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For either making or buying a bird cage, are there any standards or conventions specifying the space between bars appropriate to each species ( cockatoo, cockatiel, parakeet, finch, etc.)?

In a couple cages I measured the space between bars was exactly one centimeter. Is that common across most cages, or does it vary by bird species?

  • It varies by bird. A cockatoo and budgie have such different requirements. – user6796 Oct 8 '16 at 23:46
  • Wikipedia mentions that wingspan is another aspect of appropriate cage sizing to allow flapping of their wings for exercise and stretching: Wingspans of common pet birds range from approximately 30 cm (12 in) for a budgie and 41 cm (16 in) for a cockatiel up to as much as 91–122 cm (36–48 in) for the larger macaws. – Basil Bourque Oct 9 '16 at 2:30
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It varies across birds, as, for example, a cockatoo has such different requirements from a canary. A cage that is too large for a small bird can cause a hazard to the bird getting it's head caught between the bars.

From what I've seen the cages for bigger birds with the bigger spacing often have stronger wire to make up the bars, as the cage will, usually, be bigger and needs to be stronger.

Bird Cage Bar Spacing Guide

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For metric users:

Small birds 1.3 - 1.6 cm

Medium birds 1.3 - 1.9 cm

Large birds 1.9 - 2.5 cm

Disclaimer

(1) It's better to use a smaller bar spacing than a larger one in the range given for a species. A smaller size makes it less likely that a bird will poke its head through the bars and get stuck.

(2) Beware of the very small finches! Small waxbills (e.g., orange-cheeked), tiny manikins (e.g., bronze-winged) and other tiny finches can squeeze through 1/2 inch bar spacing. Use 3/8 inch for them.

Thanks to comment by Tom Gaskill

Another interesting link 5 Things You Need To Know About Bird Cages

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