Softbill Show Cages

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The recommended colours are black outside, including the wire fronts, with white interior.


Food and water vessels should be inside the cage.


In general small softbills are shown in decorated cages, with the design to represent the birds natural environment & also to hopefully show the bird(s) at their best. Small softbills can also be shown in pairs if compatible.

Do not be put off by the prospect of an empty cage & how to set it out, it can be as simple or complex as you feel suitable & never forget that it is actually the bird that the judge is looking at, the cage just helps it look at its best!


Large softbills are generally shown in cages with just a suitable floor covering, that can be dried leaves, stone chips, bark or even blotting paper. The only exception seems to be thrushes, as these are not so destructive these can be in decorated cages - but it is up to the individuals choice!


The guidelines state:


Softbill show cages should be as large as practicable. The following sizes are suggested:


Size 5

For small softbills up to the size of a waxwing
Length 18 inches, height 15 inches, width 12 inches


Size 6

For thrushes, except mistle
Length 20 inches, height 15 inches, width 12 inches


Size 7
For other large softbills except magpie

Length 24 inches, height 20 inches, width 16 inches

Size 8

For magpie

Length 36 inches, height 24 inches, width 16 inches


However the sizes are not strict, as long as the overall sizes are suitable for the bird and no smaller than stated above, the general shapes of cages do & can vary. Some birds such as Redstarts are even shown in quite tall cages to very good effect.


The common cages are usually the 24" long, 12" deep & 15-16" tall, and these can then be used by changing the interior, for quite a variety.

These can either come with a "desk" type front, which allows in more light OR they can be box cages - with just a vertical front!


The access doors should always be on the RH side of the cage looking from the front this is one stipulation that needs to be adhered to.


As can be seen below - all shapes & sizes are used!

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Here are some partly completed cages demonstrating how a bird will show itself with the correct staging:

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