Breeding Boxes and Nesting Boxes


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Birds can sometimes be very particular about their nests.  While I have had zebras lay their eggs in food dishes, the majority of the time the birds tend to be particular about their nests.  I have tried many different types of nests, but have had the best luck with two different types of homemade nests.  One is made of cardboard, and the other is made of some materials readily available from the local craft store.  I have used the cardboard nest boxes successfully for several clutches of zebra finches.  I have had several clutches of Gouldians in the the other type.

I have also had good luck with plastic nest boxes.  The ones that I buy are hinged at the top, and allow you to look inside and check on the status of the eggs or nestlings.  I put a single piece of thin balsa or basswood on the bottom of the nest box.  A coffee filter also can be used for this. The box that I used had some slits in the bottom for ventilation, but the nestlings got their nails caught in it.  To give them increased ventilation I drilled several 1/8 inch holes in the sides and the top. 

Quite often pet stores have several different types of finch nests for sale.  These are usually made of wicker or some other material, and look like little baskets with an arched cover.  I have tried these with little success.  In fact, I have had some problems with finches injuring themselves on the wicker nests.  They have gotten their nails caught on the wicker and injured themselves trying to get free.


Cardboard Nesting boxes

I have had good luck with the zebras using small nesting boxes built from cardboard.  The plans for these boxes are available online at Constructing Finch Nests on Wilmer Miller's wonderful website entitled  In addition to information on doves, this sight has a lot of very useful information about finches.  I have learned a lot from this site and I highly recommend it.


"Milk Carton" Nesting boxes

Another good idea for nesting boxes is to build them from old milk cartons.  The plans for these boxes are available online at Milk Carton Nest Boxes on Roy Beckham's site  This is another wonderful website which is just loaded with useful information and wonderful photos of finches.  I have learned a great deal from this site.  It is one of the first places online that I look for information.


Tina's "Tube" Nests

I started to build these nests for my owl finches.  They wanted a deep nest, and these seemed to fit the bill.  However, I was surprised to discover that my Gouldian finches loved them as well. 


  The photo at the left shows how popular the nests that I make are with the birds.  I took this photo from a nest in a large flight cage.  If you look closely you can see a pair of chocolate Society Finches in the back, and a female Gouldian finch in the front.  I had a pair of Gouldians and a pair of Society finches that both wanted to have the nest, so they ended up sharing the nest. 

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This site was last updated 10/14/07