Below are the dimensions of nesting boxes usually used for conures. However, the dimensions can vary widely, as they are influenced by the owner’s and the birds’ preferences.
The preferences of the breeding birds can be influenced by the size and type of nest-box / log in which the bird was hatched and reared. Experienced breeding pairs may seek out nest boxes of the type and size they successfully bred in in the past.
Depending on the size of their flight, offering a choice of sizes and types of logs or nest-boxes – distributed in various locations within the aviary – will allow the parent birds to make their own choice. Once a breeding pair has chosen a specific nest-box/log and been successful in it, offer that one to them each breeding season. This box should be kept for their exclusive use. Once a pair has chosen its log or nest-box, the other ones can generally be removed. If the “spare” boxes are to be removed and moved to another aviary, it is important to clean the log / nestbox thoroughly to ensure the receptacle has the minimal contamination of mites, parasites and pathogens.
Marcy Covault from Feathered Companions Aviary generally suggests using a deeper nest box box for conures, either a bootbox or a vertical grandfather box (16″ – 24″ deep). Some conures do accept cockatiel-sized boxes, but using a deeper box will reduce the conures’ tendency to remove the shavings and lay their eggs on the bare wooden base.
- Length / depth: approx. 16 – 24 inches (400 – 600 mm) are suitable for most conure species
- Log / nest-box internal dimensions approx. 10 inches square (250 mm square)
- Diameter of entrance hole: approx. 3 inches ( ~70 – 80 mm)
- Inspection hole: Can be square or round, approx. 4 inches (100 mm) in diameter.
- A Removable top / lid can be a useful access point for inspections and for cleaning.
- Location and height of log / nest-box: Install in a sheltered part of the aviary at about 5 feet (~1.5 – 1.8 meters) height, but not too close to the roof to cause heat problems in the hotter months.
- Angle of log or nest box: 45 degrees through to vertical. Most boxes are vertical.
- Nesting log / nest-box material: Add about 2 inches of decomposed suitable nest box litter to the bottom of the box to help stabilize the eggs and absorb the droppings from the chicks.
Options for suitable nesting material are decomposed non-toxic saw dust, corn cob, shredded newspaper, clean straw / dried grass or wood shavings (i.e., Aspen shavings or wood chips). The larger wood chips the better, so the parents don’t feed it to the babies or the chicks accidentally ingest it.
Please note that some wood shavings – such as pine, cedar and redwood – give off aromatic hydrocarbons (phenols) and acids that are toxic and can cause dermatitis, allergic symptoms and irritation of the digestive tract. They should not be used in cages, aviaries, or nestboxes.
- Incubation: Both hen and cock share in incubating the eggs.
Conures have a habit of removing all the nest box material and laying their eggs on the bare wooden base.
Nest inspection is generally not tolerated. If nest inspection is necessary, wait till both parents have left the nest. They can be aggressive and protective of the nest area when breeding.
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