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Lefty--your sunroom looks like the one I've been daydreaming about for a couple of years.

One question--I've noticed that the windows are unfrosted, do you ever have problems with birds flying into them?

I'm extra-concerned about this because my very favorite of my birds has vision problems (she flies into walls, paintings, etc, and tries to land on bars in wallpaper.)
 

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Doves and all-glass sunrooms

One question--I've noticed that the windows are unfrosted, do you ever have problems with birds flying into them?

Funny you should mention that. I did have one problem with one bird. I originally just had my 1 white dove, Tricksy, and another flightless (Silky) dove, Stimpy. When I got the sunroom built, I let them out there and there were no problems. Tricksy was somehow "street smart" enough to understand about windows - or so tame she didn't want to go anywhere - and Stimpy of course couldn't fly.

Then I acquired Pecker, a regular fawn Ringneck, from a breeder. He was just a juvenile, not very experienced in the world. I naively placed him on Tricksy's favorite landing area and she immediately chased him off and he went right into a window! Result: broken wing!


So, off to the vet we went! The vet said he could try to fix the wing but he could not guarantee anything. To make a long story short, after $350+ in vet bills (for a $10 bird), Pecker is fine today and can actually fly again. He won't migrate to Panama but he doesn't need to either. He can fly from the floor to a 7 foot high perch and can do laps in the 18 X 20 foot sunroom. He's fathered 7 babies so life is good for him!


I think there is a risk to let birds fly in the sunroom but the risk is mainly in the first few flights - and the benefits to the birds are so great, it may be worth the risk. Once they get it (about the glass) they never hit it again. It's those first few flights.

So my guidelines for first few flights would be:

1) Know how your birds interact with each other - if there is any aggression or chasing, introduce them to the room one at a time.

2) Do not let untame flighted birds out there - or birds that are likely to scare or spook easily.

3) Put things on the windows - like those stickers to prevent bird strikes or spray them with that XMAS white stuff so the birds know where the glass is.

4) Keep things very calm while the birds are loose in there - especially at first - no other pets or kids playing - just you and the birds, nice and quiet.

5) Have some perches or landing areas at either end of the sunroom so the birds have a destination inside the sunroom. If it's completely empty, they may think "oh I'll just fly over and land on that tree over there..." and smack! So get some ficus trees or similar for inside the sunroom so they can fly to those.

I have to say, once you get past all this, having a sunroom for my birds is like heaven. I have it filled with potted plants and have a white plastic table and chairs in there. I like to sit out there with my birds for hours. They enjoy flying and exploring in there. I even play a tape of amazon jungle birds when they are loose - it's like my refuge from the world. I can let me doves and parakeets out in there at the same time - they all love flying around and all visit me (land on me) and enjoy eating from my hands or from food I put on the table. And I don't need to mark the windows with stickers or XMAS stuff anymore - the birds know where they are and avoid them.


I have several cages of finches in there too:


A couple other thing's I'll mention.

1) None of my birds has ever gotten sick eating any of the tropical plants in my sunroom. They seem to know that they should only eat what greens I give them in their cages - or else, they tested the plants and found them bad tasting and never bother with them again. The doves however, sometimes find nesting material and bring it back to their cages.

2) I did have an instance where my doves started sitting on the ceiling fan blades. So now I turn the fan on very slow, when the birds are out, and they do not go up there any more - but I got them used to the fan rotations while they were in their cages so they are not afraid of it either.

3) Hawks outside your sunroom can be a problem - making your birds freak out. I think they present the biggest danger of bird window crashes aside from the first few flights. All I can say is my birds have learned to deal with it and have not flown into anything - but they do seem spooked if a hawk is outside.

4) All my doves and parakeets have learned (on their own) to fly back to their own cages - which is very nice! Actually, even when the finches get out by accident, they are usually back in their cages within 15 minutes! I just leave the room so as not to spook them and they go right back in.
 

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I have 4 Ringneck Doves and 3 parakeets. My parakeets are 2 Bourke Parakeets and 1 Scarlet Chested - these species are known to be the least aggressive of all the parrots. They have never bitten me. Even regular Budgies can be too aggressive for caging with these species. Even so, these little not-very-dangerous parakeets can intimidate my doves. I would never think of caging the doves with the parakeets for that reason.

I have a big 18 X 20 sunroom that I let my birds have free flight time in. They generally get along fine but I am always there to watch things. If a dove lands too near a parakeet, they will often open their beaks and make a threatening motion and the doves usually fly off (I just sit in a chair the whole time and I have doves fly over to me and hang out for 15 minutes, and they leave and the parakeets come over for 15 minutes, and they leave and the doves come back, etc.).

So this supervised free flight thing works for me and my birds. Keep in mind, I have what are probably the least aggressive parrot species. So I'd be super careful about letting your doves be around any other parrot species. A Quaker has a big beak and could injure a dove in seconds and parrotlets are known to be aggressive to larger birds - especially biting their feet - they don't even recommend putting parrotlets with budgies because parrotlets can hurt them. And budiges themselves have been known to bite and cause bleeding injuries to Ringneck Doves. I just wouldn't risk it. I'd have different play times for your doves versus parrots.

I'd even take care that your doves can't land on any of the parrots cages as parrots can be masters at biting off toes. I know someone who caged lovebirds next to budgies and the lovebirds would bite off the budgie's toes whenever they landed on their cage. I deliberately chose Bourkes and Scarlet Chested Parakeets because I know they a very non-aggressive. Both species can even be trusted in an aviary with finches! But they are fairly unique and atypical parrots, in that respect.

Here are some photos:

This is Twitter, my Rosy Bourke Parakeet, with one of my doves (probably Lefty). Bourkes are extremely laid back and unaggressive parakeets. As long as the doves don't crowd her, she is OK hanging out with them.


And here is Twitter near 2 of my doves. They get along OK when out loose - they more or less don't bother with each other. And all my birds are fully flighted so they can all just fly away if they don't like something. But generally, there are no conflicts.


Here is my Scarlet Chester Parakeet "Peeper" with Twitter the Bourke Parakeet.


And here is Peeper the Scarlet Chested with my doves, Pecker and Lefty. Peeper is very timid and has never shown aggression to any of the doves.
omgarsh.. I think Iam in love with those keets! love them!
 

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One question--I've noticed that the windows are unfrosted, do you ever have problems with birds flying into them?

Funny you should mention that. I did have one problem with one bird. I originally just had my 1 white dove, Tricksy, and another flightless (Silky) dove, Stimpy. When I got the sunroom built, I let them out there and there were no problems. Tricksy was somehow "street smart" enough to understand about windows - or so tame she didn't want to go anywhere - and Stimpy of course couldn't fly.

Then I acquired Pecker, a regular fawn Ringneck, from a breeder. He was just a juvenile, not very experienced in the world. I naively placed him on Tricksy's favorite landing area and she immediately chased him off and he went right into a window! Result: broken wing!


So, off to the vet we went! The vet said he could try to fix the wing but he could not guarantee anything. To make a long story short, after $350+ in vet bills (for a $10 bird), Pecker is fine today and can actually fly again. He won't migrate to Panama but he doesn't need to either. He can fly from the floor to a 7 foot high perch and can do laps in the 18 X 20 foot sunroom. He's fathered 7 babies so life is good for him!


I think there is a risk to let birds fly in the sunroom but the risk is mainly in the first few flights - and the benefits to the birds are so great, it may be worth the risk. Once they get it (about the glass) they never hit it again. It's those first few flights.

So my guidelines for first few flights would be:

1) Know how your birds interact with each other - if there is any aggression or chasing, introduce them to the room one at a time.

2) Do not let untame flighted birds out there - or birds that are likely to scare or spook easily.

3) Put things on the windows - like those stickers to prevent bird strikes or spray them with that XMAS white stuff so the birds know where the glass is.

4) Keep things very calm while the birds are loose in there - especially at first - no other pets or kids playing - just you and the birds, nice and quiet.

5) Have some perches or landing areas at either end of the sunroom so the birds have a destination inside the sunroom. If it's completely empty, they may think "oh I'll just fly over and land on that tree over there..." and smack! So get some ficus trees or similar for inside the sunroom so they can fly to those.

I have to say, once you get past all this, having a sunroom for my birds is like heaven. I have it filled with potted plants and have a white plastic table and chairs in there. I like to sit out there with my birds for hours. They enjoy flying and exploring in there. I even play a tape of amazon jungle birds when they are loose - it's like my refuge from the world. I can let me doves and parakeets out in there at the same time - they all love flying around and all visit me (land on me) and enjoy eating from my hands or from food I put on the table. And I don't need to mark the windows with stickers or XMAS stuff anymore - the birds know where they are and avoid them.


I have several cages of finches in there too:


A couple other thing's I'll mention.

1) None of my birds has ever gotten sick eating any of the tropical plants in my sunroom. They seem to know that they should only eat what greens I give them in their cages - or else, they tested the plants and found them bad tasting and never bother with them again. The doves however, sometimes find nesting material and bring it back to their cages.

2) I did have an instance where my doves started sitting on the ceiling fan blades. So now I turn the fan on very slow, when the birds are out, and they do not go up there any more - but I got them used to the fan rotations while they were in their cages so they are not afraid of it either.

3) Hawks outside your sunroom can be a problem - making your birds freak out. I think they present the biggest danger of bird window crashes aside from the first few flights. All I can say is my birds have learned to deal with it and have not flown into anything - but they do seem spooked if a hawk is outside.

4) All my doves and parakeets have learned (on their own) to fly back to their own cages - which is very nice! Actually, even when the finches get out by accident, they are usually back in their cages within 15 minutes! I just leave the room so as not to spook them and they go right back in.
Yeah, from the sounds of things, I would have to frost the windows--as one of my birds is vision-impaired and flies into wallpaper, paintings, and windows if I'm not careful. Beautiful setup. More for me to daydream about some day.
 

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I would love to keep some the parrots you guys own:) I can definitely see the temptation to house all your birds together and love those pics of the beautiful sun room!. We get the wild Rainbow lorikeets and pale headed rosellas eating with the wild pigeons sometimes, which I consider to be above average in terms of aggression. The parrots chase the pigeons around trying to bite them, because they see them as competitors for food I think.
 

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Sounds like you are in Australia

Bella,

It sounds like you live in Australia. In that case, parrots and doves certainly co-exist. But in the wild, they can get away of course if problems start occuring. An aggression situation could be much worse with birds in captivity, where the less aggressive birds will not be able to get away from the aggressive ones.
 
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