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Building another nest

Gigibirds

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Hello!

So.....Mango (my lovebird) has started to build another nest. She just had babies roughly 3 months ago, and she lives with them in their own aviary outside. Last time she built a nest, she did it with her mate, Oliver. But we lost him just after the 2nd egg was laid. So, Ginger, another female lovebird, helped Mango. She sat on the eggs and took care of the babies until they they were ready to fledge, and that's when Mango took over. But when the babies were roughly 8 weeks old, Ginger died due to a seizure and previous conditions. So Mango was left to take care of them by herself (and I'll let you what - she does NOT like being a mom :roflmao:)
I left the nesting box in, because we were having some crazy weather. As in, nights that nearly went to freezing when the day before had been 100º, or there was a bunch of rain out of the blue, etc. So the babies sleep/slept in the nesting box every night, and Mango sits on the perch in from (but I'm pretty sure that she goes in there after I stop watching her). But now I think that the babies have stopped using the nesting box? I'm not sure - it's really hard to tell!
But now Mango has decided that she doesn't need to take care of her babies anymore (they are old enough for her to stop feeding), and she has started building another nest! (on top of the old nest that is still in the nesting box - I left it in because again, the babies sleep there at night....I think) And I am not providing ANY nesting material. She's literally pulling strips of wood off of their 'cafe' (the feeding station I built for them) and carrying them to the nest. I just peeked in there and there is a ton of wood strips.

So what should I do? I can't take out the nesting box because of the crazy weather. I also can't move them inside because of the cat. I can't reduce sunlight hours because they are in an aviary. I can't even stop supplying nesting material, because I'm already not! She's getting this stuff out of thin air! Thankfully, I don't have to worry about new babies because there isn't an old enough male in there. But I don't know how to discourage this behaviour! Mango just loves to build, and I can't stop her!

Sorry for the long post, but I would really appreciate any tips/advice!
 

Shezbug

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Remove the box and put up a proper wind shelter that is too big to be viewed as a nest.

Many people here with aviaries have a section made so there’s a roof and three walls- no closed in front. They make it so it faces a back wall, that way they still have decent shelter
 

Gigibirds

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That's a really good idea, and I appreciate your feedback so much, but I don't think that will work. You see, the nesting box was intended to be a wind shelter. We made it wayyyyyy too big to be viewed as a nest, but they still turned it into one! I also can't make any extra walls for my aviary until I get the right supplies, and that could take > week (to find time to get the materials, plan out how we would build it, find the time to build it, put it up, etc.). I also can't just take the lid off their current box, because that freaks them out, and they wont stop flying around and screeching until I put it back (I tried it a couple of times....same results). But thank you so much for the ideas! I really, really appreciate it!

But is it okay if Mango tries to build another nest? She might lay eggs, but she definitely would not sit on them. I would remove them either way, and obviously give her calcium supplements/eggfood. Or is it bad for her to build the nest for some reason?
 

Shezbug

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You want to discourage her from laying too many eggs- it’s extremely hard on them
 

Gigibirds

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I know! I really don’t want her to stress out her tiny little lovebird body! :( but I still need to find a way to discourage her from all this nesting behavior...
 

Ripshod

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Get rid of the nesting box. Despite your best intentions she is still seeing it as an area for nesting. If you can't alter the aviary in a way that gives them natural shelter from the winds then get a large perspex (plexiglass) sheet with easy fixings so it can be moved when the wind changes.
 

Gigibirds

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Get rid of the nesting box.
Like I said before, I can't do that. They need it for shelter from this crazy weather, and they freak out if I change it (take of the lid) and removing it nearly gives them a panic attack.

If you can't alter the aviary in a way that gives them natural shelter from the winds then get a large perspex (plexiglass) sheet with easy fixings so it can be moved when the wind changes.
What exactly does this mean? What are easy fixings.....like ways to attach it that can easily be undone? Also, are you sure it wouldn't make them too hot? Because during the day it gets SO HOT here, and I wouldn't want the plexiglass to act like a magnifying glass and concentrate the sunlight/heat/however magnifying glasses work and end up over-heating them and the aviary. But I do like that idea, thank you!


Also what if she just builds a nest? Last time, she only laid eggs because of the male. But now its just her and her 2, young kids (unknown gender), so I don't think that she will want to lay eggs. She genuinely just enjoys gathering materials and carrying stuff up to the box, but has never really displayed any interest in eggs/mating & courtship behaviour/etc. She sat on her eggs when her mate was there, but as soon as we lost him, she completely forgot about them, and returned to her old self! Either way her nest-fever is abating, (mainly because she has already stripped off all the pieces of wood/nesting material she could find, and now there is nothing left) and she is showing much less interest in the box, so I don't think that this will be an issue for much longer :)
 

Sodapop&Co.

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Like I said before, I can't do that. They need it for shelter from this crazy weather, and they freak out if I change it (take of the lid) and removing it nearly gives them a panic attack.
Bring them inside, then take the lid off/alter the box in whatever way you need, then return them. There's no reason for them to freak that much - it's just scary to see it moving while they're in there, but they can adapt just fine to a small change in their environment like this. You need to go through with a change for her health and I think this is the simplest and possibly only way - getting rid of what she sees as good nesting opportunity.
She genuinely just enjoys gathering materials and carrying stuff up to the box, but has never really displayed any interest in eggs/mating & courtship behaviour/etc.
I don't think this is a thing; birds are always thinking about reproducing when they do things like this. It's built into them. Maybe what you need to do then is find other thing she enjoys. Give them more toys, interesting stuff to play with, etc. Can we see a picture of your aviary?
 

Gigibirds

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I know that it is usually built into birds, but Mango honestly hates being a mom! She was terrible at all of it, and even now she still doesn't really like her kids :roflmao: If she were a human, she would be the kind of mom that gets a nanny to raise her kids until they can be shipped off to a boarding school.....then they could come home for holidays, but only as long as it didn't interfere with her schedule!

Yep, they have a ton of toys! But I had to stop giving her any shredding toys because she would try to use them for a nest. I would love to share a picture of the aviary, but it says that the file is too big. Do you know how I can fix it? So far I just keep on cropping the photo until it is small enough, but that only works for bird photos - not aviary pics! I also forgot the password for my youtube account, so I can't make a video...
 

Sodapop&Co.

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What kind of shredding toys? I don't see how they'd use them for nests... To make the picture smaller, open it in Irfan View. Click on "Image", then find "Resize/Resample", and choose a new size
1620160168996.png
I usually go with 800x600
 

Gigibirds

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Oh wow, thank you so much!!!! And by shredding toys I mean anything with paper/bits they could rip off. She would carry a strip of anything back into the nest. Even strips of cardboard! And not cardstock paper, but proper cardboard as in the stuff delivery boxes are made out of. I have no idea how she ripped though that (it was in the aviary to temporarily cover something up - not intended to be a bird toy, but we still made sure it was safe in case they chewed it), but she did, and she carried strips of it up to her nest! But thank you so, so, SO much for the help with the pictures! I can't wait to try that!! (but it will be a little while before I can get a picture)

*Mango is crazy, so she doesn't care if its a 'good' nesting material per say. Just if it can be carried to the nest box, then up and away it goes!
 

Sodapop&Co.

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Oh wow, thank you so much!!!! And by shredding toys I mean anything with paper/bits they could rip off. She would carry a strip of anything back into the nest. Even strips of cardboard! And not cardstock paper, but proper cardboard as in the stuff delivery boxes are made out of. I have no idea how she ripped though that (it was in the aviary to temporarily cover something up - not intended to be a bird toy, but we still made sure it was safe in case they chewed it), but she did, and she carried strips of it up to her nest! But thank you so, so, SO much for the help with the pictures! I can't wait to try that!! (but it will be a little while before I can get a picture)
Great, glad it helped! There are still lots of toys that aren't paper/carboard! Soft woods, stainless steel, acrylic toys - so much! You just gotta get creative! Try foraging too (just be careful that it can't be seen as a nest). She just needs things to keep her mind occupied so that nesting and babies aren't the only thing on her mind.
 

Shezbug

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If she’s carrying things to the nest box like you say she is, her natural instincts are to nest and she’s being driven by nature to do what birds do.
Regardless of your opinion/thoughts about her parenting skills and preferences, they’re hard wired to reproduce- all animals are!
I feel that for the well-being of your bird you seriously need to re-evaluate your insistence on keeping a nest box available to her instead of making a much more open shelter that is not perceived as a nest.
 

Greylady1966

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Is the nestbox the only shelter they have in your aviary? I would be concerned about how clean it was in there, especially if she's building a nest on top of an old one. I hope you post a pic soon I'm curious as how you have it sit up.
 

MR. Mango

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agreed a picture could help greatly
 

Gigibirds

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You seem to write "I cant" over and over again. You have several great suggestions from members. Why not try some of them.
I know! I feel terrible - I hate being so negative! I am going to try a few ideas though, so don't worry! :)

Is the nestbox the only shelter they have in your aviary? I would be concerned about how clean it was in there, especially if she's building a nest on top of an old one. I hope you post a pic soon I'm curious as how you have it sit up.
Shockingly, it is very, very clean! Only a couple of poops here and there, no mold, no bad smells, no rotting food, no nothing! Here's a pic of the original nest....well, second original nest. First they build a regular nest, then when the babies hatched, Mango added a 'roof' to the top of it. You can see Ginger's head poking out in the back because she was very mad at me for disturbing her. Now the palm fronds have all dried, and it just smells like clean hay! When the babies got older they started sitting on the 'roof' so that has been disturbed a bit. Now Mango is adding to it and trying to restore it to its former glory! :roflmao: She doesn't quite have enough material to build an entire new nest, so she's improvising. But as you can see, it is SUPER clean! And yes, the 'roof' is going over a perch. This wasn't intended to be a nesting box originally, so we have perches in there to keep the birds comfy...
Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 2.50.59 PM.png
 

Gigibirds

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*sorry that it is not a super great picture, but it is all that I already had on my computer. It also does not show the entire box, but the whole thing is filled with green like that!
 

Zara

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No matter what you do, even if you don´t want to try any of the advice posted, at the very least, you need to take that box down and scrape it out. You can´t let her make a nest on top of the old one. Because she will lay an egg, and she will sit in there for a long time. The last thing you want is for her to get sick.

My eldest male loved to shred stuff and put the paper strips in his rump like hens do. But he never made a nest with it.
I have never seen any of my birds make a nest for fun and not lay an egg in it.

Bring them inside
This is a good option.
You say she can´t be out there with no shelter because of the wind, but you can´t but perspex up because of the heat... then the simple answer is to bring her indoors in a large flight cage. Leave the youngsters out in the aviary if you want.
 

MR. Mango

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Honestly just remove all the substrate and grass and just trash it, so that they can see the perches in their and use them
 
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