Aviary Bird Shower




Introduction: Aviary Bird Shower

Who doesn't love a decent shower? Birds in particular!

I'm talking about the ones with feathers of course...

My husband built his lovebirds a brilliant outdoor aviary. The problem is it doesn't have a shower. Jackson and Zeus used to love their shower time indoors and the thing is, parrots don't just love a shower, they NEED it. It is a natural requirement and also perfect playtime and it helps them keep their plumage beautiful.

I've tried bird baths - they won't use them. I've tried spray bottles of water and they look at me as if I'm mad.

So I built the happy fellows their own personal, portable aviary shower. Our birds LOVE it. I'm sure yours will too.

  • 1 x large bucket with a fitted lid.
  • 13mm vinyl tubing - I bought a 5m roll as it was cheaper.
  • 1x submersible water feature pump - I bought an Aquapro AP550 type 01 XS for water features up to 60cm high.
  • 1 x 15mm x 300mm PVC straight pipe riser threaded at both ends.
  • 1 x 15mm PVC F/F elbow
  • 1 x 15mm PVC M/F elbow
  • 1 x 13mm Barbed x 15mm Female threaded elbow
  • 2 x 11mm - 18mm perforated clamps
  • 1 x handheld shower nozzle - I bought this secondhand for 20 cents (which started the whole project)
  • Electric drill if available or if not just some way to make holes in the lid of the plastic bucket.

You may not need these exact same fittings. Work backwards from the shower nozzle. I took the shower nozzle to the hardware and bought fittings from the agricultural pipe section to fit the nozzle and the project.

Step 1: Make the Shower

1.Make holes in the bucket lid. You need one round hole off to one side just big enough to push the shower pipe through. Make it a tight fit. You also need holes across the surface of the lid to let all of the water flow back into the bucket. I started out with a ring of holes in the center of the lid, When I had completed the shower and was able to turn the water pump on, I added more holes randomly across the lid until all of the water coming out of the shower nozzle was draining back down into the bucket.

2.To make the shower pipe: Screw the PVC F/F elbow onto one end of the 1 x 15mm x 300mm PVC straight pipe. Screw the PVC M/F elbow onto the shower nozzle. Now screw the two elbows together. You now have a shower head on one end of the pipe. Push the long end of the pipe through the hole in the lid so when the lid is on the bucket the shower head is above the bucket facing down at the closed lid and the long end is inside the bucket.

3. Attach the pump to the end of the pipe. Screw the Barbed x 15mm Female threaded elbow onto the end of the long pipe. Cut a piece of tubing long enough to allow the pump to sit in the bottom of the bucket when attached to the end of the pipe. Connect one end of the tubing to the elbow and the other end to the outlet of the pump using the perforated clamps.

4. Test the shower: Fill the bucket with enough water to cover the pump. Put the lid on the bucket. The submersible pump is now inside the bucket under the water and the shower array is above with the nozzle pointing down facing the lid. The power cable to the pump will stop you from putting the lid on tight and you must do that so your birds are safe. Cut a notch in the lid where the power cable comes out. Put the lid on tight and turn on the power to start the pump. Check the water flow for drainage back into the bucket. Do not drill more holes while the water is flowing. Turn the power off, take the lid array off and dry it before you drill any more holes.

Step 2: Happy Birds.

Jackson and Zeus now have a shower every day with fresh water. If your birds are wary, try placing a food bowl on the edge of the lid to encourage your birds to fly down to investigate. Enjoy the experience with them and do not leave the bucket unattended as there is live power involved. If you like added safety, cut another piece of tubing to cover the power cord but never leave your birds alone as safety is always best. The best part about this shower is it is truly portable and sturdy enough for larger parrots as well. Enjoy!

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    3 years ago

    Very clever idea! Sorry for this very long comment, but your project inpired a solution to a problem I've been trying to find a solution for, for *years* now. So I wanted to share how brilliant your idea truly is. :-)

    We don't have companion birds, but we are enthusiastic back-yard birders. Fountains are very attractive to birds, and I hacked one years ago from a large, wide, urn-shaped planter (made of fiberglass or something), with a small submersible pump sitting on the bottom. It's lovely, but has serious drawbacks: I had to put large heavy rocks carefully balanced in the fountain basin for birds to perch on; the fountain doesn't hold all that much water, so it has to be refilled once a day; the bottom of the bowl isnt flat, so the stupid pump has to be propped in place by the rocks; there's no good to way to hide the pump or the pump cord; all kinds of leaves and stuff get into the water. Worst of all: the whole thing has to be taken apart every week for a thorough scrubbing, and set up all over again.

    Your project - slightly adapted - will solve all my problems!

    Instead of the bucket lid, I would use a large plant saucer (a nice decorative glazed one with a rim that's a few inches deep). I would just have to drill a few drainage holes (enough to keep enough water in the saucer without overflowing) plus a center hole for the outlet pipe from the pump. A couple of small, shallow clay saucers turned upside down will make good perches. The bucket holds plenty of water; debris can't get into it; a hole near the top of the bucket creates a discreet exit for the pump's electric cord; the pump can be held in place, a bit above the bottom of the bucket, by some sort of repurposed wire thingy (maybe a canning jar rack?); the pump won't get all clogged up and have to taken apart to clean frequently; and the fountain will need to be refilled far less often. Best of all, the fountain won't have to be cleaned as often, and cleaning will be much faster and easier!

    I would *never* have thought of this solution on my own - thank you for the inspiration! We're having a snow and ice storm here in New England today, but I can make my new fountain indoors this winter, and have it all ready to go out in the garden in the spring.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!


    6 years ago

    My chestnut fronted macaw loves this project


    Reply 6 years ago

    I just looked up images of chestnut fronted macaws. O my gosh! Beautiful birds!


    Reply 6 years ago

    Thank You very much for your comment. I am thinking they must like it...Zeus just laid some eggs!