Although a few commonly-kept finches dominate the pet trade, an amazing range of unusual species are available. Many are delicate and rarely seen, but quite a few are just as hardy as the ever-popular Zebra Finch. Today I’d like to introduce some of my favorite less-commonly-kept finches, each of which is special in its own way – the Red Avadavat, Gray-Headed Silverbill and the Star, Masked and Spice Finches. All are hardy, breed well, and may be housed in large indoor cages or outdoor aviaries. I’ll cover husbandry details in future articles; until then, please write in with any questions. Read More »
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Please see Part 1 of this article for information on the natural history and captive breeding of the brilliantly-colored Strawberry Finch (Amandava amandava). I relayed there that my first experiences with wild-caught Strawberry Finches left me with the impression that they are among the world’s most spectacularly-colored birds. However, captive-born individuals, while beautiful, often fall far short of the color standards set by their parents…today we’ll take a closer look at this phenomenon. Read More »
In addition to gorgeous coloration, the Strawberry Finch (Amandava amandava) possesses just about every other quality one could ask for in a finch. Both males and females sing sweetly year-round, and also amuse keepers with a variety of unique buzzing sounds and low “growls”. Their courtship and breeding behavior, which is displayed readily, is among the finch world’s most interesting. Small wonder they are perennial favorites in both the pet and zoo trade.
Range and Habitat
The three subspecies of Strawberry Finch occupy a huge range that extends from southern Nepal and Pakistan through much of Southeast Asia to Indonesia. It is a bird of marshes, swamps and other habitats near water, but also visits fields, gardens and farms while foraging.
The Strawberry Finch’s popularity has resulted in a number of intentional and accidental introductions. It is now established in such far-flung locales as Hawaii, Spain, Egypt, Fiji, Singapore and Puerto Rico (I imagine that a diligent search might turn up a few in Florida as well!). Read More »