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Our pet female Congo African Grey, Peewee, displaying excellent taste,
enjoys a fine pale ale "nestbox" on 5/25/04!

You might have noticed that your pet parrot has been acting a little oddly lately.
Even a parrot of just a few months of age can begin to have hormonal surges that
cause the bird to exhibit breeding behaviors. These behaviors can include bobbing
of the head, regurgitation, "clucking" or "whining" sounds, and the lowering of the chest
while fluttering the wings. The bird might show increased interest in shredding paper, chewing or guarding toys, plucking feathers, and/or a change in dietary preferences.
Sometimes a bird can become moody or aggressive due to hormonal surges.

We have owned several of our pet parrots for many years and they are all mature and
would be capable of breeding if they had mates and nest boxes. To help to satisfy some of their urges, we give out pet parrots "nesting" cardboard boxes. Our birds just love these boxes and have a good old time chewing and shredding the boxes to make their nests. Both males and females do this and two of our pets hens have laid eggs. We allow a hen to sit on and brood her eggs and our pet Bare-Eyed Cockatoo, Poopy, has become quite defensive of the "nest" for the two to three weeks that we let her sit. By sitting on the infertile eggs, it satisfies the hen's nesting instinct and prevents her from laying more eggs. If eggs are taken away as soon as they are laid, the hen will sometimes continue to lay more eggs. This can be detrimental to her health, so allowing a hen to sit on infertile eggs for a while is a good idea.

Rose-Breasted Cockatoos make a nest in the wild with eucalyptus leaves and slim
green branches. We recommend that thin leafy branches be given to Rose-Breasted Cockatoos to make a "nest". If you cannot obtain fresh eucalyptus, willow, palm,
and honeysuckle are also good.

Below are some images of our pet birds with their cardboard "nestboxes" taken
in late February 2002. We hope you will enjoy seeing these and that this will help
you to understand some of the behaviors of your own pet birds.

This is Togo, our pet Congo African Grey. We raised her here in 1987 and she is very bonded to my husband, Dave. She has never laid eggs but has a very strong maternal instinct. She will regurgitate and feed ANY SPECIES of baby parrot in our nursery! She particularly loves baby Greys but will also feed, Eclectus, cockatoos, Amazons, Pionus, and others!
update: Togo laid two clutches of
eggs in the spring of 2005.


 Here Togo feeds a baby Congo African
Grey. Togo loves baby Greys and does not tire of feeding them! She actually regurgitates food but is not particularly accurate in delivering the dinner!

  Togo is shown here feeding a baby Slender-Billed Cockatoo chick on 4/21/02. Togo will feed any species of baby! It is
quite amusing to see her attempt to feed
a large macaw baby!

Lil' Lorita, a Parvipes Yellow-Naped Amazon, has been with us since 1980. She was a breeder for several years prior to her retirement and has laid many eggs in the past. She no longer lays eggs but contents herself by chewing her boxes and making clucking noises. 

Lorita is another of our pet Yellow-Naped Amazons. We have owned her for since 1998 and she was imported from Honduras as an adult so we do not knw how old she is. She has never laid an egg but sure does a lot of clucking and wing fluttering in the Spring! She loves to chew her cardboard boxes and loves to sit inside of the dark box and make whining noises.



 On 3/21/02, a week after the image
above was taken, Lorita has chewed her box to the point of collapse and will need
a new box in another day or two. She is very bonded to her owner, Gail.

 Our Slender-Billed Cockatoo, Gumby, jauntily sits by his color-coordinated cardboard box! Gumby just loves to chew and the boxes keep him busy.

 Peewee was hatched here in 1990. She is a Congo African Grey Parrot. She laid her first egg in the spring of 2002 but did not show an interest in incubating it. Instead she has shown more interest in destroying the many boxes we have supplied to her over the past few months! She does a lot of flirting with Beckett Bird, a large male Congo Grey who lives in a cage next to hers and we are hoping that they will eventually pair-bond.


In the image at left, Peewee has laid an
egg in her shredded cardboard box on 3/21/02. She does not seem inclined
to sit on the egg as yet.

On 3/30/02, Peewee has laid yet another egg, having broken the one laid on 3/21/02.



On 4/6/02, Peewee now has two eggs
that are getting a bit soiled...