This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
In visiting Baltimore we more than once came upon beautiful aviaries - a species of ornament not generally introduced in America, and which it is perhaps as well to avoid, and to encourage the "free tenants of the air" around our dwellings. Prisoners of this kind are, however, sought by many; as it has been said, "people do and will keep them, and it is well to show how birds already con-fined, may be comparatively reconciled to their imprisonment." This we leave to books which specially treat on the subject, our only object at this time being to give a portrait of a summer aviary, for the embellishment of a lawn. The interlacing branches form the framework, to which is attached, within a fide wire netting, the latter, painted a gay, ochreous yellow, or pale brown. The nests and reedsaround the base are happily disposed, and appropriate in character, while the falcon poised above, suggests the security of the sheltered inmates of the cage.
The design might be worked out in metal or wood; if cast in iron, it would require to be appropriately painted or bronzed; if in wood, the general framework might be formed of well selected tree toppings, with carved nests at the base, on a firm timber or iron foundation. In any case, it would be well to attach near the summit either a wire with rings, or any other simple contrivance for the reception of a light blind or screen, to shade off offensive sunlight, or give shelter during spring or autumnal frosts.
A Summer Aviary.
The Aviary, of which the accompanying drawings are illustrative, is now erecting on the grounds of John Anderson, Esq., at Tarrytown, N. Y. It is situated on a finely rounded and wooded knoll, in full view from the house site, and borders on the "Drive." Being well sheltered on the north by a grove of healthy and luxuriant pines, interspersed with deciduous trees, and well drained and cleared, a more favorable situation could not possibly have been selected.
The structure consists of two towers, connected by a long range or "Run" of wire-work, this "Run" being 45 feet long, 12 feet wide, and 12 feet high. The towers are octagonal, 10 by 17 feet inside dimensions, one (marked 1 on plan) arranged for the reception of feed bins, and one for nesting, (3,) and both accommodated to roosts, (4.) In the centre of each tower, from the ceiling upwards, are placed ventilating shafts, which, while extracting the vitiated air and keeping the rooms sweet, yet are so arranged as not to permit the communication of one family with another, if desired. The space inclosed by the lower roof is devoted to fancy pigeons, and other birds, of which a large number of rare breeds must be accommodated; from these, openings lead into the "Run." The octagon houses over these chambers, and with no inner means of communication, are intended for the lodgment of the more common birds.
AVIARY OF JOHN ANDERSON ESQ., TARRYTOWN, N.Y.
The "Run" is inclosed all over with diamond wire-work of about one inch mesh, and small wire; it is secured in strong frames to the upright bars and rafters, which are also of iron, and all galvanized. It makes a neat and airy inclosure, will not permit the birds strolling out, and precludes the possibility of destructive animals entering from without; ample room, with abundance of light and air, is thus afforded. It is being erected by the well-known house of Hutchinson & Wickersham of this city, who manufacture a great and pleasing variety of horticultural articles and structures in iron. The same firm are now making a Duck inclosure for Mr. Anderson, the plans of which it will afford me pleasure to place before your numerous readers in a future number.
Mr. Anderson, with a fine feeling and taste, has skilfully managed his "place," and out of scant thirty acres, will soon produce a perfect Elysium, an achievement rare, even in ten times the size. A short year ago, and the site was a rough forest growth, with no associations save those which the genius of Irving hallowed; but the present proprietor has seized upon its charms, and with judgment, cautiously and carefully improved and height-ened its natural developments. The Drive, particularly, is well managed, and conducted through the most pleasing points of view; and although the openings are not numerous, this is rather a fault on the right side, since Mr. A. has only just commenced operations, and to hazard destruction, without calm reflection, is to engender ultimate regret. In another number I may be tempted to describe this fine estate.
[Mr. Willcox's modesty probably prevented him from saying that the above design is by himself, and we therefore give him credit for it. We have seen a number of architectural designs by him, evincing good judgment and taste, and we shall be glad to hear from him again. We have removed his post-office address from his signature, and append it here. Box 365, N. Y. post-oflfice. - Ed].