Crimsons - Nesting Issues

Black Bellied & White Bellied.
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Boma
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Location: Far North Coast, NSW

19 Mar 2018, 16:40

I have one pair of Crimsons that has been making nests, but then abandons them. It's been happening for about three weeks and there have been about 6 nests. Another pair has built 2 nests, but again they are partly completed and then abandoned. There has been no activity for a few days now. There is plenty of places to next, nest material and feathers as well as adequate dry and soaked seed, water, meal worms and maggots. They are all young birds and this would be their first breeding season. Is nest abandonment usual activity for Crimsons early in the breeding season?
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Ian Hamilton
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Location: Central Coast, NSW

19 Mar 2018, 17:27

I'd also like to know any thoughts with this, having same issue with Choc Parsons ( confirmed pair).
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Rod_L
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Location: Mandurah WA

19 Mar 2018, 17:29

It's probably because they are young birds and still haven't quite worked out what to do. The other option is something is disturbing them, maybe mice, ants or cats.

How many plants, tree, shrubs do you have in the aviary and what other birds are in with them?
Are there any plants that go right up to the top of the cage?
Have you got different types of nests in the cage?
Are the nests at different heights or the same height?

I assume they are getting fed a good dry seed mix, some green grass seeds, soaked/ sprouted seed daily and have access to clean water, grit & cuttlefish bone at all times.

Crimsons usually produce better prs if allowed to pick their own mates. Unfortunately they often kick hell out of each other in the process. But if the problem occurs next year when they are 2 yrs old you could try swapping partners.

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parson finches should be bred in colonies, at least 3 prs and let them find their own mates.
death to all cats & ants
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Boma
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19 Mar 2018, 21:45

Thanks Rod_L.
The aviaries are mice and cat free. There are a few ants, but they are not of a concern as they are only on the ground.
The aviaries are 4.8 long and 1.2 wide. A single pair of Crimsons are in each with no other birds.
There are tea tree branches at each end of the aviaries that go from the mid height to the top of the aviary as well as a cylinder of wire filled with tea tree branches and grass.
The nests include natural nest sites in the tea trees, finch boxes and the standard cane finch nests. All nests are at different heights. All but in one case both pairs nested in the cane nests and only in the wire cylinder filled with tea tree and grass.
Feed is as you have described it.
The individual pairs have been together since they were uncoloured and are well bonded.
As far as I can tell, they are in a "perfect"environment- but that is from a human perspective rather than a bird's perspective. I can only assume that it's because they are young - hopefully they grow out if it.
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Rod_L
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19 Mar 2018, 22:04

Are there any cane finch nests in the plants? If not perhaps line a couple of different types of cane nests with some dry grass and put them in the plants.

If you bought the birds from a breeder, do you recall what sort of nests they use? Generally birds will breed in the same type of nest they were brought up in.

Watch the ants because they sometimes climb trees and walls and attack birds at night. If possible kill the ants so there are none anywhere near the birds.

Everything else seems fine so I am guessing they are just still young and inexperienced and need a few more attempts to work it out. If you had some blackhearts or another tough finch that breeds freely, you could put a few prs in with the crimsons or in a cage next to the crimsons and the crimsons might learn about nest building from the other birds.
*NB* If you do put another pr in with the crimsons watch them for any signs of aggression, and remove the new birds if they get hassled.
death to all cats & ants
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Boma
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19 Mar 2018, 23:26

Yes there are cane finch nests in the tea tree branches (at both ends of the the aviary) as well as in the wire cylinders.
Yes the birds were bought from a good breeder. You make a good point about nests he used. Will try his method re nests (which is different to what I am trying).
I'll have another go at getting rid of the ants. When I think about it there are still some Asian Geckos that are still running around in the aviary - which might add to the problem.
I only have Gouldians which are all in breeding mode now so the Crimsons will in their own aviary for now. I might get some long tails as you suggest if the Crimsons don't come good over the next few months.
Thanks for the advice Rod_L - much appreciated.
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wagga
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Location: PORT MACQUARIE NSW

20 Mar 2018, 10:25

I found that a used plastic flower pot placed on a vacant wall away from other birds, not in the brush, was all that my birds wanted to use.

Remember these birds are a Grass finch that nest in times of plenty not during a drought hence storm fronts that we have during this time of year will send them to nest. To also help trigger them into nesting I would place a heap of white feathers, emu feathers and swamp grass, increase the live food and place large amounts of seeding grass heads daily which was hung from the ceiling or into a vertical holder.

I used 6"/ 150mm plastic pot plants screwed onto a piece of plywood with the top facing the plywood. Then cut about 1/2 the bottom out of pot to make a entrance hole. Place the pots on the walls, position the pots up near the ceiling and down to a height of about 1200mm within the aviary covered areas.
Life in Port Macquarie is the ultimate Aussie sea change lifestyle.

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