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21/07/2010 / featheredfiends

How to bird proof your windows for summer

The weather is getting warm and you want to be able to let some air in to circulate, but you also want to let your birds fly free in the house to stretch their wings and get up to their usual mischief.  The answer to this is to make your own Bird Screens that fit over your windows on the inside and allow air flow and are safe for your birds while the window is open.

We made our screen for Budgies, if you have larger birds then you may need something a lot stronger, there is a lot of difference in size and strength to a Budgie and an African Grey Parrot. Either way make sure you continually check your screen for bite marks, splinters etc.

Also I wouldn’t suggest using any form of glue as my budgies test everything with their beaks and I wouldn’t want mine or yours ingesting glue even if it is labelled as non-toxic.

Shopping List for one Bird Screen

  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Measuring tape
  • 32 Screws
  • Lots of Staples (the looped kind that you bang in with a hammer, we used around 80)
  • Hammer
  • Sand Paper
  • Good Strong Aviary mesh
  • 8 L Shaped Brackets
  • 2 Hooks
  • 2 Eyes
  • 2 Magnet catches
  • 5 Lengths of wood (unfinished and unvarnished)
  • Nail Clippers or Wire Cutters
  • An extra person to help you
  • A Pen or pencil
  • Screwdriver

How to make a screen:

It’s very important to make sure your measurements are accurate, you’ll be very disappointed if you spend all this time and hard work making the screen only to find it doesn’t fit, did I say disappointed, I mean angry, annoyed and fit to burst!

1. Measure your window and remember your screen will need to be bigger than this

We made our screens using just the one same measurement on all planks of wood as this made things a lot easier when it came to sawing the wood and just generally easier overall.

2. Now that you have your measurements, saw the wood to the correct length

Our wood came in long planks of 5 covered in plastic, so we were able to mark the packet and then easily saw all 5 planks at the same time. Sand the wood after it’s sawn.

3. Get your brackets and measure where the holes for the screws should be on the wood planks

You’ll need two people for this, Hold the planks and brackets in place whilst marking where the screws will go with a pencil. Do this for each plank.

4. Drill the Four planks for the edges of the frame

Drill where the 16 screws will need to go, do not drill too far into the wood and make sure your drill-bit is not thicker than your screw or it will not grip the wood and hold the bracket in place.

5. Screw in the brackets

Get your screwdriver and screw in the brackets, again you will need two people – one to hold the bracket and wood in place while the other puts the screws in.

You should now have a square or rectangle shape.

The Frame, Bottom Left

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6. Securing the fifth plank

Put the fifth plank in the middle, vertically of the frame, marking where the brackets should be and screw them in.

7. Measure your frame in preparation for aviary wire being fitted

The Aviary wire will need to be slightly smaller (half a centimetre all the way round) than the frame as you do not want any wire sticking out at the edges.

8. Clip any sharp edges

We clipped off all of the sharp points at the edges of the wire, I used a large pair of nail clippers, it took a while but it was thorough. Don’t forget to make sure you pick up all of the little metal pieces afterwards.

9. Hammer away

Hammer in the staples, about 2 inches apart, closer if you feel the need to but you’ll need a lot of staples and a very heavy hammer.  Make sure you hammer some in on the supporting middle part of the frame too this will strengthen your structure.

10. Securing the top of the frame

Drill a hole at the left and right of the top of the frame and screw in the hooks.

The hook and eye, Top Right

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11. Securing the bottom of the frame

We used two magnet catches secured to the window sill and the frame, they are pretty easy to fit and line up, but you could use hooks and eyes or even a padlock or bolt on each side of the frame, whatever makes you feel more secure.

Magnet on Window Sill, Bottom Left

image

12. Hanging the finished frame

One person should hold up the frame while the other measures on the wall where the holes for the eyes should be (precisely where the hooks are when the frame is in place properly).

Frame, Top Right

image

13. Drill the wall

Drill holes into the wall where you have marked and then screw in the eyes.

14. Hang up the finished frame

Hang the frame in place, hopefully it fits perfectly with the magnets and hooks and eyes, if not you may need to do some tweaking.

Feel the lovely breeze!

The finished Frame

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