Parrots often live in average-sized groups. They are highly social both among themselves and with people. I believe that everybody knows that certain birds have one mate for life, just like us, right? But what about parakeets? Are they monogamous parrots or not?
Well, the answer is more complicated. Parakeets do have one mate at a time but will find another mate when the previous passes away. They are more similar to humans in this regard. Hardly anyone has one mate for their whole life. Parakeets do bring up their offspring together. However, as life goes, they do not stay single and will find a new bird to produce more offspring.
And this still means that parakeets are monogamous. Just like many other birds.
Are Parakeets Naturally Monogamous?
Yes, even though a parakeet may have several “partners” throughout its life, it doesn’t have more than one at a time.
As a monogamous pair, their main job is to raise offspring. Well, this is a more challenging task for young parrots than it may seem to you. Inexperienced parakeets fail their first babies. First of all, there is a danger of destroying unhatched eggs. Then comes the threat of female parakeets themselves. The mother can kill her babies if she is stressed, if she feels that there is not enough space in the nest, and so on. Thus, if you have a pair of parakeets in a cage (male and female), be sure to offer a cage that is slightly bigger than needed when they prepare for a family. This is a stressful period for the couple, making sure they feel safe and provided for.
In nature, a mother parakeet stays in the nest, tending to the babies while the father parakeet brings in food and additional materials for the nest.
How Do Parakeets Find a Mate?
Among birds, the process of finding a mate is always fascinating. Some birds have specific dances; others communicate via beautiful songs.
Parakeets use specific distinct calls to find their mate. Naturally, female parakeets find their female calls more pleasing. Thus, a male bird would imitate the female call to the best of his abilities. The female-only listens and chooses whether a partner is worthy. When the couple has chicks, their calls change.
Here is an interesting fact that I’ve learned only recently: it turns out that parakeets can recognize each other even after 70 days of being apart. Parakeets constantly call to each other to keep the bond strong, though. Doesn’t it remind you of how people communicated?
Can Parakeets Find Another Mate?
Unfortunately, life is cruel, and some birds die sooner rather than later. What happens when a parakeet loses its mate?
Well, they found another. It may not be all romantic and stuff, but the parrot has to create more offspring.
But initially, the parrot mourns its mate. In the wild, they are left on their own. However, when kept as a house pet, it requires full support from its owner. Do not change the bird’s routine and keep it company. But do not be overbearing.
The symptoms of parakeet mourning are the following:
- still calling for the mate
- looking around for the mate
- loss of appetite
Some birds may start plucking their feathers as a sign of stress.
But how do you help your bird in this challenging period/ Well, I have you covered here. Follow these simple rules
- Encourage socializing and playtime
- Create soothing sounds to comfort your bird (you may have noticed them liking certain sounds before)
- Talk to the bird regularly
As you notice changes in its behavior, do not leave it alone. Keep them company, for they are used to living with a mate. There is no specific amount of time a parakeet will grief. It may be quick or stretch for a month.
How to Tell A Parakeet Wants a Mate?
Once, your parakeets have to be mature enough. When a pair lives together in a cage, they gradually form a bond. Naturally, you’d want to put a pair together right from the start for them to form a bond. Not only lovebirds are bought in pairs! Speaking of which, you can check the Lovebirds cost guide in my article as well.
When you start noticing that they are sitting on a perch very close, start following each other, and the male regurgitates the female, they are ready for mating. It means they are bonded and will create a family. How cute!
Can Caged Parakeets Have Chicks?
Sure! You’ll see them regularly. When you see that the pair is bonded, be sure that you are ready for the small chicks to come as parrots. Do not waste years setting up their home, career, and traveling! Even though some of them live almost as long as humans!
Make sure the cage is big enough for the new addition and provide everything needed.
What Is Better: Colony Breeding or Cage Breeding?
The question of housing your mated birds is of utmost importance. Let’s see how to organize their housing.
This is the regular scenario for an average pet owner. I’ve been in this situation several times.
When you have a pair of parakeets in a cage, they bond. And if you’ve chosen their home to be big enough only for these two birds, you’ll have to replace the cage with a bigger one to be able to host the chicks as well.
Also, you’ll need to add more perches and a comfy nesting box at one side of a cage. Search for them online for the best offer or simply buy in the nearest pet shop. It’s an important piece of equipment as the female will lay her eggs here. Be sure to place it somewhere you can easily reach to check on the eggs. Remember I’ve mentioned that parakeets can destroy their first batch of unhatched eggs? Check them!
Overall, cage breeding is the preferred method for the first-time mated. It is safe and under the control of the owner. Even breeders who usually adopt colony breeding choose cages for the first time.
This is a less controlled type of breeding and is more suitable for experienced parents who’ve already gone through the first offspring.
The aviary is filled with birds, and they mate sporadically, exactly how it would be in the wild.
Overall, as a regular bird owner, you don’t have to learn much about colony breeding as you’ll hardly have a huge aviary, even if you live in a house. However, this method is more suitable for professional breeders. They put lots of nesting boxes as several females may lay eggs at a time.
However, suppose you have an opportunity to observe the parrots in an aviary during their mating. In that case, you’ll be lucky to witness a cute atmosphere that is less obvious in the cage. Therefore, I highly recommend taking advantage of it if you have such an opportunity.
First of all, you’ll see males fighting when competing for females. Some unmated birds may even try courting a paired female!
It’s important to be vigilant and make sure that the birds don’t harm each other. Also, inbreeding among parakeets is not recommended. So, professional breeders take care of that as well.
Overall, each method is a popular one. They are just divided between professional breeders and regular pet owners. If you have just one pair of parakeets at home, you’ll obviously go for cage breeding. And I hope the happy couple will get their entire batch healthy and cute!
Now, you know everything about the intricacies of mating parakeets. They are monogamous but can have more than one mate in a lifetime. Parakeets are very human-like in this aspect. They remember their mates and mourn their loss. And though their parenting may not be perfect, I’m sure that you, as an owner, will make everything possible for them to have healthy chicks!