Do Parrots Build Nests?

Thinking about birds, it’s very common that you may think that all of them build nests. And of course, the same goes when thinking about parrots as well. You may probably believe that many parrots build their own nests, whether it was in the wild or in captivity. But, let me tell you that there is a misconception about this regard, that all parrots build their nests. And as Intro to this Article, let me give you the answer directly.

Do All Parrots Build nests?

The answer is no. A minority of parrot breeds will build their own nests, but the majority of parrot breeds won’t build nests. Instead, they will find cavities in large tree branches that will make a good place to lay eggs, incubate, and care for hatchlings.

However, all parrots need to nest, at least while breeding. In the wild, they will nest in tree holes as mentioned, and in captivity, they will need a nesting box to breed successfully.

And in this article, we will dive into everything you need to know about how parrots nest, how they build their nests when they usually start building them. And more answers regarding this topic, let’s get into this.


What Types of Parrots Build Nests

3 breeds of parrots have an instinct of building nests and they are:

  • Quaker Parrots
  • Ground Parrots
  • Lovebirds

Quaker Parrots

Quaker parrot is one of the most desirable pets if we are talking about parrots as pets, and in the wild, they build huge clusters of mass nests.

This breed is extremely social, they will raise and care for the new chicks together, the parents won’t need to stick with their new babies, and they can fly looking for food and any nesting material to expand, as they know that there are other nest-mates that can take care of their chicks.

Actually, quaker parrots are the only known species of parrots that have this nesting behavior. And because of that, this breed is prohibited in some states, because of the potential damages that this breed could cause.

Quaker parrots can build nests on fragile wooden buildings that could collapse after the nest gets bigger and bigger.

Ground Parrots

Ground parrot is a subspecies that comprise multiple breeds, and 3 of them build nests using dried tree leaves and sticks.


Lovebirds are very popular as pets, and this subspecies comprises 9 breeds, 5 of which build nests.

Where Do Parrots Nest?

Parrots, as mentioned above, look for nesting cavities in trees, at least in the wild. They will choose the perfect tree to nest depending on many factors, like privacy. Parrots will not pick a hole in a tree with many other birds and parrots. They will need a place where they can conceal while breeding and rating the babies.

The other thing is food. They will need to stay around the nest even while looking for food, to protect their chicks if an intruder has discovered the nest.

This is for the breeds that don’t build nests, but for the species mentioned above, they will build their nests in porches, tree branches, and holes, and in any safe place that they find suitable for nesting.

How Parrots Nest in Captivity?

In captivity, it’s nearly impossible for parrots to build nests or find nesting holes, especially since they are living mostly in household environments.

And without the desire of the owner, they won’t be able to nest and breed. With the owner’s desire, I meant the desire to breed his pet parrot and give them the chance to lay eggs and raise their chicks.

If this was the case, then the owner will prepare a cage with a nesting box attached to it. This nesting box will play the role of a tree hole, of a regular nest, just like in the wild.

Even with the breeds that build their nest on their own, the nesting box will be enough for them to breed, lay eggs, and raise the babies. The most important thing about the nesting box is its size. Every breed of parrot requires a different size, so the owner must research depending on the breed of his pet.

Do Pet Parrots Build Nests inside the house?

Yes, pet parrots can show nesting behavior and can start collecting the nesting material from around the house. This can happen commonly with the builder breeds. Most parrots won’t build nests inside the house.

But, if you own a parrot that builds its own nests, then you should prevent this behavior. This is because the nest may probably attract insects and bugs that may harm and cause infections to you and your parrot.

And the best way to prevent the nesting behavior of your parrot is to provide a nesting box attached to the cage, so the bird won’t need to build nests anymore.

This behavior is very rare, especially if your parrot is busy playing, socializing, and there is no nesting material are in the house. When Noticing this behavior, I highly recommend discouraging it, to protect your bird from sickness.

Even if you brought a nesting box, clean the box and prevent it from attracting bugs, at least when you are sure that your parrots are not breeding, or incubating the eggs.

Do Parrots Nest Only for Breeding?

The answer is mostly yes. All parrots will need the nest at least for breeding, whether they build it, or they look for it in any tree holes. Not to mention incubating the eggs, and raising the eggs after they hatch.

So the nesting behavior will occur mostly at the breeding time, in the wild, or in captivity.


Do Parrots Need a Nest?

Yes, all parrots need nests. at least for breeding. And after they lay eggs, hatch them, and raise the new babies, they will probably abandon the nest and go back to the rest of the flock.

But parrots like Quaker, need the nest all the time to live in it, to raise the chicks, and to socialize with other flock members. Basically, they won’t abandon the nest unless it gets destroyed. If that happened, they will build another nest to hold as many members as they need.

Do Parrots Sleep in Nests?

When breeding, incubating, and raising the chicks, the parrots will often sleep in, or around the nests, at least for the breeds that don’t build nests. Other than these times, parrots will roost and sleep in any safe tree branch, and most likely in a tree that is colonized by the flock.

What Do Parrots Make Their Nests Out of?

When the parrot builds a nest, it’s going to use anything that can make a good nesting material like grass, wooden sticks, dry leaves, and everything it can carry.

Some pet parrots will use anything they can find in the house to build nests, like toothpicks, ear picks, and wooden shards.


In conclusion, most parrots won’t build nests, even if they are attempting to breed and lay eggs. Instead, the couple will look for holes and cavities in any tree to mate and raise the babies.

For the builder breeds, which are few, they will build nests using any nesting material they can find, like grass, sticks, and many more. They can even start building it inside the house if they found the material they need, or the house wasn’t clean all the time. So you need to prevent it by providing a nesting box.