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Baffling cockatiel mating behavior!

Forest

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Firstly, please know that I have no interest in breeding. I don't provide nest boxes or nesting material. None of my birds have ever laid eggs, but if they do, I will replace them with dummy eggs.

Rowan (male) has been singing and doing heart wings to Willow (female) for about six months. He follows her everywhere, they eat together, and they sleep near each other but they don't snuggle. For most of those six months, Willow would offer her head to Rowan for preening, but he was a clueless doofus and just pecked at her and looked confused. It's only been within the last couple weeks that he started actually preening her head when she offers it. I have never seen them mating, but I thought these behaviors meant that they were forming a pair bond. However...

The whole time Rowan has been courting Willow, he has occasionally mated with Hawthorn (female). He does not sing to her or do heart wings at her, and he ignores her when she offers her head for preening. I have never seen him wooing Hawthorn like he does Willow. And they don't quite mate correctly. At first, Rowan just stood on Hawthorn like she was a surfboard, kind of sideways. Recently, he seemed to figure it out a bit and positioned himself better, but their cloacas still don't actually touch so I don't think they're doing it right.

I am perplexed! Is Rowan just a feckless philanderer? Is Willow playing hard to get? Does Hawthorn have low self esteem or is she just a confident modern girl? I don't need tv because I have my own personal soap opera! :hybaby::rofl:
 

Forest

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In a deep dark wood...
A new development! For the first time, I saw Rowan singing to Hawthorn. He was standing on her (sideways like she's a surfboard :roflmao:) with his head next to hers. Then he flew over to Willow and did heart wings and sang to her. Then back to Hawthorn, then back to Willow, then back to Hawthorn... This back and forth went on for about 10 minutes. :birdance:
 

Forest

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In a deep dark wood...
Another development! Hawthorn laid eggs for the first time. I replaced them with dummy eggs, and she's been sitting on them for about a week. Rowan is kind of a crap father... I read that the daddy is supposed to feed the mommy when she's sitting on the eggs, and he's also supposed to take over sitting on the eggs for a while so she can have a break. He has not been doing any of that. He goes to check on her, but I haven't seen him feed her or take a turn on the eggs.

Also, Hazel and Willow have paired up, and for the first time I saw them trying to "do it." Alas, they also don't know what they're doing and he was standing on her sideways rubbing on her side. :rofl:
 

sunnysmom

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Another development! Hawthorn laid eggs for the first time. I replaced them with dummy eggs, and she's been sitting on them for about a week. Rowan is kind of a crap father... I read that the daddy is supposed to feed the mommy when she's sitting on the eggs, and he's also supposed to take over sitting on the eggs for a while so she can have a break. He has not been doing any of that. He goes to check on her, but I haven't seen him feed her or take a turn on the eggs.

Also, Hazel and Willow have paired up, and for the first time I saw them trying to "do it." Alas, they also don't know what they're doing and he was standing on her sideways rubbing on her side. :rofl:
Oh my. You have a lot going on. LOL. How old is Rowan? First time "parents" and/or younger tiels often don't know what they are doing and are crap parents. (I know you don't plan on breeding.) But that could be part of Rowan's problem. Or he's just a bad baby daddy. ;)
 

Forest

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In a deep dark wood...
Oh my. You have a lot going on. LOL. How old is Rowan? First time "parents" and/or younger tiels often don't know what they are doing and are crap parents. (I know you don't plan on breeding.) But that could be part of Rowan's problem. Or he's just a bad baby daddy. ;)
I don't know Rowan's exact age, but I estimate he's somewhere between 1.5 to 2 years old. All my tiels are young (Hawthorn and Willow are about 1.5 years old, and Hazel is about 9 months old). That explains their cluelessness!
 

Dwatts80

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DebraKay
Ideally you want your male to only bond with it have ONE mate. He will not be able to tend to a hen while nesting or with babies right if he has to split his time with another. But if you are not wanting to breed them then I wouldn’t worry about it.
 

Forest

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In a deep dark wood...
I definitely don't want to breed them, I just want them to be happy. And I love watching them trying to figure things out as they mature. Hazel and Willow have formed a pretty strong bond now. They are constantly together and he always sings to her and preens her head. And Rowan sings to Hawthorn now. :swoon:

I got really lucky in that all four are friends, they seem to all love each other and get upset if the group is separated. I got a double flight cage so they would all fit in one house together as comfortably as possible.
 
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