THE

SHYNE FOUNDATION

Frequently Asked Questions
 
 
Question:
Would you please describe your habitat construction in detail?

Answer:
The following is a description of our habitat. All of the specifications can be modified to fit almost any space, budget, or species.

Our habitat is 100 feet wide by 120 feet long. It is enclosed on three sides by a concrete block wall eleven feet high with poured concrete centers around inch steel rods. The rear of the house serves as most of the fourth side. The habitat is divided into six sections: two 50' x 60', two 30' x 60' and two 20' x 60'. This allows incompatible birds to be separated from each other. There is also a 30' x 50' patio at the rear of the house, which was originally intended for our use, but is now being occupied by a number of birds needing special attention.

The wall sits on a 24' wide footing that extends a minimum of 24' below ground level to discourage animals from trying to dig under it. Each section is a domed-top screen enclosure 16' high. The sections are separated from each other by two layers of 1' x 1' 12 ga. welded wire, 4' apart to prevent toes from being bitten. All of the roof beams and the support beams are made of aluminum. The concrete block wall serves as the outer support wall. The entire top is covered with screen on the outside (to keep out mosquitos) and 1' x 1' 12 ga. wire attached to the underside of the aluminum beams with ' #10 hex washer-head self-drilling sheet metal screws.

The perimeter of each section is covered with a 6' wide strip of aluminum roofing panels for shade or for rain protection when they want it. Perches are attached to each support beam and along the wall using large shelf brackets as the supports. Each perch has a quarter inch diameter hole drilled through it so that stem-type food and water dishes may be placed throughout the habitat. Swings are attached to the roof beams using #9 galvanized solid wire. Trees are placed in the center and replaced weekly after they are destroyed. An aerial pathway is left around the outer part of each domed area so the birds can fly unimpeded circles around the habitat.


Question:
What kind of plants and trees do you use in your habitat?

Answer:
The trees are melaleuca, which are native to Australia and are considered a pest tree in Florida. They are chewed down to a stump almost weekly and are replaced as needed. Some of the bushes are dombeya from Madagascar, which grow almost faster than the birds can destroy them. The Lories love the blossoms, the Macaws chew the leaves and the Cockatoos like the roots and stems. Other bushes are hibiscus. We have had banana, papaya, umbrella, palms, juniper and oak trees there, but each was destroyed within a week.


"...and once you have tasted flight
you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,
for there you have been and there you long to return."
-- Leonardo da Vinci