Ask Lafeber


May 8, 2019

Zebra finches fledged but went back in nest


My male zebra finch is raising his 2 babies since mom sadly passed away just after the chicks hatched. He is very attentive and has been taking good care of them.

Today, at day 21, both babies fledged. They were flying and perching pretty well, explored for about 2 hours, and then they both returned in the nest, and have not moved since then (it has been a couple of hours ago). Is this normal? Should I remove the nest?

Dad is feeding them in there and tries to call them back out. The babies are moving around in the nest, looking out, but are not coming out.

thank you for your advises!


Hi Melanie,

I am sorry you lost the female. It’s amazing the male managed to raise these chicks on his own. It won’t hurt to let the little guys have their nest for a little while longer. Normally the rush to remove the nest is to prevent the parents from nesting again too quickly. Having back to back clutches is too hard on the parents, especially the hen. Give them time to feel secure out of the nest and then remove it. They will probably be ready to stay out of it in a few days to a week. Once they are weaned, you do want to separate them from the male. If one happens to be a female, you do not want him to breed with it. Likewise if they end up being male and female, be sure to find them different homes so there is no chance of them breeding with each other.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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