Fledgling Bird Care In Your Aviary

Let’s take a look at the stage of breeding birds when the birds fledge. This means that they are ready to leave the nest and venture out into the big wide world or in this case the aviary.  There are some points to take into mind with fledgling bird care.

Fledgling can take anywhere from two weeks to six weeks, depending on the type of bird.

Cockatiel chicks, for example, normally fledge at about four weeks of age but are not fully weaned by the parent birds for another 4-6 weeks after this period. Only when you are confident that the young birds are feeding themselves should you consider taking them away to give the parents a rest.

Budgies normally fledge at five weeks, but as with cockatiels, their parents continue to feed them for another three weeks.

Fledgling Bird Care

The period during which the young birds leave the nest is called fledging and it can be a dangerous time. Some birds like doves often tend to leave too early before they can fly properly and they need to be watched.

Good parent birds who feed their young often and spend more time in the nest keeping the chicks warm will help speed up the chick’s development.

These young birds are often duller in terms of their plumage than adult birds, and it can take anywhere from a few months to several years to get their full coloration.

Parrot chicks, on the other hand, are normally more developed when they fledge. The risk to them is more from the power of their own flight. Australian parakeets are very wild when they fledge, and they can kill themselves by flying hard and fast directly into the mesh fencing if not careful. It helps to have a screened area to indicate to the birds that there is a barrier. Luckily the young birds soon settle down, especially when they are transferred to separate accommodation.fledgling bird care

In some bird species, like finches, birds (juveniles and adults) in the aviary are known to sometimes feed fledged chicks. This can help take some of the pressure off of all the parent birds who may be preparing for another round of chicks.

With an aviary, you only need to supply one fresh water and replace/check/top up the bird food each day. Make sure you are giving your breeding birds the right nutrition to ensure they stay healthy and their young also grow up strong.

Fledgling Dangers

In some cases, it is a good idea to separate fledgling birds from their parents. Australian parakeets, especially young cock birds are at great risk of being attacked by their father, who will be keen to nest again and will seek to drive away other male competition. It is therefore a good idea to remove the first round of chicks as soon as possible, but make certain that they are capable of feeding on their own first.

In other cases, however, it may be better to leave the birds together with their parents for a longer period, provided that the aviary is big enough to accomodate the family group.

There are a number of dangers facing a bird which has recently left the nest, even in the confines of an aviary. Young pigeons and doves, in particular, will both flege before they are able to fly, and if they disappear into the undergrowth at the bottom, they may not be seen by their parents with the cock bird usually assuming responsibility for attending to their needs at this stage while the hen goes back to nest again.

Young finches, too are highly vulnerable in wet weather, as their soft plumage can easily become waterlogged, leaving the young birds at risk to hypothermia.

Young parrot chicks may return to their nest box at night or even during the day, even after they have emerged for the first time. Make sure to watch out for any signs of aggression from the parents in this case.


  1. Thank you for the information regarding fledgling birds. Not many people understand the dangers of fledging birds. I usually like to breed chickens at my home. Was always a joy. But interesting when the small rooster grew a bit up, he went against his own dad and almost killed him. Thus, I gave the young rooster away. Thus, I am not surprised to here these problems for any bird.

    Is it best to get two birds at the same young age to ensure they do not fight each other?

    1. I think that any two males put together during breeding season with females could be a problem. This works better with smaller breeds like budgies, cockatiels, and finches if there are more females than males in the aviary so the males can take their pick. However, as a breeder, you still need to keep your eyes open for potential squabbles.

  2. Hi

    Thank you, this was an interesting read.  I always enjoy learning new things.  Not a bird owner at the moment, but this was insightful as to how to handle my cat at home.  We are really trying to keep her away from the birdlife in our small garden, and understanding bird behavior better really helps. 

    Your website is beautiful, and the navigation is great!

    Han Lahav

  3. I am transitioning my two fledgling cockatiels from Kaytee powder/water to pellets. They take them greedily from my fingers. At 6 weeks and 4 weeks now when will they begin to feed themselves AND how should I transition to they’re independent feeding?

    Thank You

    1. They normally transition naturally. Simply leave the seed or pellets in an accessible place for them and then gradually feed less and less by hand. By six weeks they are normally starting to feed on their own, if not before.

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