Prologue – How it all started

Hi. My name’s Nick and I live with my young son Mike in a house we bought in the suburbs of Bangkok, Thailand some years ago. Soon after we moved in the subject of pets came up. Due to the built-up area around us, cats and dogs seemed out of the question so it came down in the end to either fish or birds.

Hazy childhood memories of fish tanks that more closely resembled swamp dioramas and goldfish gradually ailing into supine inactivity came disturbingly to mind. We’d get birds.

Fortunately, a somewhat odd design quirk of the house is a small room – about 1m x 2m x 3m – which has an internal window onto the upstairs landing which with minor modifications could
be turned into a dedicated aviary suitable for small to medium sized birds.

Our small aviary, cunningly called ‘The Bird Room’

Over the years, the ‘bird room’ has seen exciting arrivals and painful departures. In this post, I will write about those original birds which are still with us and
bring you up to date on the various ups and downs we had along the way. Having no experience initially, mistakes were made and lessons learned. I have regrets about
the losses we suffered but always tried my best to keep the birds healthy and prosperous.

From the very beginning, we intended to house a variety of species in the bird room. After an initial flurry of purchases from Bangkok’s famous Chatuchak market, the room contained the following species:

2 lutino cockatiels
2 budgerigars (‘parakeets’ in the US)
2 lovebirds
2 Java finches
4 Zebra finches

Busby - Female Cockatiel
Busby, the lutino cockatiel and mother of several babies.
java finches
Started with two, now got three, though not through egg laying.


zebra finches
Our zebra finches have multiplied more than any other species.

I knew that mixing lovebirds and budgies with other species could lead to trouble so I kept a close eye on them over the first few weeks and although I noticed that sometimes they would sidle up to other birds and attempt to intimidate them, the targets could always fly away to safety without getting chased around. So I though things would be okay. Turns out I was wrong on that one (Mike and I ended up calling them ‘Hate Birds’), but more on that later.

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