Thursday, December 29, 2011

Program Progress of Partial Hand Feeding Coupled With Parent Feeding

Fuchsia and Flame's two youngest.

I blame it on the holidays … smile. I’ve not been hand feeding these baby Bourkes as often as proposed.

When you’re feeding babies 100% of the time you can’t be inattentive. When the parent birds are also responsible for feeding their young, it’s easy to put it off and let them take care of it.  

Of the six baby birds that I expected to hand feed twice a day, but not take over the entire feeding process, I’m now down to feeding two.

Rosie’s babies are older than Fuchsia’s. Rosie’s oldest refused to eat from an eyedropper and his sibling ate only a little. It was all too easy to choose to give up and quit feeding those two.

Fuchsia has four in this clutch. Although younger than Rosie’s, her two oldest weren’t happy about being offered an eyedropper either. I’m certain that if taken away from their parents, when hungry they’d eat the Exact Hand Feeding Formula with gusto. But, they weren’t hungry and resisted.
Baby in the butter dish is an older sibling.

The two youngest, however, have been more willing to eat it. One seems to particularly like it. I expect the four oldest baby Bourkes to be tamer because they’ve been handled a lot, but not as tame as the two youngest. I’m hopeful that, as adults, these two youngsters will be just as tame as those that were hand fed exclusively for the remaining few weeks before weaning.

The tiny white-faced baby with red eyes I may keep and pair with another white-faced bird. As I’ve said before, my goal is to down-size my flock until there are only very tame birds left. Not, that the others aren’t very friendly … they are. All will come to the cage bars and talk to me. They aren’t frightened and like attention.

But, I’m spoiled. I enjoy having birds fly to me and nibble my cheek, eat out of my hand—although several do that anyway who weren’t hand fed. In fact, two parent fed males are very tame and will fly to me. If you take the time to work with them, they tame down. My problem is having the time to spend on so many of them. However, Pretty Boy, paired with Rosie, is tame and he was not hand fed. The fact that she flies to me encourages him to do the same.

The larger Rosy Bourke youngster is a better eater than
the small white-faced little guy.
Speaking of Rosie, thankfully her last baby has left the nest box. She’s been asking to breed again! No, no … four clutches would seriously deplete her energy. Her mate’s too for that matter. Raising babies is intensive, even if the food is supplied to them. By removing the nest box, Pretty Boy is refusing to take her up on her offers, thank goodness.

Fuchsia, too, is eager to breed again. Frown. I’ve considered removing the nest box and feeding the last two babies exclusively. Do I want that much work? Hmmm…maybe not. It won’t be long before they leave the nest box too.
All have silver bands with EGL and year on them. Also OR for Oregon.
They each have colored bands to indicate who they are related to.
Fuchsia's young have a two-color pink and blue band shown here.

I love my birds and I love hand feeding babies. However, I have overdue deadlines. I’m editing “Martyr” for E.G. Lewis and trying to edit my own book, “Cast Me Not Away.” Both are past  their deadlines, and I hope they will be out soon. Have to knuckle down.

Peace & Blessings

Friday, December 23, 2011


Hello All,
These are about the best age to begin hand feeding.
Both are Rosies, but one has pink eyes. 

I can't believe I haven't posted in over a week. This must be a record for me, but 'Tis the Season... Busy, busy, busy. Aren't we all?

Because we've been in and out of the house so much, and home so much less, I've started a new procedure for hand feeding baby birds. This is one that is easier, takes less time, and I hope will make them just as tame.

These newly hatched babies can be hand fed, but at
this young it's more work and more risky. If your
parents are good ones, then leave them there for
the first two or three weeks. 
I've been hand feeding Fuchsia's babies about twice a day, once in the morning and again before we go to bed. Of course, this isn't often enough for baby birds. So, after I offer them Exact Handfeeding Formula they go back into the nest box where their parents can also feed them.

They don't have to have me feed them at all, but in doing so they get very used to being handled and begin to trust people. By only feeding them occasionally, they aren't reliant upon me for their food and don't eat as much as they would if totally hand fed. However, my hope is that they will still become as tame as my other hand fed birds.

This mixed clutch are of different ages, but all fine for
hand feeding. Notice the pine shavings in bottom of
cardboard box with a paper towel over them.
The towel is changed at each feeding, and top of
box is folded shut, keeping them warmer in a
dark, safe place similar to their nest box.
This is a test ... if it works, it will make hand feeding much easier in the future when the goal is only to make them very tame. Only rarely have I had to hand feed because of problem parents.

Young Bourkes are easy to tame if they're handled frequently. However,I'm not able to devote enough time to taming this many once they are weaned, out of the nest, and flying on their own. By hand feeding them as nestlings, they become tame and stay that way.

Peace & Blessings. Have a wonderful,
May God Bless You, your loved ones and all your pets.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Raising Bourkes, a Question from Sarah

Sarah writes: "Hi - I have just purchased 2, 5ish week old bourkes to finish hand raising (they're the blue mutation and I couldn't let it pass!!). I have been breeding budgies for 8 years but I have never hand raised a bird. Have read your blog and thank you so much I love it! I was wondering if you have pictures of your birds you could send me so I can see how old mine actually are. They are developing their flight feathers and their main tail feather is about 1.5 inches long. If they were budgies, I'd say they were about 3 weeks old, but I have read that bourkes develop much slower."

At 17 and 19 days old, good ages for hand feeding.
ANSWER: Optimum time to hand feed is said to be at three weeks of age, but that's subjective. I've had to feed some from the first day they hatched and they did okay. Parents are the best at feeding, especially while they are tiny little guys. My preference is to wait until their feathers just begin to start emerging. Once they are fully feathered, they may resist being hand fed and it can be harder to get them started. 
Same two youngsters. I intend to begin hand feeding
them in two days, as the next two days are very busy
and hand feeding requires a big time commitment.
Fuchsia's babies. Oldest is two weeks
(14 days old). Youngest is one week old.

I haven't raised budgies for a while, but it never seemed to me that they grew any faster than Bourkes. I assume they take about the same amount of time to grow, but I've never put it to any test. If there is a difference, it's slight. Egg incubation time is the same, so growth probably would be too.

I've asked Sarah to send us photos of her blue Bourkes. I would love to see them. Our Normals have blue rumps, and a few of our Rosies do too, but not an unusual amount of blue on any of them.

Fascinated by the idea of a blue Bourke, I found this site:   It gives some insight into the "blue factor" which apparently is a mutation in Bourkes.

One week old baby in my hand has pink eyes.
Fuchsia was hand fed and is very tame.
She doesn't worry about me handling her
babies. This is her third clutch so she's very
confident and trusting.

May all your eggs hatch and all your birds sing beautifully.
Peace & Blessings.

Avian Connection and eBay ads are up.

As an FYI, I posted an ad on eBay's classified ads, Kijji, and also on Avian Biotech.
You can post there too. Here are their links: Kijji for eBay Classifieds   Avian

Best of Luck. Contact me for information about my birds at

Peace & Blessings.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Lutino Bourke Parakeets ... On a Happy Note.

These beautiful photos were contributed by Jill Warnick.
Thank you, Jill.

The parents of this clutch of four babies are a Rosy Bourke hen and a lovely Lutino father who looks like three of these...

Because color is sex-linked in Bourke parakeets, I'd guess the normal coloration will be a male through the hen and the lutino's will be females from their father. However, admittedly I've never raised lutino's and haven't investigated their genetics.

With a mixed pair of one rosy and one normal, it has always held true that hens looked like their father and cocks looked like their mother.

An exception to this was a normal pair I owned who threw rosy hens. This was because the normal male's father was a rosy, making him a split (half & half), or heterozygous for color. I'm an amateur at bird genetics, but am fascinated by it. Smile.

Have you seen the completely red African Gray parrot? He's amazing.  Here is a link to my post on it.

Check the Archives for other informational posts that might be of interest.

Egg Hatching Update to Previous Post

In spite of his mother's assistance,
this baby didn't survive.
His four older siblings did.
Fuchsia's fifth egg didn't quite make it.

As you can see from this photo, the hen attempted to help this one out of the egg, but too late, I think. Yesterday only his beak and cere were showing through a small hole. This morning, it was as you see it.

Fuchsia had pushed the dead baby-in-egg out in front of her, making it easy for me to remove it from the nest. Her other four babies were huddled under her. She made no protest.

Judging from other egg shells with "serrated" edges, I believe she may have helped some of them out of their shells too.

Sadly, this baby would have had pink eyes. Happily, there is still one other baby in the nest with pink eyes. My husband believes the birds with these light colored eyes are genetically not as strong as the others. I hope he's wrong. We have four from earlier clutches who appear strong. One is out of Rhett & Cherry, two from Rosie and Pretty Boy and one from Fuchsia and Flame plus the one still in the nest.
Same baby removed from shell.
His neck looks odd to me.
Perhaps a reason for his demise?
Or, the dark belly?

After removing the egg/baby, I put warm water around the shell and removed the embryo. I didn't expect it to revive, but gave it a shot anyway.

One sign of a truly dead bird is if its eyes are sunken. These partially were. I was certain it was dead, but still warmed it and watched it before discarding it. Even if I'd intervened early yesterday, I doubt he'd have survived. If he couldn't get out of the shell, then there was probably something else wrong with him. Sad, but Fuchsia has four others!  ;-)

Eyes are slightly sunken. They would have been pink,
not dark like most Bourke parakeets.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Question for my Reader/Breeders...Smile.

Fuchsia, 12/03/11. Four babies and an egg hidden under her.
Hello All,

This morning I checked Fuchsia's nest box while she was out. Her last egg, the 5th, had a small hole in it and I could see the beak and cere (nostril) of the baby inside. He was moving.

Four hours later, I checked again. The egg looks the same and the baby wasn't moving. My hubby thinks he's only resting. Hope that's true. I realize hatching is a long, labor intensive undertaking, but no change after four hours? 

I read a post once from someone who said she helps her cockatiels out of their egg shell. But, I've also read that you should never do that, and so far I never have. 

I lifted the egg while Fuchsia was out of the nest and was so tempted to chip away a tiny piece of shell, but didn't. She's been such a wonderful mother. Wouldn't she help if it's needed?

So far, she has four healthy babies and one has pink eyes. I'm hoping this last baby will too.

Fuchsia returned to the nest to immediately cover her last egg and the
smallest of her four youngsters. She's very tame and likes getting
extra attention, even while she's caring for eggs or baby birds.
She's my favorite at the moment.
Any suggestions on how long to leave the egg alone before intervening? I hope I haven't already waited too long. I'm erring on the side of caution and leaving Fuchsia to decide if her last offspring needs assistance.

Any thoughts?  Thanks!

Friday, December 2, 2011


Rosie had four eggs. Three hatched, but
only these two survived. White circle
around babies are their own droppings.
Rosie and Pretty Boy's two youngsters are banded. She lost one baby for some reason. It was the only one we lost this year and survived for just a day.

Fuchsia is covering four babies and an egg.
Dark area in corner are her own droppings.

Fuchsia and Flame have four  babies in the nest, newly hatched.

One egg remains. The third in this clutch has pink eyes, smile.

Photo by Joyce Sunseri

I find it interesting how various birds of the same variety behave in different ways. In my countless Bourke pairs, I've only had one male who made a habit of venturing into the nestbox wtih his mate. All the others remained outside once she took up residency. They'd feed her either at the entrance, or when she came out, but they didn't venture inside.

This photo was sent from a reader of this blog. Obviously, her pair share the box. Aren't they sweet? This clutch is from October. Thank you for sending us photos, Joyce.

Below are photos of babies waiting to be sold. Our local pet shop will take some, but not all of them. I've reduced the price to $50 each. Some are hand fed ... all are used to human activities going on around them. Most males and females can be identified by their behavior. Also, males tend to have lighter colored faces than the hens. All are sweet-natured.

Five or six birds in one cage are too many. An aviary is better.
However, these youngsters are housed here only temporarily.

 The young birds in this cage regularly come out and fly around the
living room and kitchen. They are very tame youngsters that let
me return them to their home cage when I want them to go back in.

View from above of Newly weaned babies. They have
extra food containers and extra water to be certain
they have no difficulty finding what they need.

Front view of newly weaned babies.

Babies from a previous clutch. Enjoying sunshine.
For more information, write to:


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Rosy Bourke Hens in nests, November, 2011

Photo taken Nov. 18 of Rosie on four eggs.
Rosie laid four eggs. The first baby to hatch lived for less than a day. Not sure why, but its belly was very dark, not a good sign. It had a small amount of food in its crop. It was laying in front of Rosie, not under her. She probably realized it had died.

Rosie's two babies, and an egg that won't hatch.
Photo taken Nov. 23, 2011
The next day, she hatched another egg and two days later another. The last, and fourth egg, appears to be fertile, but isn't likely to hatch. Notice the dark color at one end and the big band of white on the shell in the photo. A fully mature chick should fill the entire egg. I think it died sometime before it completed its growth in the shell.

It's a mystery to me though, why a chick can have the strength to get out of the shell and then die anyway. Did it have a genetic defect and its mother helped it get out of the shell? Yet, it wasn't able to survive despite her assistance?

The other two appear healthy. Both have dark eyes.

Fuchsia sitting on five eggs. Photo from Nov. 18.
Fuchsia has laid five eggs, just as she did twice before. They are due to hatch within the next few days.

When Rosie's babies are three weeks old, I will pull them to hand feed. Fuchsia's will join Rosie's and be hand fed too. Since it is a third clutch this year for both hens, they will benefit from the rest.

I hope one of Fuchsia's will have pink eyes and be a hen ... we shall see.
Not a flattering picture of my favorite bird.
I love this white-faced, pink-eyed Bourke. I suppose
he is an opaline, fallow... Much prettier than the photo.
This lovely white-faced Bourke was hatched this summer from Rhett and Cherry. He was hand fed, and my sweetest bird. He's also the reason I hope Fuchsia and Flame produce another white-faced, pink-eyed hen as a mate for him. That's the real reason I let both Rosie and Fuchsia have third clutches this year, in the hope for a hen who looks like him. Rosie produced one in her first clutch and another in her second, but they aren't hand fed. Even though Rosie didn't have one in this third clutch, I'll hand feed them anyway.

Still have hopes that Fuchsia will hatch a pink-eyed baby over the next few days. If she doesn't, I'll have to spend more time hand taming one of Rosie's from her earlier clutches, however, I'm not certain of their sex yet.

May all your bird adventures be happy ones.

Happy Thanksgiving.
Peace & Blessings.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

CATS and HUMMINGBIRDS, Hummer Update

Admittedly, this photo is borrowed
from Google. Aren't they pretty?
Yesterday as I replaced a refilled hummingbird feeder, a little Anna's hen lit on it and stared at me. Instead of eating, she seemed to want to communicate something. I'm convinced it's the little hen we rescued last summer, unafraid and grateful.  

This morning, as I looked out our front door (we have a window in it), there was a gray tabby cat at the top of the steps leading onto our deck. More spotted than striped, he is quite a regal looking fellow.

I thought he was begging for food, but later decided he'd been drawn there by the many buzzing hummingbirds. I've seen this cat before. He's one of the strays who sadly lives in the woods. We've caught many of them in our "Have-a-Heart" traps. If they've been sick or injured, we've healed them before moving them to new homes or a shelter. Don't want them catching birds and chipmunks to survive.

He has evaded capture, but this morning he came back for a bowl of canned Friskies mixed grill. He left the Purina cat chow untouched. With a full stomach, maybe he will be less inclined to hunt. If I can win his confidence, perhaps we can catch him and relocate him to a shelter or, better yet, a loving home.

Mei-Ling considers Bourkes just other family members.
Boring, actually. To avoid being scolded,
she will seldom even look at them.
Interestingly, for the first time in her 8 years of life, my black Mei-Ling hissed. I've never heard her do that before. I lifted her up to look out the window at him as he ate, and she let us both know in no uncertain terms that she did not welcome him.

Other times I've brought stray females or kittens indoors, she never hissed at them.

Patches likes to watch the birds sometimes, but she never
threatens them. Admonished to keep her distance,
this is as close as she ever gets, and then only rarely.

In fact, our tiny calico is her best friend and she was a stray we decided to keep. That was because the first day I brought Patches home she walked up to our 75 lb. Malamutt (malamute and lab) and rubbed up against him, purring. He likes cats and apparently this is one dog she decided she should befriend immediately.

Our affectionate Patches is funny. This tiny calico will walk right under the dog, or over him, without any hesitation.

When I started this post, I wanted to comment on the hummingbirds. Our cats understand, "NO BIRDS!" It helps that they live with over 20 parakeets ... 31 at present, counting babies for sale. When they leave the house they are admonished with that command. We see them with mice, voles and moles, but not birds, even with all our feeders.

Wild or stray cats are another matter, however. Cats are meant to be domestic lap pets, not wild. People who release them into forests are not doing them or the wildlife any favors. It's sad. Animals deserve our respect and care, not to be mistreated or abandoned. I'd like to know who is responsible for the lonely cats that have, or are, prowling our woods. 

Peace & Blessings 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Breeding Bourkes

Bourke Parakeets, unlike Splendids and some others, are eager to raise a second and third clutch of baby birds. Hens will return to the nest very quickly.

The photos here are of Fuchsia and the youngest of three babies in her second clutch. The oldest two have left the nest, but the last youngster is still lingering. If you look closely, she has a new egg under her.

Fuchsia with her youngest baby and a new egg.

She and Flame have been mating in front of the kids. He performs his duty with Mom, then hops off and goes to feed one of their recently fledged offspring. He's a busy guy.

Move over youngster, Mama's ready to start another clutch.

I decided to allow two young Bourke pairs to have a third clutch this year. However, it isn't wise to give your birds an opportunity for more than three clutches a year. In fact, restricting them to two clutches a year is less physically stressful, especially on older birds.
Baby Bourke Parakeets are fuzzy,
unlike baby Budgerigars (budgies).
Removing nest boxes will usually discourage them from trying to raise more young. I've found that some of my hens ask to mate even when a nest box isn't present.

However, their mates seem to ignore the "come hither" behavior. In Bourkes, and most parakeets, it is the father who identifies and checks out a nesting location prior to his potential mate occupying it.  If there isn't a suitable place for her to raise their young, he typically won't mate.

 One pair, Bonnie & Clyde, had their nest box removed after one clutch this year. They have made no attempts to mate without a nest box present.

That said, one year a hen did lay an egg in her feed cup. It was February, but she had not had a clutch for about a year. I put up a nest box for her and put the egg in it. She immediately went in and brooded the egg and laid others. Whether that egg was fertile or not, I'm not sure. She did raise some from that clutch.

Birds are individuals. Although there are typical behaviors, they can deviate from the norm.

One of these days, I intend to write something about avian genetics, particularly in Bourkes and Splendids. I'm not an expert, but I've learned a lot from reading and watching my birds' production. And, especially from the generous comments and information I've received from many of you.

Peace & Blessings.

Added Note: Knowing that Fuchsia wanted to start another clutch, I took this baby out of the box, scraped off any soil and added new pine shavings. Then put him back to allow him to leave when he was ready. I didn't want a new clutch to start out in a dirty box.

Friday, November 11, 2011

USA Veteran's Day, Nov. 11

In Memory of all our brave men and women in uniform.
God Bless them all, past and present.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Splendid Comments on Bourkes and Scarlet-Chested Parakeets

I’ve been asked if Splendids, also known as Scarlet-Chested Parakeets, are difficult to keep.
I didn't want to part with this little guy, but his new
owner sent me this photo of him. He's a sweetheart.
I suppose that every breeder’s experience is diverse. I’ve raised a few Splendids over the years, but have never had the success with them that I’ve had with Bourkes. However, I know a breeder in California who has trouble raising Bourkes, but no difficulty with Splendids.

There is a difference in how we raise our birds though. Mine are indoors, hers are not.

Face color isn't accurate. Face is a dark cobalt blue.
It's difficult to photograph, the flash reflects off it.
Perhaps that might explain the variation of success between the two species.

All my birds live in individual cages inside my house and the temperature fluctuates little all year long. Some come out to fly around, but others don’t.  Her birds all live in roomy outdoor aviaries. California is mostly a desert climate, warm during the day although winter nights can become chilly. Frost is rare there, whereas, where I live in Southern Oregon it goes into the low 40’s in the winter.  Although unusual, it can even go below freezing. Australian birds might not fare well in outdoor aviaries through winters here.

Splendids (Scarlet-Chested Parakeets) are curious
and friendly.
I’ve found that Splendids seem to be more prone to egg binding than Bourkes are. All my Splendid hens have laid larger eggs than the Bourkes. This seems strange since the Splendids are slightly smaller than Bourkes. However, it might account for their propensity toward egg binding.  Exercise flights in aviaries could be an advantage for Splendids by helping to keep them fit.

A Male Rosy Bourke
As an indoor pet, Splendids seem to fare very well. They are active little clowns and fun to own. They will chew up paper and like to put anything and everything into their water. Drinking water should be freshened often … preferably more than just once a day. They enjoy bathes, so cups may get emptied. It’s wise to also have another source of water, like a water tube dispenser.

Bourkes are quieter by nature than Splendids, and easier to keep in that regard. They have lovely lyrical songs that aren’t loud like Budgerigars or other birds. I’ve never identified any mimicking by Splendids or Bourkes like Budgies do. However, both will “talk” to you in their own lingo. They like attention from their owners, even if they aren’t finger tamed.

A Normal Bourke Male

Male Bourkes are especially good at beautifully singing, and they naturally weave in wolf whistles.  What is a wolf whistle? Here’s a sample:

Peace & Blessings.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bourkes for Sale on East and West Coasts - Enjoy a Video

Hello All,
Currently, we have lots of Rosy Bourke babies hatched recently and some still in their nest box. All are used to people, some are hand fed and very tame.

Write to me for information at We are located in Southern Oregon.

Also, Jill in the Boston, MA area shared a video of her baby Bourkes. All are Normals, but split. Their mother is a Rosy Bourke and the father is a beautiful Lutino. 

Parents of the Normal babies in video. Father is a Lutino,
Mother is a Rosy Bourke. She is probably the daughter
of a Normal hen with a Rosy male.

Enjoy the video of Jill's baby Bourkes. You can contact Jill at

CLICK BELOW to Watch and Enjoy

Peace & Blessings,

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Pretty Boy at left with his pink-eyed youngster on right.
I’ve written about cleaning and replacing nest boxes before breeding season. However, I haven’t written about keeping them clean between clutches.

Most of my hens are meticulously clean while on eggs. They leave the box to defecate. However, after babies hatch and begin to grow, nest boxes start to become soiled. Two babies in a nest aren’t bad, but four can make the boxes pretty dirty.

When that happens, I temporarily remove the half-grown baby Bourkes, and place them in a safe, confined place. A large butter tub lined with a paper towel works perfectly for this. Old pine shavings are removed and fresh ones added. I press them down before returning the babies to their box.

Notice how dirty and crusty the pine shavings have gotten.
Three babies beginning to feather, but not ready to leave box.
My Bourkes live indoors and are very familiar with all of us, so cleaning out boxes with babies still in them is not a problem. If you have birds in an aviary, and they aren’t used to you coming and going, consider whether removing the youngsters is wise or not. I doubt a Bourke would ever abandon their nest because of a short-term cleaning, but there is a slight risk with birds that aren’t used to people.

Although I don’t always clean out boxes that have babies in them … unless they’re very dirty … between clutches, I always do. New babies are better off in a clean box. The photos with this post are of Rosie’s box. Currently, her second clutch of three is still in the cage with her and her mate. They’re being parent fed and learning to eat on their own, but not ready to leave home yet.

A photo of old shavings completely turned over by hen.
Loose and no longer crusty, but gray after previous use.
Rosie, on the other hand, is more than ready to start a new clutch. I had planned to remove her nest box, but changed my mind. These pictures illustrate how dirty a box can get, and how she decided to make it useful again. She turned over all the shavings to make the box ready for another clutch. She worked hard to make the formerly crusty, dirty box shavings soft and pliable, albeit old and gray.

Nevertheless, I felt that clean pine shavings are preferable. I set an empty 40 lb. dog food bag on a chair where it was easy to reach and, using a metal ladle, scooped shavings into it. With a sharp knife, I scraped hardened droppings and food off the sides of the box. Then, I vacuumed the interior.

An empty pill bottle blocks entry to nest box.

It might be advisable to remove the boxes to vacuum them. However, my birds are used to hearing the vacuum cleaner. It’s not very noisy as it’s an in-home vac with the motor in the basement. What they hear is loud air flow.

While I cleaned the box Rosie stayed away. She seemed to know what was going on. I did this between clutch one and two. However, before vacuuming, I decided to block the entry hole to be safe. I used an empty pill bottle that fit. Easy to put in and take back out.

Investigating her box after it has been cleaned out.
Windex was used on the sides after scraping off dry food & dirt.
Then the box was aired out. It will be throughlyscrubbed
 before it goes back up for use next year.
Later, satisfied with her box, she's fluffed
(wings out) and ready to lay an egg.
With about an inch of clean pine shavings in the bottom, I packed them down for her. As soon as the pill bottle went away, it didn’t take her long to investigate. She has already formed a “bowl” in the center. She is fluffed and ready to lay an egg, which I expect any day now.

Meanwhile, she and her mate, Pretty Boy, are still doing the deed. I expect all her eggs to be fertile. Smile.  

Pretty Boy on bowl. His three youngsters in background.
Rosie is out of sight in the nest box.

Peace & Blessings.