The pert, attractive Society Finch (Lonchura striata domestica) has never existed as a wild, “natural” species. Rather, it was produced in captivity, by breeders who crossed Sharp-Tailed and Striated Munias (Lonchura acuticauda and L. striata, please see photo). Interestingly, while the Society Finch is a very popular cage and lab bird, its parent species are rarely seen in private collections or zoos. It is an ideal choice for those who desire a hearty, easy-to-breed bird with an “exotic” history.
The species that gave rise to the Society Finch, members of the family Estrildidae, are native to southern Asia and closely related to Indian Silverbills, Tri-Colored Nuns and many others popular in the pet trade. The Society Finch most likely arose as a distinct species (or subspecies) in Japan, but there is also evidence that Chinese breeders had a hand in its development. The details are unclear. Read More »