Our new aviary can be found at the front of the farm, between the chicken and duck pens, next to Edna’s 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!
The New Aviary!
Back in 2002 we had a wonderful group of volunteers from Barclay’s bank who put together the old aviary in the main yard, and it’s been there for 15 odd years! Throughout the years it’s housed 100’s of canaries, finches, quail, diamond doves, chickens and even the occasional rabbit. It’s always had quite a prominent position in the centre of the yard, but after a decade and a half it was starting to show its age.
As of the past two years, we’ve been steadily rebuilding our poultry enclosures at the front of the farm, and building a new aviary for both the aviary birds and Edna was part of the plan! So now, between our chick shed, chicken pens and the new duck pond (which is still a work in progress) you’ll find our new aviary block. Keep an eye out as well for our Edna themed donation point too!
Our old aviary finally fell fowl of a team of strong backed staff and volunteers, you can see a video of it coming down here.
The new chicken area has been built entirely by staff and volunteers and is only doable thanks to the kind donations of our visitors and supporters!