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The details on this page are to be read and used in conjunction with the
information on the "Nests" web page.
Nests should be built under the roofed
or sheltered portion of the aviary. In the wild, birds nest in the
open with the nests often subjected to wild variations of temperatures,
rain and wind. Birds in an aviary that are given the chance to
build in an exposed situation may have erratic breeding results.
Heavy rain and a cold wind can easily cause the death of small young
nestlings. The loss of some nests in the wild may not have any
significant effect on the overall population but in the Australian
aviary population we no longer have access to imported stock or birds
harvested from the wild populations. Aviary birds will generally breed more reliably in
an aviary that protects them from the majority of the extreme climatic elements.
Having said that, do not assume that means giving them full protection
that may result in the future generations becoming "soft". A happy
medium has to be take to maximize the rearing of vigorous birds while
maintaining high breeding numbers.
Young that leave the nest prematurely
Young that leave the nest prematurely
should not be replaced back into the nest with the other young.
This will generally disrupt the remaining young birds resulting in them
also leaving the nest prematurely. The young that leave
prematurely can be closely monitored to ensure the parents will feed the
bird during the day. Immature birds that may not be able to
survive a cool/cold night can be removed from the aviary, kept in a warm
place and returned early next morning. This does not guarantee the
survival of the immature bird but may improve its chances of survival.
The birds that have been ejected prematurely or decide to "jump" early
should be checked to see if it has any physical defects or acts
"normal". Any birds that show any physical or behavioural
abnormalities should be either killed (euthanized) or clearly identified by a leg
ring and never bred from. The bird in the wild would have close to
no chance of surviving and never breed. The early "jump" from the
nest may be nature's way of saying "don't breed with these early nest
Many animals and birds instinctively know if a
baby is not as good as the others and the removal of some birds within a
colony is designed to maintain the physical and mental health of the
overall species. Any bird not up to standard for good breeding
stock may make an excellent indoor cage bird or pet. They could be
kept as a single bird in a mixed species collection, out of sight of its
own species and not with any species that it may hybridize with, and
still live a happy life.
Finch Nests: Most
nest are built in thick shrubs or small trees. Hen and
cock birds both build the nest. The breeding nest is a covered dome shape
and constructed from assorted lengths of grasses and lined with
feathers, soft grasses or soft material and most have a side tunnel entrance.
Some species will also build a roosting nest which is used outside
breeding season. Start preparing for breeding season a month
or two prior to the projected nesting date by purchasing or
procuring all the necessary materials. Don't wait till a bird
starts laying eggs on the floor. Don't get caught with
insufficient materials for the birds to build a sturdy nest. A
poor quality nest may result in the loss of the eggs or young or the
parent birds abandoning the partly constructed nest. There is
a wide range of materials available from Bird clubs, good pet shops
and bird dealers. Remember, the nest is only as good as the
materials you provide.
Finch Nest materials: Short lengths of teased natural fibre
hessian, soft pampas grass heads and coconut fibre can be offered.
November grass and Swamp grass are favourites of the birds that line
their nests and these grasses can be purchased from many Aviculture
clubs or from bird dealers.
Trays of growing grasses can be placed in the cage or aviary. The length
of the grass blades should be of varying lengths so the birds can choose the
lengths they prefer. Different species of grasses should be offered.
Tough grasses like couch will offer textural and strength variety. Some
bird species prefer to add some green fresh grasses into the nest structure.
The green fresh grasses will dry and help form a strong nest.
Local wild finches will use a wide variety of plant materials from trees,
shrubs, flowers, vegetables, mosses, ferns and household litter. Check out
what the local wild finches use and offer your birds some of the same materials.
Don't take material from wild birds nests as these nests may harbour mites,
parasites and disease pathogens.
Some birds use mud in the construction of the nest. Blackbirds will
use substantial amounts of mud in the nest construction.
Some birds use spider webs in the construction of the nest.
Many birds use feathers to line
the nests. Various types of feathers may be purchased from bird
dealers, avicultural clubs/societies and/or hobby shops. Most of
the feathers sold are white chicken feathers but some places may have
other colours and types of poultry feathers. Pigeon, duck,
pheasant and quail feathers may be avail from processors factories.
Synthetic nest materials should be
Nest inspection: Nest
inspections for finches is often very difficult and impractical.
Most finches are very intolerant of nest inspections and this
practise may result in the loss of the whole clutch.
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