The aviary can be found at the front of the farm, between the chicken and duck pens, next to Archimedes’ daytime aviary. We keep a selection of finches, canaries and quail. Unlike all the other animals on the farm, we don’t do any handling and try to limit our time in the aviary, we like to leave them to themselves.
The domestic canaries are the yellow, white and orange birds with the pale coloured beaks. We have a wide variety of canaries with different shades where they have inter-bred, so they’re all likely hybrids and not any particular variety. Canaries were first bred in captivity in the 17th century throughout Europe. They are a popular aviary bird, and famed for their bird song – if you stand near the aviary it won’t be long before you hear the male canaries singing away!
The zebra finch is another popular aviary bird, they have a quiet chirp, and can be identified by their bright red beaks and black and white stripped tail feathers. The males have rosy red cheeks, whereas the females have slightly toned down colours. We leave the finches to mate, lay and look after their own young in the aviary, so you can often find juvenile finches too – they have black beaks, which go red as they get older.
The quail are flightless, so often found hanging out at the bottom amongst the bark chip, or in their nesting sheds. We have a selection of Japanese Quail, they’re one of the larger quail species and have excellent camouflage, so you might have to look quite closely to see them!