Allison, I hope you actually have a male and a female. Bourkes will often bond with each other, even when the same sex if there are no others to choose from. Normal male Bourkes have a tiny band of blue feathers over their cere (nostrils). Females don't have this. Males also have brighter blues and pinks, but without a female to compare them to it will be hard to see their differences. Rosies don't have this advantage, but behavior gives them away.
When old enough, hens (both Normal or Rosy) will squat down, lift their tails and chirp. Males throw their shoulders back and slightly lift their wings outward at the shoulder. They stand tall and appear to "strut." That's a sure sign that a Bourke is a male.
|Beginning the mating process by balancing on the hen's back.|
He will wrap his tail under hers. If successful, after he hops
or flies off, she will stand still for a few moments before moving.
|Rosy Bourke male outside a cockatiel nestbox. |
It's larger than needed, but they've raised many babies in it.
When it comes to a nest box, bigger is better than too small.
My website has lots of information about nest box size and so on. Bourkes aren't finicky, but they do like an inch or so of pine shavings in the bottom of the box (don't use cedar). Mine are indoors and the temperature is around 70 degrees most of the time, give or take two or three degrees. People do raise them outdoors, but they are more prolific in warmer temperatures. All parakeets of every variety are susceptible to cold drafts and need draft-free shelter.
Last year, at the advice of another breeder, I added rabbit salt blocks to my cages. These provide minerals, especially iodine and Vitamin D. It took the birds several months before the hens sampled them, but eventually they did. As promised, my birds were more successful in 2011 than in any other year. Indoors they don't receive enough sunlight, even through windows, so the blocks provide more of what they need.
|Iodine block on bottom of cage.|
Healthy birds have healthy youngsters. I like to give mine mixed, cooked vegetables and fresh greens in addition to parakeet seed.