What is the Sound of a Sun Conure Laying an Egg?

My sweet female sun conure, Sunny, is about 17 years old. She’s laid a couple eggs over the years that she has been with me. One time she seemed badly injured following the production of one egg, and I worried over her for several days.

I put her in a hospital cage with soft towels to lay on, a heat lamp, and administered antibiotics. And kept my fingers crossed. She went from laying listlessly on the bottomof the cage to her normal self in a week or so.

Putting her back in with her cage mate Zazu was a touching moment. He had missed her, and started to groom her right away.

That was some years ago, and I hoped it was the last time she would feel like producing eggs. Confidence stayed high until a few weeks ago. Sunny began making an odd noise. The closest I can get to describing it is the sound of playing cards set to hit the spokes on a bike wheel.

The current cage that Sunny and Zazu share is tall with shelves up near the top. Their water is at the top, the food at the bottom, so they have to move around the cage. Sunny began furiously throwing food out of the dishes, making horrible messes and wasting seed and pellets at a time when we could least afford it. Mike devised a plastic bin with a lid, cutting the middle of the lid off, so that the seed can’t easily be kicked or thrown out of the container.

Turns out, she was trying to make a nest. The food bowls had been too small, no matter how much she dug into it. The bin suited her much better, and the noise she was making heralded an egg. However, she went up to the top shelf to lay it. The egg rolled down to the bottom of the cage and cracked.

So now, about every two days, she is laying an egg. A strategy that sometimes works with hens is to give them a nest box, let them lay the eggs, sit on them, and when hatch day rolls around and the eggs don’t hatch, they will abandon the nest. So I gave Sunny and Zazu a nest box.

Sunny obligingly laid an egg inside of it, then crawled up to the shelf looking like a rung-out dish rag. But she perks up in time to lay the next egg. Zazu has spent more time in the nest box with the clutch, so far. I’m waiting to see how long this goes on, and if they actually will incubate the eggs.

Are the eggs fertile? Do I expect chicks in this nest? I’ve never seen them mating, but maybe they like the privacy for their activities. Unlike cockatiels who will go for it whenever and wherever they find themselves in the mood. Audiences are welcome. I’m not getting my hopes up, but in a few more days I will candle the eggs and see if there is a spark of life there. Stranger things have happened.

On Sunday, we’ll visit the world of humans and birds once more. Have a good week.

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