How to Build a Flight Cage
Hawks and other large birds of prey, require flight cages so that they may exercise and maintain a healthy body weight. Most flight cages are built outdoors, where there is typically more space than indoors.
Choose a location that is large enough to support a flight cage. A hawk with a 4-foot wing span needs a flight cage at least 8 feet wide by about 10 feet long and 8 feet tall.
Map out the design you want for your aviary. The bird will need shelter inside the flight cage to protect it from the elements such as rain or hot sun. The cage entrance should have double doors to prevent accidental escape. This means, there should be an outside door that opens to a small enclosure which then has a second door giving entry to the cage.
Determine the amount and type of materials needed. The flight cage should be made of heavy duty wire or chain-link fence. The shelter can be made of wood, but the frame of the main structure should really be metal. Fence poles work well as framing material for the flight cage. The floor of the aviary should be poured concrete, brick or stone tile to prevent intruders from burrowing into the enclosure.
Measure and stake out the corners of the aviary. Use a post hole digger to sink corner poles 12-inches into the ground for stability. Use fence pole connectors to secure cross pieces at the top of each corner pole to complete the pole frame.
Cover three sides and the top with chain-link fence by securing it to the poles with fence wire. Lay the flooring.
To complete the shelter and close the other end of the aviary, use 2-by-4-inch boards to frame two walls large enough to fit the open end of the aviary. Leave space in each wall for a door. Attach the two walls to make a 4-foot-wide room. Attach one wall to the corner and top fence poles using fence wire.
Use plywood to complete the walls and ceiling, install both doors. Leave an opening in the wall attached to the aviary for the hawk to be able to enter the shelter. Divide the shelter into two floors using chain link fence. The fence will allow the hawk's waste to fall to the ground while preventing the hawk from accidentally escaping through the door.