Do Birds Mate With Their Siblings? (Answered!)

Mating is common in birds and it’s something that’s natural for most animals. This includes garden and pet birds depending on their living conditions.

Due to this drive to breed, it becomes important to understand what birds look for in mates. You may even wonder, do birds mate with their siblings?

Yes, birds do mate with their siblings. It is uncommon but can happen if the siblings are placed in a restricted area and do not have other mating options. It’s important to remember, birds do not recognize their siblings after the first year.

Inbreeding with birds is not good and can lead to serious genetic defects.

If two siblings are behaving in this manner, it’s highly recommended to separate them as soon as possible. If they are allowed to breed, it could create additional issues when it comes to the baby birds’ health.

Here are some of the reasons birds may breed with their siblings.

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Reasons Birds May Breed With Siblings

1. Lack of Options

The main issue has to do with a lack of options.

Birds may start inbreeding if they don’t have the ability to find a mate. This happens with pet birds that are commonly situated in close proximity to their siblings for extended periods.

If this happens and the birds are not supposed to be kept in pairs, this can lead to a situation where inbreeding takes place.

The birds can simply start breeding out of convenience. Since they are going to have a natural drive to reproduce, this can end up showing through inbreeding. This is why it’s important to keep tabs on which birds are being put together.

You should never assume two sibling birds will not mate. This is incorrect.

Experts Say...
It might come down to not having another mating opportunity. This can lead to friskiness, which will cause birds to mate with their siblings.

Yes, sibling birds may not mate in a larger settling but that goes out the window in an enclosed space such as a birdcage.

In situations such as this, you will want to make sure the two birds are separated. This will help control the situation and make sure they do not end up mating with each other.

You can also look to give them additional mates to breed with. This is just as effective and will take their attention away from a sibling.

do birds mate with their siblings

2. Restricted Space

Restricted space is a serious concern when it comes to inbreeding with birds.

Birds are going to need space to move around and find mates. If they are unable to do so, it is going to end up showing through inbreeding and/or aggression.

A lot of birds don’t do well when it comes to handling restricted space. This is why you have to find a good birdcage that is safe for the bird to live in.

It is common for inbreeding to take place in restricted spaces, which is why many pet birds can breed with siblings if given the chance to do so.

If you don’t take the time to focus on this, the bird could get injured and/or end up having babies.

Restricted space is a recipe for disaster when it comes to avoiding inbreeding. You will want to either separate the siblings or increase the cage space.

do birds mate with their siblings

3. Don’t Remember Their Siblings

You may wonder, don’t birds recognize their siblings and avoid mating with them?

No, birds do not remember their siblings after their first year on the planet. They will forget the scent and are going to assume the bird in front of them is a potential mate that will lead to successful offspring.

This is why it is common for birds to start mating with their siblings.

The only way some birds can tell the difference is based on finding birds that have a different sound to them. This can be a distinctive feature they will lookout for as it can help them breed properly.

However, this doesn’t matter if they are close to the sibling all the time. They will eventually try mating.

Related Questions

1. Do Birds Interbreed?

Birds do interbreed and it often depends on environmental factors. This includes proximity to other breeds, viability for mating, and/or the age of the bird.

2. Do Birds Know Their Siblings?

Birds do not know their siblings after their first year on the planet. Birds will often fly away from the nest and thus lose their ability to pick up scents related to their sibling.

Final Thoughts

Do birds mate with their siblings?

Birds do mate with their siblings and it is more common in enclosed spaces (i.e. birdcages). It’s recommended to avoid mating siblings as it can lead to unwanted DNA defects.

Read more on birds:

  1. Do Mother Birds Clean Nests?
  2. Cost of Trimming a Bird Beak
  3. Resting Spot for Mother Birds
  4. Finding Quality Binoculars for Bird Watching
  5. Tips for Cleaning Bird Poop