This morning, I went to check up on the aviary, and just as I thought, the surviving baby budgie was on the aviary floor again. I went inside the aviary, picked up the baby budgie and put it on the perch so that it can observe the other budgies eating from the seed container and hopefully learn to feed itself. I then spent a while watching the budgies and noticed that a blue female budgie flew down to Coconut's nesting box and sat outside it's entrance.
I expected Coconut to come flying over to defend her box, but nothing happened. The blue female even went inside the box, but it was quiet and still no defensive Coconut entering the scene. Looking around the aviary, I couldn't see Coconut anywhere, she had either escaped from the aviary, or she was still in her box, either way, it wasn't going to be good news.
Checking the box, I found Coconut inside, she was dead. Coconut's cere was torn apart and she probably died of blood loss. Most likely it was that blue female budgie that was inside the box earlier that did it. The females keep fighting over the nesting boxes, and just about all the female budgies in the aviary have some sort of facial injury as a result.
There's no way I can provide enough nesting boxes for each female budgie, since that would result in exponential population growth (I used to have 4 budgies, now I have almost 30), so I'm going to remove the boxes altogether so that they have nothing to fight over.
Like all the other budgies in the aviary, Coconut (pictured above at the front) was born in the aviary. If I recall correctly, she was born in either late 2006 or early 2007, making Coconut over two years old. I named her Coconut because in the aviary, I put a hollowed-out coconut in the corner for the zebra finches to use as a nest. But Coconut was the first to use it, although she never actually laid any eggs inside the coconut. Coconut used to spend a lot of time inside the small coconut, which made her tail curl to one side.
For a long time, Coconut was at the bottom of the pecking order, but she climbed (or rather, pecked scratched and bit) her way to the top, allowing her to claim possession of the biggest nesting box in the aviary. Although Coconut laid many clutches of eggs, few of them resulted in chicks because for whatever reason, the eggs ended up being broken. And the ones that did hatch were usually killed by Coconut or another female budgie just as they became fledglings. One chick remains, hopefully it will learn to feed itself and survive.