Blue-capped Waxbills seem more willing to breed in flights than large cages - (my flights - 9' x 2' x 6' high)

Domestic reared adults seem to be more tolerant of large cages (4' plus) than wild-caught used to be

Enclosure to themselves or if with other non-Cordon-bleu Waxbills, no bullying (often they are the bullies!)

Pair-bond is quite strong.   It can take 3 months to form a new bond.   A previous mate MUST be out of ear shot

Allopreening is sign of success

Cock singing and throwing head back while holding straw, shows things are starting to happen.  Nest building to first egg is very quick (ie 1 week)

Don't mix the Cordon-bleu Waxbills - Blue capped/ Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu/ Blue Breasted.   Hybrids will occur or fighting

Light - 14 hours a day when breeding.  Full spectrum fluorescent tubes are best.   Ideally, electronic ballast flicker-free battens (~ 20,000cps)

Link to Arcadia for benefits of their Bird Lamps/ tubes.   These tubes show all 'Blue' Waxbills to perfection

Temperature - no lower than 15C (60F) - especially when breeding

Ensure calcium is available - grated cuttlefish/ crushed, baked egg shells.  Mine no longer supplied separately as now include Calcivet in the eggfood)

Chicks at day 5

Chicks at 5 days (fostered).  Note dark skin and tufts of brown. Dummy canary egg is for size reference.  Last chick to hatch is very scrawny


If physical conditions are right - it's the feeding

Greenfood, grit, vitamins etc, as per normal.   A seed mix is outlined on page on feeding

The Paul de Nil-derived conditioning mix is also decribed there

Frozen (thawed) buffalo worms usually help stimulate.   Some prefer 'pinkies' (frozen fly maggots)

5 - 10 worms per pair - several days a week

 

If overdo livefood or PdN birds will go into 'battery hen syndrome'.   Numerous eggs are laid but not properly incubated.  Even if these eggs are given to fosters, fertility tends to be low

A few weeks of seed-only diet will sort the adult pair,   (sometimes they have to be moved to a cage as well)

Calcium supplementation advisable in such hens while on seed-only

self-built nest in rafters in aviary

Self-built nest in the aviary rafters


How know whether have eggs if can't inspect?

Is not recommended unless domestic reared Cordon-bleus

If nest receptacle is positioned strategically will see a bird in the nest. Easy! Not quite

Until clutch complete sit lightly during day (easily disturbed), and not at night.   Inspect 1/4 of an hour before 'light's out'   If only one bird is visible proper incubation has started

If in a densely planted aviary will only see 1 Cordon-bleu then 3 days after brooding - the cock in particular will have a very laterally curved tail

They are quite steady 'sitters'. The cock might commence sitting but the hen usually does most of the work with a full clutch. The clutch is usually 4 - 6 eggs (occasionally 7)

If fit, fertility is very high (usually 1 clear egg per clutch)

Nest receptacles and siting

If fit, will nest anywhere

Photos show they will use half fronted boxes (wooden or plastic), wicker baskets, and are also happy to build their own

The nest site is preferably high up

Will just use coconut fibre.  They are not fussy re materials

wicker nest basket in flight

Wicker nest basket behind screen
in flight


Nest box - wooden half fronted

Wooden, half-fronted nest box
in aviary

 

 

Plastic, half-fronted nest box

White, plastic, half-fronted nest box
in flight cage

Who needs a nest?

If fit, will nest anywhere

A young hen decided it was time

Without a nest, or material, she scooped a small hollow in the cage floor sawdust and sat for five days totally exposed

exposed nest built in sawdust on cage floor

Literally, anywhere!


hen sitting on exposed nest in sawdust on floor

She's back from a feed

Pre-school!

I clearly forgot to tell these 8-month old youngsters the rule - nest high up'!

I don't endorse breeding with youngsters.  This pair just caught me by surprise

Privacy - not - that is the main walkway to the left

Even though this pair was flying with 14 other BCs, 3 eggs were fertile and were successfully transferred to fosters

exposed nest next to walkway and on ground

Fussy about siting?


Blue-capped Waxbills seem more willing to breed in flights than large cages - (my flights - 9' x 2' x 6' high).   Domestic reared adults seem to be more tolerant of large cages (4' plus) than wild-caught used to be

Only 1 breeding pair of Cordon-bleu Waxbills per enclosure

Pair-bond is quite strong.   It can take 3 months to form a new bond.   A previous mate MUST be out of ear shot.   Allopreening is sign of success

Cock singing and throwing head back while holding straw, shows things are starting to happen.  Nest building to first egg is very quick (ie 1 week)

Chicks at day 5

Chicks at 5 days (fostered).  Note dark skin and tufts of brown. Dummy canary egg for size reference.  Last chick to hatch very scrawny

 

Don't mix the Cordon-bleu Waxbills - Blue capped/ Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu/ Blue Breasted.   Hybrids will occur or fighting

Light - 14 hours a day when breeding.  Full spectrum fluorescent tubes are best.   Ideally, electronic ballast flicker-free battens (~ 20,000cps)

Link to Arcadia for benefits of their Bird Lamps/ tubes.   These tubes show all 'Blue' Waxbills to perfection

Temperature - no lower than 15C (60F) - especially when breeding

self-built nest in rafters in aviary

Self-built nest in the aviary rafters.   Almost entirely made of coconut fibre


 

Ensure calcium is available - grated cuttlefish/ crushed, baked egg shells

Mine no longer supplied separately as now include Calcivet in the eggfood)

Nest receptacles and siting

If fit, will nest anywhere

Photos show they will use half fronted boxes (wooden or plastic), wicker baskets, and are also happy to build their own

Nest site is preferably high up

Will just use coconut fibre.   Aren't fussy re materials

Wicker nest basket behind privacy screen flight

Wicker nest basket behind privacy screen flight


 
If physical conditions are right - it's the feeding

Greenfood, grit, vitamins etc, as per normal.   A seed mix is outlined on page on feeding.   The Paul de Nil-derived conditioning mix is also decribed there

Frozen (thawed) buffalo worms usually help stimulate.   Some prefer 'pinkies' (frozen fly maggots)   5 - 10 worms per pair - several days a week

If overdo livefood or PdN, birds will go into 'battery hen syndrome'

Wooden, half-fronted nest box in aviary

Wooden, half-fronted nest box in aviary


 

Numerous eggs are laid but not properly incubated.   Even if these eggs are given to fosters, fertility tends to be low

A few weeks of seed-only diet will sort the adult pair, (sometimes they have to be moved to a cage as well to really disrupt them)

Calcium supplementation advisable in such hens while on seed-only

White, plastic, half-fronted nest box in flight cage

White, plastic, half-fronted nest box in flight cage


 

Nest inspection not recommended unless domestic reared Cordon-bleus

How know whether have eggs if can't inspect?

If nest receptacle is positioned strategically will see a bird in the nest. Easy!   Not quite. Will sit lightly during day (so easily disturbed), and not at night until clutch is complete.   Inspect 1/4 of an hour before 'light's out.   'If only one bird is visible proper incubation has started

Will nest anywhere.  Cage floor sawdust!

Will nest anywhere.  Cage floor sawdust!


 

If in a densely planted aviary will only see 1 Cordon-bleu then 3 days after brooding - the cock in particular will have a very laterally curved tail

Quite steady 'sitters'.   Cock might commence sitting but the hen usually does most of the work with a full clutch.   Usually 4 - 6 eggs (occasionally 7)

Literally nest anywhere - hen popped off for a feed

Literally nest anywhere


 
Pre-school

Clearly forgot to tell these 8-month old youngsters the rule - nest high up'!   I don't advocate breeding at such a young age.  They took me by surprise

Privacy - not!  That is the main walkway to the left

Even though pair were flying with 14 other BCs, 3 eggs were fertile and successfully fostered

exposed nest next to walkway and on ground

Fussy about siting?


 
Next page for photographs showing sequential - chick development
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