Wind Walls aka Weather Windows
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Some of the flights now have "Weather Windows" made from clear PVC plastic sheets, similar to those used for skylights and decks. These panels will also be used selectively for roofing to let sunlight in while providing rain protection.
2009 Update: The birds in the new cockatoo flight really enjoy the wind protection they get now that their walls are installed. The west wall protects the waterfall and has a gap to allow ventilation along the feeder area. The north side is enclosed except for a vent area along the bottom. Our birds get the sun without the wind. A convection oil heater is under the waterfall to supply extra heat when needed.
We have gotten a lot of compliments on this project, and folks have asked how to donate more wall material. These are "Palram Corrugated Panels" which are available from Lowes and Home Depot. The 2 foot by 12 foot works best and they are available in either PVC or Polycarbonate. The website for the manufacturer is www.PalramAmericas.com and it's called Palruf or Suntuf. The PVC was about $30 per sheet. Polycarbonate wasn't available locally but it will be more expensive. This is what we would want to use for roof panels to resist hail and other damage.
It takes 5 sheets to cover the end of a flight. The trick to installing this material is to predrill the mounting holes a bit oversize, then use metal roofing screws with the neoprene washer under the hex head. These cost about $15 per hundred screws. They hold the plastic in place but allow it to expand and contract without cracking as the temperature changes. A 2" to 4" gap is left between the bottom panel and the ground for drainage and air circulation. The white bracing is PVC pipe from old sunscreen supports. We try to recycle everything we can!
Once the sheets are in place and trimmed, a heat gun is used to fold over the edges. This stiffens the panels for better wind resistance. Apparently these techniques work since we didn't have any damage despite the frigid temperatures and wind storms. Maybe having an Engineer around can be a good thing!
Since the winter wind is mostly from the west, that end was closed in. This way the birds still benefit from the sunlight but can escape the cold breezes. This should also help in the summer by isolating the misting system spray downward for maximum cooling despite any wind. The Octagon (below) was wrapped most of the way around and with the addition of a convection oil heater, Dakota and her friends were nice and warm all winter.
2009 Update: Another row was added and a donated oil heater was installed inside the enclosure. This was placed on blocks to keep the heat within the confines of the clear panels. Another block was placed on top of the heater to protect curious feet while keeping the heat more even. They love it! They all snuggle together on the big perch and move to the other side if it gets too warm.
Even Oscar got his own window and it didn't take long for these smart parrots to figure out what it was for! Normally they would chew something like this to pieces, but instead he helped hold it in place during installation.
2009 Update: Oscar's old window has been replaced with real glass! Recycled patio doors and a picture window were added to cover the entire wall. Another glass door panel forms a skylight between their metal roof panels. Perches and food bowls were added so the can enjoy the sun while they eat. Come visit and see for yourself!
If you would like to help add more "Weather Windows", the cost breaks down to 5 sheets @ $30 plus a box of screws @ $15 for a total of $177 with sales tax. The macaw and cockatoo flights will require metal channels to keep the plastic away from beaks and claws. That will add about $100 to the project. You can donate a Gift Card or by any other method and see the results in person. Heck - you can even help install it!
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Feathered Friends Forever
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