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Notes on Nest Boxes

(AVIDATA: Journal of The ASNSW Vol. 2 No. 4 - All Rights Reserved - Spring 1975)
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By George Bryant

Small parrots do very well in a vertical hanging box approximately 15" x 9" x 9" with a 2" diameter entrance hole in one side about 1" down from the top.  A small perch positioned at the entrance and some netting or staples placed on the inside to allow them to climb out suits them fine.  Place a mixture consisting of such things as peat moss, earth, dry bits of grass, husks or handfuls of decayed matter from a humus heap in the bottom of the box to an approximate depth of 2".  This mixture slightly moist without being wet will be acceptable.  If a greater depth of material is used, it is not uncommon for the parent bird to scratch material up and inadvertently bury the eggs.  Parrots have a habit of sitting in the box for many days before laying.

Having hung a nest of the aforementioned dimensions and observed a small parrot therein, the impression gained is that the nest is too big, but if a clutch of seven young appears, which is not impossible, then the dimensions come into their own, particularly in hot weather.

Some species resent having their nests interfered with, but whenever possible I believe it a good idea to inspect regularly.  Over a period of time a good number of young may be saved.   Often, time can be reduced between nests because infertile eggs can be discarded, thereby preventing the birds sitting unnecessarily.

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