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Bird Aviaries as Outdoor Homes for Reptiles and Amphibians

iguanaWhile reviewing the outdoor aviaries that were recently added to out line of bird cages, it struck me that these large, sturdy enclosures could be put to good use by reptile and amphibian keepers. Outdoor pens, both at home and in zoos, have given rise to some of my most enjoyable times and memorable observations.

In addition to allowing space and opportunity for a wide range of behaviors, outdoor aviaries promote good health and reproduction by exposing pets to sunlight, natural day/night and weather cycles, and dietary variety in the form of wild invertebrates. My first crude outdoor pen, populated by green frogs and spotted turtles, provided, even to an unskilled 10-year-old, a first peek at herp reproduction and hibernation.

An outdoor aviary equipped with a can provide a lifetime of enjoyment….if you focus on native species, your workload will be minimal and breeding a very real possibility. Although unenclosed ponds also have great potential, many frogs wander and predation by dogs, raccoons, herons and other animals is an ever-present concern. Our outdoor aviaries will keep your pets safe and contained. They are available in 5 sizes, ranging from 3.5′ x 4′ to 9′ x 5′, and with bars spaced ½ inch and 1 inch apart.

iguana outdoorsCertain reptiles, such as adult green and rhinoceros iguanas, spur-thighed (“Sulcata”) and other large tortoises, tegus, and larger monitors are almost impossible to keep properly indoors. Others fare far better when given outdoor access for at least part of the year…success with chameleons, for example, nearly always soars once they are introduced to well-planted outdoor cages. They and other species are often stimulated to breed by a change in environment as well. Mixed species displays and many arboreal animals are also far easier to accommodate in large outdoor quarters.

A spacious aviary can also allow for the keeping of multiple-male colonies of territorial lizards, which will give you a unique view of display and reproductive behavior. I have worked with groups of sungazers, red-headed Agamas and various dabb lizards set up in this fashion…I learned a great deal in the process and enjoyed myself immensely.

Further Reading
For more information on keeping herps outdoors, please see my articles on Red-Eared Sliders in Outdoor Ponds and Bullfrogs in Outdoor Ponds.


About Frank Indiviglio

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Being born with a deep interest in animals might seem unfortunate for a native Bronxite , but my family encouraged my interest and the menagerie that sprung from it. Jobs with pet stores and importers had me caring for a fantastic assortment of reptiles and amphibians. After a detour as a lawyer, I was hired as a Bronx Zoo animal keeper and was soon caring for gharials, goliath frogs, king cobras and everything in-between. Research has taken me in pursuit of anacondas, Orinoco crocodiles and other animals in locales ranging from Venezuela’s llanos to Tortuguero’s beaches. Now, after 20+ years with the Bronx Zoo, I am a consultant for several zoos and museums. I have spent time in Japan, and often exchange ideas with zoologists there. I have written books on salamanders, geckos and other “herps”, discussed reptile-keeping on television and presented papers at conferences. A Master’s Degree in biology has led to teaching opportunities. My work puts me in contact with thousands of hobbyists keeping an array of pets. Without fail, I have learned much from them and hope, dear readers, that you will be generous in sharing your thoughts on this blog and web site. For a complete biography of my experience click here.
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