11 Facts On Cockatiels Nests: Where, How, When, Behavior

If you want to purchase a cockatiel, look into where, when, and how they nest. One of the most typical hormonal behaviors in cockatiels is during their nesting activity.

In the wild, cockatiels search for their nests in tree hollows, but in captivity, they are provided with nests or cages by their owners. Their cage is also sometimes called the cockatiel bed. 

If the cockatiels are going to be kept in a cage, it needs to be 30′′L x 18′′W x 36′′H in size. Additionally, when it is time to house cockatiels, bigger is preferable.

Do cockatiels like nests?

Cockatiels need a large cage to live in peace and security. But, regarding their breeding and mating, snug and private nesting boxes are crucial.

Cockatiels like nests because, in captivity, they cannot scout for their nests as they do in the wild. Therefore, if the owner builds a cozy nest or cockatiel bed, the birds will undoubtedly like it.

Facts On Cockatiels Nests
Image Credit: Cockatiels in the Nesting Box by Oldcockatoo is licensed under (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Let us look at some methods that may be used to make the nest that cockatiels will like.

  • Purchase a nest box at least 12 × 12 inches in size.
  • The nest box should have a door or a slot that can be closed after each clutch.
  • Attach the box higher to the exterior of the cage.
  • Fill the nest box with ripped paper, molted feathers, or specific nesting material.
  • There should be horizontal bars 1.2 cm apart so the birds can climb them.
  • Attach food and water bowls to the box.

Additionally, remember that if the birds do not establish a bond with one another, no matter how nice and cozy the design of the nest is, they might not like it.

Do cockatiels need nests?

Cockatiels need nests because they cannot search for nests in captivity. They settle into the nest and make it their home.

A nesting box, a type of breeding nest, is also necessary if the owner intends to breed the birds. The breeding nest is used by the birds to lay their eggs. However, a breeding nest box should not be offered to a lone bird.

How can I tell if my cockatiel is nesting?

One of the most important phases of a cockatiel’s life is nesting. But how to know if the birds are actually nesting? Look for the indications we discuss here.

If the cockatiel exhibits the following behavior, be sure it is nesting.

  • The birds will huddle in a cage corner.
  • Cockatiel will shred papers or fabrics
  • Take a seat in a shady or dark area.
  • Around their lower abdomen, the female cockatiels appear to be plumper.
  • Take strange stances before laying eggs.

Before producing eggs, female cockatiel parrots will stay in their cages for 7 to 8 days. A female cockatiel will get acquainted with the nesting place by doing this.

Where do cockatiels nest?

Typically, cockatiels will look for enclosed and dark areas to nest. In captivity, cockatiels are given a nest that acts as their cage.

How long do cockatiels nest for?

Cockatiels will continue to nest until the female lays all her eggs, usually between four and six. She, then, incubates the eggs for 20-30 days. 

How frequently do cockatiels lay eggs?

Cockatiels typically lay one egg each day until all of them have been laid. Within 1-2 weeks of mating, the female cockatiel begins to lay eggs. In each clutch, the female may lay anywhere from four to six eggs.

Do cockatiels share nests?

If it is a pair of cockatiels, they surely share nests. However, sharing a nest with multiple cockatiels is not at all advised. They will become anxious, and they can become aggressive and struggle over the nest.

Do cockatiels sleep in the nest box?

Adult cockatiels do not normally sleep inside the nesting box except when actually reproducing.

Cockatiel nest in the wild

Cockatiels nest in tree hollows near a source of water in the wild. Once the female cockatiels mate with the male, they use the same nest to lay eggs.

Cockatiel nesting behavior

It is critical to understand the cockatiels’ nesting behavior if the owner wants them to breed and lay eggs.

a. Male cockatiel nesting behavior

  • Display courtship behavior such as singing, prancing and knocking.
  • Incubate fictitious eggs.
  • Being protective of the nest
  • Being aggressive toward anyone who approaches the nesting box.
  • With his beak, male cockatiel taps the nesting box.
  • Look for dark or shady areas, such as pits and holes that mimic the nest.

b. Female cockatiel nesting behavior

  • Sing soft songs.
  • If there is a pair of male and female cockatiels, the female will seek attention from the male.
  • Display mating behavior by perching her body horizontally to accept mating.
  • Look for hollow areas that mimic nests.
  • Spend increasing amounts of time in the nest box.
  • Female cockatiel’s excrement will be massive.
  • Come out of the nesting box less frequently.
  • The bird’s vent will bulge visibly, like the contour of an egg.

Can I stop my Cockatiel nesting behavior ?

It is possible to stop the cockatiel from nesting. Please follow the guidelines below.

  • Following the completion of each clutch, shut the nesting box’s door.
  • Avoid securing anything to the cage that resembles a nest.
  • Avoid giving the birds somewhere to hide that is enclosed or dark.
  • Resist petting the bird’s tail underneath, since it can be stimulating.
  • Put the bird to bed early—at least by six o’clock.
  • Do not let the birds get close to their partner.
  • Get rid of the bird’s personal toys.
  • The eggs that the bird has already laid should not be removed.

In this context, remember that spaying a bird is more complex than spaying a dog or cat. As a result, environmental and behavioral changes are the most effective strategy to prevent them from nesting or breeding.


So that was our view on cockatiels’ nesting habits. Nesting behavior is displayed by both male and female cockatiels. As a result, if the owners want their cockatiel pair to mate, do not discourage their mating and nesting behavior and give them the finest care possible.

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