48 ft greenhouse for a number of years. They have come in from outside, and decided to stay. There is nothing stopping them from going outside, and they do go outside, but they have found a home inside. There are several that spend the winter with us that I believe would ordinarily migrate. Some never seem to go outside once they discover the greenhouse. These birds become quite tame, and easy to be around. I have bananas that some of them like for nesting, but the favorite place for most of them is in a large chayote vine that is trelised. I do not feed the birds, or put out separate water containers. There is standing water under some pots, and there is a large worm bin that the birds can rummage through. I find that these birds seldom get killed by the fans or other equipment in the greenhouse; they are cautious of moving equipment. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the variety of birds you can have in the greenhouse, and the relative ease of maintaining them.


    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 10:39PM
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greenhouser(Middle TN Zone 6)

What kind of birds are they? Do you know? What color are they?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2007 at 1:24AM
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Although I used to do some birdwatching, I never did learn the names of many of the smaller birds in the area. We have a number of insect and worm eater that visit my large, open worm bin. It is not uncommon to see hummingbirds visiting the flowers. There always seem to be at least a few birds in the greenhouse each evening when the vents close. There are some winters when we have birds that live almost entirely in the greenhouse, with maybe occasional excursions out during the day. I suspect that there are days when the vents close before they get back in for the night, so they may need to spend some nights outside. I don't bother the birds, because they don't seem to cause too much damage to the plants, other than going after some of the new seedlings. I need to put up netting to keep them off the seedlings. There are some nests that get messy, but I try to encourage them to nest in areas I don't mind the mess. Since our greenhouse regularly gets into the 90's, even in the winter, I believe the environment mimics that found much further south in the winter, and this may be why we have such avian guests. My suggestion would be just to let the locals who want to come in, come in through the vents, and enjoy the visits.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2007 at 7:07AM
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You asked about my birds. Sadly, a family health issue forced me to disburse my stock nearly 10 years ago, so my big walk-in flights sit empty and overgrown. But my mesias went to the Brookfield Zoo and if they still have a flock, It pleases me to believe they are decended from mine, as they had only one when I sold them a breeding pair and 3 close banded youngsters.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2007 at 10:33AM
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greenhouser(Middle TN Zone 6)

What are "mesias?" I never heard of them. WordWeb doesn't have the meaning.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2007 at 8:19PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

they are a small passerine bird of the babbler family native to Asia. Google "Silver eared mesia" will tell you more than you probably want to know lol. They used to be a very popular cage bird years ago. gary

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 6:15AM
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They were also supposedly impossible to captive breed, but all it took was a 12 X 16 X 12 ft. high flight with a lot of shrubs, a small waterfall, lots of my "magic" nestling & conditioning food, some soft lights to attract flying insects and..... there was a nest of fat babies. With unlimited chow and no need to go hunting, my breeding pair had such an easy time of it, when the first batch fledged, they went at it again, with 3 from the first round and 5 from the next. All 8 babies fledged and I had some fun whamming everyone at shows, with my coded NFS bands in them.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 3:10PM
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greenhouser(Middle TN Zone 6)

I just Googled them. When I was a kid they were called Java Rice Birds. Yes, I remember them well. :) I haven't seen them in many years.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 8:14PM
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