Bird Nest Guide For Bird Breeders

Here is a bird nest guide for you if you are breeding birds. If you are a breeder, you know that different species of birds have different preferences when it comes to where they lay their eggs and hatch out their young.

Bird Nest Guide

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With birds such as finches, softbills, and ground birds like quails, adequate cover in the aviary is super important to provide the birds with a sense of security. Many species, like to build their own nests using vegetation, but it is preferable to persuade the birds to adopt artificial nesting sites if possible. This will reduce the likelihood of birds like pigeons and doves losing their eggs or chicks when their sometimes rather flimsy nests collapse under them.

Make sure to place the nests in a safe place where they can’t get flooded in a summer storm or blown down.

A wide range of different types of nests are available, not just from pet stores, but also to order online. Here are a few examples. Click on any of the pictures if you need to find out more about a particular nest.

For finches and softbills, open-fronted nest boxes of the appropriate size are great with a barrier at the front of the box to prevent the chicks or eggs from falling out.

Other popular alternatives for this group of birds are nesting baskets of which there are various designs and shapes. These can be attached by means of wire loops, whereas the nest boxes should be screwed in place. It is vital to fix the nesting sites firmly in place, keeping them level as far as possible.

The canaries prefer open nest pans, which may be used by other related species which build cup-shaped nests such as serins. These should also be fixed in place with screws.

Members of the parrot family prefer nesting boxes.

Boxes for budgerigars have a wooden block, hollowed out at one end, known as a concave. The nest boxes are equipped with a sliding inspection hatch at one end, with a sheet of glass behind to ensure that the eggs or chicks don’t fall out when the box is opened. It is important that the concave fits snugly into the nest box so there is no risk of young chicks slipping down between the sides of the box.

Nesting boxes for other members of the parrot family are taller and heavier, made with thick ply or timber to withstand the sharp beaks, as parrots normally become quite destructive ass the time for breeding approaches.

The boxes need to be fixed securely, using brackets to distribute the weight. They should be positioned fairly close to the top of the aviary, but allow enough space for the birds to rest on top of the box, and for you to lift the lif if necessary to reach inside.

A sliding side-inspection panel that can be closed securely with a well-oiled bolt may be preferable.

The birds enter the box by means of a perch outside the nest hole with a mesh ladder extending down the inside.

The perch must be fixed securely in place so there is no risk of it becoming dislodged, particularly by the gnawing activities of the adult pair. Line the nest box with savings, as sold for animal bedding. For larger parrots, place short strips of wooden battening on the floor of the nest box, which the adult birds can whittle away to form their own nest lining.

A variety of materials can be purchased for other groups of birds. Canary nest pans are lined with circular felt, sewn in through the hols in the base of the pan. A special powder to kill mites may be sprinkled on the undersurface first. Loose nesting material is used to build the nest itself like twigs, coconut fiber, and dried moss. 

The positioning of nesting sites can be crucial when it comes to achieving breeding success.

Australian parakeets will breed in the flight undercover, but many other parrot species, especially those of rainforest origins, will prefer to use a nest box located in the relative darkness of the shelter, although pairs can prove to be highly individual in this regard. It is important that the nest will not become flooded when it rains, however, and it should preferably be positioned in a sheltered corner of the flight so that the eggs and chicks will be protected from cold winds. This is important in the case of birds such as ring-necked parakeets which are likely to nest at an early stage in the spring. If you stay in a ot climate you also need to offer protection from the heat in the form of plants or foliage if your birds are kept in an outside aviary.

In a colony aviary, try to provide nesting sites around the aviary to avoid territorial disputes. Don’t expect to be kept up to date with progress, as in a busy aviary with plants in it you may not even be aware of the fact that a pair have gone to nest until you hear the chicks.

It is not a good idea to go into the aviary and disturb the birds too much during the breeding season. Try to keep a watch on the birds from outside the aviary. Birds are most likely to desert their nest at the start of the incubation period if they feel insecure. Do not disturb them unless you have cause to suspect that something is wrong.

A sudden fall-off in food consumption is always a cause for concern, but bear in mind that in aviary housing a number of birds, this may be less obvious than with a single pair.

I hope this Bird Nest Guide has given you some great ideas for planning the nesting area of your aviary for the breeding season.

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