This is a rare example of a working aviary housed in an historical structure, restored to its full beauty and stocked with colourful birds. A must-see on your visit to Waddesdon.
Today the Aviary is home to a specialised collection of fruit and insect-eating species of soft-bill birds. We also have a few rare species of pigeons, doves and
partridges. Wherever we can, we make sure there is real conservation value to the work we do.
We are very proud of our own captive breeding programme. We also support conservation in the wild. One such project includes a field study and conservation management in Jianxi Province in south eastern China, led by Professor He Fen-qi from the institute of Zoology in Beijing, for the critically endangered Blue-crowned Laughingthrush.
We have provided a GPS set so that nest sites and sightings can be pinpointed accurately on a map, and also recording equipment so that the songs and calls can be recorded and trialled in nearby areas. Hopefully this will help find further populations of the Blue-crowned Laughingthrush.
We also support the captive breeding programme on Java at Cikananga Wildlife Rescue Centre, for the extremely rare Black and White Laughingthrush from Sumatra. In 2005, possibly for the first time in the world in captivity, we bred this bird at Waddesdon.
Find out about more news from the Aviary
The structure is made of cast iron, and is painted and gilded in the style of a rococo trelliswork pavilion - similar to those erected at Versailles and Chantilly in the early 18th century.
Aviaries were often a feature of Rothschild gardens. We know Baron Ferdinand had fond memories of the one at his childhood home, the Villa Grüneburg outside Frankfurt. Whenever he was at Waddesdon he made sure to visit the Aviary - the birds knew his voice and would come to the fronts of the enclosures to be fed with treats. Alice also continued this tradition.
See more images of the Aviary in our Photo Gallery