Why Do Lovebirds, Canaries & Others Abandon Nests or Destroy Eggs?

Budgerigar pair

Uploaded to Wikipedia Commons by Workman

Few bird-keeping experiences are extra thrilling than watching your pets breed…or extra irritating than seeing them toss out their eggs or abandon the nest. Egg destruction and nest abandonment, uncommon within the wild, are fairly widespread amongst pet birds of every kind, together with parrots, budgies, finches, canaries, lovebirds and others. Whereas the explanations are sometimes particular to particular person hen species, some basic issues, together with infertility, same-sex pairs, stress, and hormonal imbalances, apply to all commonly-kept birds.



The manufacturing of infertile eggs is maybe the commonest motive that birds abandon their nests. This mostly happens after the mother and father have tended to the eggs for all the incubation interval (incubation intervals range amongst species, please publish under for particular info). Usually, the incubating mother or father or mother and father merely cease sitting upon the eggs if they don’t hatch on time. In some instances, the eggs will even be tossed from the nest (this usually occurs amongst budgies, zebra finches and others which can be capable of re-nest shortly).


Infertility in both intercourse could also be attributable to illness, age, genetic components or, in some instances, a poor weight loss plan. Please publish any particular questions under.


Society finches

Uploaded to Wikipedia Commons by Gallo71

Identical Intercourse Pairs

Identical intercourse pairings are under no circumstances uncommon in captivity, and might be discovered amongst most species. Nevertheless, they’re mostly seen within the extremely social parrots, which embrace the lovebirds, cockatiels and parakeets (as parrot house owners know, birds stored alone typically deal with their human companions as “mates”).


Birds that present little or no seen sexual dimorphism (variations in look), similar to the assorted lovebirds, is usually a actual supply of confusion to house owners when identical intercourse pairs kind. That is additionally true for sure colour phases of sexually-dimorphic species, because the distinguishing sex-based markings could also be obscured.


Fischer's Lovebirds

Uploaded to Wikipedia Commons by Takashi Hososhima

Behaviors similar to singing, grooming and mate-feeding can typically be used to differentiate the sexes in “tough” species, however even these aren’t utterly dependable.


Colony Breeding

Many finches (particularly the favored zebra and society finches) nest in colony conditions within the wild, and a number of pairs could breed even in comparatively small cages. Some lovebirds and different small parrots additionally nest in shut proximity to different pairs of their pure habitats.


Regardless of how giant your cage or aviary, nevertheless, house for a number of breeding pairs shall be far lower than can be accessible in nature. Squabbles, stealing of nest materials, destruction of others’ eggs, and even chick-killing are all too widespread when greater than a single pair nests in the identical enclosure. The stress of the scenario may trigger mother and father to desert their nests or hatchlings. There are methods to design cages and aviaries in order to restrict these prospects; please publish under for additional info.


Macaw pair

Uploaded to Wikipedia Commons by Riza Nugraha


From captive bugs to mammals, a typical response to emphasize is to stop breeding or to desert/kill eggs and younger. As many younger, aspiring hamster breeders be taught, the feminine will typically even eat her litter (which tends to dampen one’s enthusiasm for rodent-breeding!). A simplified clarification of this phenomenon could also be said as “why waste valuable time and sources on younger that won’t survive in any occasion?”.


Breeding birds of all species usually preserve a heightened consciousness of their environment. This is applicable even to long-term, in any other case handle-able pets, which can develop into flighty or aggressive when on the nest. Nesting birds could also be upset by house owners who verify nests or candle eggs, noise, different pets, folks passing close to the cage and comparable occasions. Think about the nighttime surroundings as nicely…mild getting into the room from exterior, cats or raccoons peering in, and loud site visitors can disturb birds, particularly at the moment (most want 12 hours of quiet darkness every evening).


Gouldian Finches (yellow & silver morphs)

Uploaded to Wikipedia Commons by myfinchdotcom

Different Captive Circumstances

Normal captive situations can be sources of stress. For instance, younger birds, even when technically capable of reproduce, typically fail of their first breeding makes an attempt. Un-natural day/evening cycles can have an effect on the ebb and circulate of hormones, in order that people come into breeding situation at totally different occasions. This typically ends in aggression between birds which can be in any other case suitable. The shut confines of captivity could change pure behaviors, irritating the birds and inflicting nest abandonment or aggression in direction of mates or chicks.


Some people, female and male alike, appear by no means to get the dangle of nesting and/or rearing the younger, even when situations are splendid. Inbreeding has been proposed as one doable reason for this, however we nonetheless have a lot to be taught.


Additional Studying

Breeding Lovebirds

Society Finch Care and Breeding

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