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How to Build Everything You Need For Your Birds Paperback – November 15, 1973

4.1 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dominic "Don" LaRosa is a retired manufacturing engineer residing in Grants Pass, Oregon. A Navy veteran, he obtained a teaching degree on the GI bill and taught 8th graders in Fresno, California for one year before deciding to accept a position as an engineer. He spent about 30 years in the manufacturing engineering field in Southern California, working on such diverse products as copy machines for Xerox, speakers for JBL, and microwave antennas for Operation Desert Storm. At the time he wrote "How to Build Everything...", he was self-employed as a free-lance engineer and a full-time breeder of exotic birds that he sold to breeders all over the country.

As a breeder and owner of many types of exotic birds for years he designed and built his own aviary after failing to find any information available. After being deluged with requests from other aviculturists, and encouraged by other breeders, he wrote the book to fulfill a need for information on how to construct housing for exotic birds. Since he was working as a freelance technical illustrator at the time, he had the equipment needed to draft all the illustrations and composed and wrote the accompanying information. Discouraged by the beaurocracy of the publishing world, he applied for a copyright in 1973 and began self-publishing. The sales of the book were turned over to his mother who sold the book to wholesalers until 1996 when she suffered a stroke at the age of 91. Although she still loves to discuss her sales and customers she has permanently retired from publishing. When Don retired from engineering in 1991 he bought a 500 acre ranch in Southern Oregon, maintaining and irrigating pasture that was leased for 200+ cattle until ranch injuries (an occupational hazard) forced the sale of the ranch in 1996. Unable to completely retire from working, Don is landscaping the three acres of rural Grants Pass hillside that surround his home, restoring a 1952 International Fire Truck in his machine shop, and has a part-time antique business.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Introduction

The manual itself comprises several categories of avicultural equipment which might be considered the basic "essentials" required in the practice of good aviculture: housing, nesting, feeding and important miscellaneous equipment. The section on housing comprises the first, and, by far, the largest category. And rightly so, since it is usually the adequate and proper confining of his pets that is of utmost concern to the aviculturalist and, by virtue of the many variables to be considered in designing a dwelling-type structure, there is an abundance of material to be offered the reader.

Power tools are not considered a prerequisite for building most of the projects described in this book, although the experienced craftsman or impatient beginner who has access to these tools will find them a great asset. The only tools to consider essential for most of our needs are a hammer, hand saw, hand drill, an assortment of wood drill bits, several sizes of hole-saws that can be attached to the drill (for cutting nest box entrance holes), screw driver, medium-sized crescent wrench, pair of wire cutters, square, measuring tape and pencil.

...Needless to say, the best tools will give the poorest service and results unless they are handled properly. The beginner might profit immensely by picking out one of the more simple projects to start with in order to test his ability to make precise measurements and use his tools correctly. This is particularly important where power tools are to be used for the first time.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 55 pages
  • Publisher: Larosa Pubns; 2nd Rev edition (November 15, 1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0967262208
  • ISBN-13: 978-0967262208
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.4 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,079,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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Potential purchasers of this booklet should be aware that the author is very serious about his birds. What he considers a "quite small" aviary, "for the aviculturist who has only restricted land area for his hobby", measures 11 by 16 feet. A "fairly large" one is 38 by 24 feet, complete with concrete foundation, plumbing, heating, electric lights, and 12 foot ceilings.
If, like me, you are looking for ideas for a small backyard aviary for a few canaries, you should look elsewhere. This publication contains plans for only 6 aviaries. Four are far too large for the average suburban lot, unless you are willing to knock down your house first, and the other two are so rudimentary that plans are hardly necessary.
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For a long time I looked for something easy to understand that gave me different styles for building an aviary for my birds. This is the first book I have found that even I can understand and follow.
It has different and innovative designs for just about any yard type. The instructions are easy to understand as are the illustrations. It even includes things I wouldn't have even thought of, much less considered.
I am very pleased with this book, as is my husband..and we are in the process of building our first aviary from one of the plans in the book. I and my birds will be delighted when it is completed.
If you are considering building an aviary, I highly recommend this book.
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I needed a means by which to build aviaries for my birds. I have built one out of the book, and it is great. I'm most impressed with the bird "hospital" cage.. It works exactly as described. My first impression when I received the book was not that great. The drawings were clear, directions clear, but I guess on some level I expected something more than what looked like a college study packet from Kinko's. The designs in this book and the subsequent modifications I've made to them to fit my needs have been outstanding. One needs only a modicum of building expertise, a knucklehead can put the designes together. Highly recommended... again, this is coming from someone who has actually built items off the plans in the book. It's not a glitzy book, but doggon functional.
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This book lays out a good set of plans for starting small and working your way up to as large a breeding operation as you like. I am adept at building small animal pens, and I've been doing so for several decades, on a hobby basis. I was still impressed with the simple brilliance of this book.
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The following quotes were taken directly from an email received by the publisher... from a customer in Cherry Valley CA: "I was delighted to get your email asking me to do a review of your book" ... "I'm really surprised that more haven't gotten or read your book. It is so easy to understand and the illustrations are wonderful. In fact, you could almost build the aviary on the illustrations alone. I have looked and looked for something that would be easy to understand and give different options for designs. I will say I had also purchased another book" ... "near the time I purchased yours. Theirs came first and I was so disappointed in it. I was afraid to see what yours was going to be like. But, when it arrived, not only was I happy with it, but my husband was too. In fact, we picked out a design that night....You are right that your book has filled a need. Because of the fact that I have somehow become the "bird lady" of both my workplace and my husband's, I have been looking everywhere for good books on aviaries. They are few and far between."
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I was extremely disappointed by the very limited information in the book. There were just a few simple drawings on some aviaries with no fresh ideas or insight. It is a waste of time and money. This book is not recommended to anyone. It is not even a book, more like some photostated scraps of paper bundled together with a cheap cardboard cover.
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Considering the first printing was in 1973, revised in 1996, and its now 2002, this book still holds firm for the basic needs of birds. From the housing needs to the transportation needs. It is as complete as a book can be without being overwhelming for the beginner hobbyist. One aviary near me was built from this book. It covers all the birds needs from spring to winter. Its well constructed and easy access to clean. The other needs of the birds are also covered so you get the complete program in one book. Size and style changes for different birds is covered.
After reading the editorial reviews, the author was based in N America and the metric system was not used much in the 1970's, so I appreciate the simple measurement charts and layouts for building what is needed. I have one book to keep, one to share, and one to mark my progress in. Thank you Don LaRosa for such a great job of writing a Simplicity Plus Book !!
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This is the best book I have purchased. I have bought many books and this is the only one I refer to now. It has all the information you need so why waste your money on anything else? My husband and I love this book and are in the process of building our Aviary from the designs and information in this book. This book is #1 with us and it will be with you too.
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