Parrot Nesting Boxes

I’ve been asked many times how to construct a bird nesting box. Designs, specs, and materials… and I just do not have a “all-in-one” solution! There are several aspects to consider:

What kind and size of bird are you looking for?

Is it better to be inside or outside the cage?

Is it made of wood, plastic, or metal?

Is it intended for an outside aviary?

So I’ll offer you some pointers on how I built my boxes and thoughts on how you should construct yours.


Finches may utilise extremely tiny boxes, but you’ll have greater success with a woven nest. These are often found at pet shops and are constructed of bamboo, straw, hemp, or other grasses. You provide the finches with nesting material and let them to complete their own nest. Cotton, grasses, straw, or shredded newspaper may all be used as this material.

Cockatiels may be picky. They seem to like a fairly big box, but if the opening is too tiny, they may be unwilling to enter it. They don’t want to risk enlarging the hole. I often construct a 1212 box with a rather wide hole towards the top.

Parakeets will be content with any tiny box. I make around 79 of them. But they’ve successfully nestled in several more cockatiel boxes.

Conures and Quakers need a somewhat bigger and more rectangular enclosure (shoebox shaped). Place the hole on the box’s rear side so they may nest toward the front and away from the hole. Because Quakers will want to create their own nest, provide them with materials like twigs, shredded newspaper, straw, or grass.

Larger parrots will need a “boot” box. This is a “L” shaped box inside which they will crawl from the top to the bottom front. Because parrots are intuitively accustomed to nesting in hollow tree branches, they will reject an enormous box. Make a tiny hole and let them to modify it to their desire. I like a size of 1818×12.

Large macaws are notoriously tough to satisfy. I’ve heard of individuals utilising 36 gallon plastic trash cans, old wood barrels, or anything they can get their hands on. My birds were housed in an 8-foot flying cage, and I wanted to be able to relocate my nest box within the cage. I chose a 4848×24 box put on wheels since it had to endure the regular bird gnawing. This was a “boot” shaped box that worked well for us.


Birds will destroy their box. This is a fundamental breeding impulse that contributes to their breeding cycle. As a result, many breeders attempt to avoid using metal or plastic. If you utilise these two materials, include some wood inside the box for them to gnaw on.

Metal conducts heat! In the summer, if this is for an outdoor flight, it will be quite hot. It will also overheat if left indoors and exposed to sunshine. Keep this in mind while selecting metal.

Plastic is fairly simple to clean, however it will not withstand gnawing. Expect to change these boxes on a regular basis.

Wood is simple to work with and affordable to create with. The only significant drawback I have is that it is quite porous. You cannot wash it since doing so will result in mould development. As a result, after it has gotten highly filthy and chewed up, it is preferable to just discard it. I usually use 12 inch plywood, but for bigger parrots, you’ll need at least 5/8 inch to survive the gnawing. Placing metal trim around the door might sometimes prevent excessive biting.


This is the difficult part. When mounting on the exterior of the case, take the weight of the box in mind. Unless the case is pretty big to begin with, most 1212 boxes will weight the cage and cause it to topple over.

I like to construct the door on the front of the box rather than the top. It’s less frightening for the birds to have the entrance door open. Because the eggs will be on that side, they will tend to migrate back and forth. Opening the top will frighten them since they won’t know where to flee…and their terror will hurt the chicks.

For example, on a 1212 square box, I would split the front panel into two sections. Insert a hinge into the centre to allow the top section to swing down. Install a handle on the top and a cabinet latch to keep it closed.

If it must be put within the cage, you must find out how to get access to the box in order to monitor it. You will have a tough time accomplishing this unless you have a walk-in flight cage.


Clean newspaper is the best material for the interior of the box. Pine shavings are good, but they can cause dust, which might harm your chicks. Never use kitten litter, corn cobs, or tissue paper. Mold grows more easily on cedar chips, which may cause respiratory irritation in birds.

I’ve also heard of dog food, oats, popcorn, and bird pellets as horrible ideas. When they get moist from droppings, they create a breeding ground for germs.

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