Cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus) out in nature are perfectly capable of scouting out their own cozy nesting areas, but when they're in captivity, they might need a helping hand. Holes in trees aren't usually accessible to cockatiels who live indoors. Once cockatiels mate, nests become an immediate requirement.
Appropriate Nest Boxes
While nest boxes that are suitable for cockatiels can be purchased from many pet supply stores, the DIY approach also works well. Look around your home for a clean cardboard box that is 1 foot both in length and width. As far as height goes, boxes that are between 1 foot and 16 inches usually work well. Make sure to add a square aperture to the box that has a diameter of about 4 inches, as these function as doors. Wood boxes of similar sizes also work well.
Bedding is an important component to making a nest for a cockatiel. Straw and wood chips both usually make suitable material for the nests. If you use wood shavings, make sure that the wood is untreated. Note that it's not uncommon for some cockatiels to prefer not to use nesting materials, however. Cockatiels in nature typically don't use them. If your cockatiel doesn't want to use substrate, don't worry.
Nest Box Flooring
Since cockatiels often push out nesting materials out of their boxes, establishing a hollow on the ground of the box is often a safe and smart idea. If you create a pit on the floor, you might be able to prevent the eggs from making their way out from below the incubating mother's body. Bedding is beneficial for keeping the environment of the eggs consistently controlled and steady.
Placement of the Box
While nest boxes for cockatiels aren't usually enormous, they can take up a lot of real estate within breeding birds' enclosures. Try to affix the nest box to the exterior of the enclosure. Not only will this help keep your cockatiels' living environment spacious and comfortable, it will make it easier for you to observe what's going on inside the box.
Once you finish setting up your homemade bird nest, look out for any other spots that your cockatiel could potentially confuse as being an appropriate nesting area, whether somewhere in your home or inside the enclosure. If a spot is somewhat cramped, dark and quiet, a cockatiel could interpret it as being a good place to lay eggs, so pay attention.
- The American Cockatiel Society: Getting Started Breeding Cockatiels
- The National Cockatiel Society: Cockatiel Breeding Basics
- BirdChannel.com: Hormonal Cockatiel Behavior
- University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web: Nymphicus Hollandicus
- Cockatiels; Belinda Ogle
- Attracting Birds to Your Garden in Southern Africa; Lex Hes
- Birds Off the Perch; Larry Lachman, Diane Grindol and Frank Kocher
- The Cockatiel Handbook; Mary Gorman
- Cockatiels; Thomas Haupt and Julie Rach Mancini
- Dean Marvin Warren; Small Animal Care and Management
- Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images