Small pet birds and anything related by Pete Etheridge – aka – 'Stanton Birdman'

About me and my birds


Let me introduce myself: My name is Pete, I’m in my mid 40′s and live with my family at Sutton-in-Ashfield in Nottinghamshire, UK, although I originate from Chesterfield in Derbyshire, UK.

I have kept small pet birds for over a decade and have succesfully been able to breed a few species. I wouldn’t class myself as a bird expert however but I have acquired a lot of experience over the years; an enthusiastic hobbyist is perhaps a more apt description.

I decided a few months ago to write an ebook related to the subject of pet bird keeping and attempt to sell it through a few online resources. It basically imparts my learned knowledge about the matter onto others – mainly inexperienced – who would like to learn a little more.

This led me to write many online articles to help with my internet exposure and has ultimately led me to creating this blog. Irrelevent of whether I get a little extra income from this or not I am thoroughly enjoying it, it is also teaching me a lot about the internet that I was unaware of as well as gradually improving my typing skills.

Back to the right subject matter; I have a large exposed outdoor mixed aviary that is currently home to 10 budgerigars (parakeets to our US friends), 4 zebra finches, 4 Java sparrows (Java finches), 4 Bengalese finches (society finches), 3 cockatiels, and just 1 lonely yellow turquoisine whose mate sadly died as a result of a sparrowhawk attack.

It didn’t start that way however.  Many years ago when I first began to show an interest in pet birds I bought 2 lovebirds, these were my first pet birds.  I then decided to build a small outdoor aviary near to the house in which to accommodate them.  My very first aviary was a mere 6 feet by 4 feet and 6 feet high in which the 6ft x 2ft night shelter took up the whole rear.

Soon I wanted more variety of birds but learned that lovebirds rarely agree with any other type of pet bird species.  As a result I sold the lovebirds to a private keeper so I could have some variety.  A little research and soon my small aviary contained cockatiels, budgies, bourkes, and rosellas and was beginning to become too small for them all.

An old 6ft x 8ft shed and hundreds of square yards of welded mesh completed my second aviary covering a surface area of  100 square ft and a total height of 8ft, but at the bottom of the garden because I didn’t have enough available space nearer the house.  Of course I introduced more birds of the type I already had (apart from more rosellas), two turquoisine grass parakeets and 4 kakarikis (New-Zealand parakeets).

That was still many years ago and I have continually upgraded and expanded since then.  My current aviary covers a total surface area of about 210 square feet and a total height of 8ft.  Designed in such a way that it occupies the full width of the garden and is built so as to go over the garden path, this forces us to go effectively under a part of the aviary to reach the back gate.

My zebra finches and some of my budgerigars successfully reared a few clutches last year and I’m optimistic they will do so again this year. One of my cockatiels has also been leaving eggs about in the aviary, I have now provided her with a suitable nest box but so far she and her mate have shown little interest in it but I live in hope. Finally my Java sparrows, who were perhaps too young last year, are now showing signs of pairing ready to mate so I’m hoping that some baby Java sparrows will be on their way soon.

Thankyou for showing an interest in this blog! I will try and add new content whenever I can.

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