Nesting material is very unique as the species you are keeping to do try and ensure you have done your research before adding the wrong materials to your aviary. I will run through the different types of nests and materials out there that are great for mixed aviaries
- Wicker baskets
- Nest boxes
- Wire containers
- Hollow log
- Plastic cartons
- Custom wire frames
Available from mostly any reputable pet store, wicker baskets make an acceptable choice for most finches. They are not badly priced for their quality and do come in a variety of sizes. I cannot say that the small ones have been successful in my aviary. I don't think an African Fire can even comfortably roost in one of them! I normally go for the medium to large nest's. Although the wire frames look fairly strong the nests do become a bit frail. I normally reinforce the nest with a screw or plate at the back to keep it from dropping. I have reused these nests more than once a season and found that a good clean out and inspection of the nest prior to replacement is important. If they are looking rather old and weary than it may be easier just going down to the store and buying a new one.
The finches I have successfully bred in these types of nests are: Painteds, Hecks Finches, Star Finches, African Fires, Cordons.
Nest Boxes also come in a wide variety of shapes, designs, materials and prices! Most of the ones I have had experience with are nothing special and out of the ordinary. Square box with a round or rectangle cut hole and a dowel or some form of stick for perching. Depending on the quality of nesting box you buy you can easily reuse these boxes over and over again. Cleaning them is again an easy task as is securing them to your aviary or breeding cage. Personal experience has shown more success with the larger opening at the front and good placement in the aviary. Some form of protection or privacy added to the sides of the box is never a bad idea.
Tips: Ensure you have sufficient aeration in the nest. Also make sure you have appropriate nesting materials for effective lining of the nest box.
Wire Container Nest:
Another unique and effective option to finch housing is custom Wire Containers. I must admit that I did enjoy making my wire nest, it was a bit challenging at first but the end result of seeing your finches head straight towards it when placed in the aviary is a great feeling. I have displayed an image of my first go at a wire container nest. I managed to get around 7 nests in that design. Within the first week of placing it in the aviary I had three pairs nesting and 2 juvenile stars using one of the nests as their hideout. They are really easy to make and don't require any specialised tools or materials. I recommend sketching your design on paper first and taking a few measurements before getting straight to it. You must remember not to make the nests too small as the finches will still need to line the interior and have enough room for their young to grow. Use a wicker box or wooden nest box as your point of reference for internal dimensions. I hung mine from the ceiling and quite close to the corner of the aviary. I didn't want to further restrict the flight area of the birds by placing this large nest in the middle of the aviary. Have fun with the design but be more practical than creative.