When translated to English, the French language name for this little finch – Nonpareil – means “without equal”. The name suits the gorgeous bird perfectly…so much so that aviculturists of all nationalities have adopted it. Also known as the Pin-Tailed Parrot Finch (Erythrura prasina), the brilliantly-colored Nonpareil has long been among the most desired of all Southeast Asian finches.
My first experience with these beauties came while working for a bird importer. I was captivated by their colors, but despaired over the stress caused them by shipment and confinement to quarantine facilities. Fortunately, an experienced private breeder helped me to learn the keys to keeping them alive and well.
The 5.5 inch-long male Nonpareils are clad in “grass green”, bright red and brilliant blue, and sport elongated central tail feathers. Females have shorter tails and are not as gaudy, but are also quite colorful. While most related parrot finches are attractive (please see photos), none are as spectacular as the Nonpareil.
Yellow-bellied individuals are found in some wild populations, but are not common in captivity. Birds originating from Borneo have more blue in the plumage, and are considered by most to be a subspecies. Although few aviculturists see any need to experiment with color mutations, largely-green and pied strains have been established. Read More »