RED-FACED PARR0T FINCHES ( Erythrura Psittacea) These are also known as the Red-Face Parrot Finch or the Red-Throated Parrot Finch. These birds are monomorphic which makes sexing them a challenge but I find the cock bird has a deeper red colouring on its head then the hen. I give them supplements including daily essential 3, Spirulina, Feast Insectirous softbill feed. I also add Cous Cous to their eggfood. They are also fond of dried mini-mealworms. They will eat all basis foreign finch seeds. This beauiful finch in found primarily in the Islands of New Caledonia. I purchased my first ever two pairs in November 2011.  

 BLUE-FACED PARROT FINCH (Erythrura trichroa) They are found in north-eastern Australia, Japan, Indonesia and a few other islands.

They are also known as the Blue headed Parrotfinch or the Tri-Coloured Parrotfinch. Sexing your Parrotfinch takes a trained eye but usually the blue facemask of the male Blue-faced Parrotfinch extends much further back on the head than the female. The colour is a much darker blue than the hen. The green body colour is a darker green on the male and the red on the rump is a brighter red than on the female.

They spend a lot of the time on the aviary floor so keep your flights clean. They will eat a foreign finch mix, a good eggfood, plenty of greens. I also feed mine with white pinky maggots and an insectivorous softfood and also any chickweed that I can find and seedling grasses which they love. The Cock bird can be aggressive towards the hen so don’t be too scared to split up the pairs. They will easily mate with various hens. They will nest almost anywhere and use white & brown coconut fibre and shredded paper.  

 IRISH CANARY This breed of canary has been around since the 1970's. It's a new adition in 2011 for me. The Irish Fancy canary feeds on the same food as my Fife's and Gloster canaries. They like Canary (grass) seed and white millet. I also give them rolled oats and various other millet seed. This canary originates from the Roller canary. I would say hopefully without upsetting the Irish Fancy boys that this canary at first looks like a skinny, slim and slender Fife canary. They look really nice for a small canary. Unfortunately not many birdkeepers in the East of England keep the Irish Canary so new blood may be hard to come by?

 COCKATIEL (Numphicus Hollandicus) native to the outbacks regions of inland Australia. They are the smallest of the Coctatoo family. The Cockatiels erectile crest gives it a very proud appearance. They are the second most popular kept bird in the world next to the Budgerigar. I obtained my first Cockatiel by chance. I was sent on a mission to rehome 80 birds from HMP Wayland. All birds were rehomed to good local breeders in and around Norfolk. The only exception was a Cockatiel that appeared blind in one eye and could not fly because it had a broken wing caused by the inmates. I kept this bird myself as nobody wanted it and I had to purchase a friend for him. They both got on very well together and now have a lovely spangled yellow headed Cocckatiel as their chick. Perfect feathering and very healthy looking. All three are in one of my mixed avairies and they feed on the same food as my Kakariki's and Rosellas.

 JAVA SPARROW (Padda Oryzivora) native to Java and Bali. Also known as the Rice Bird. 5 1/2 inches in size. It's numbers have crash disastrously.It is now very difficult to find. The Java Sparrow is considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild. this species is now classed as vulnerable and is presently on the IUCN red list. I find the Java Sparrow an easy bird to keep. They will eat almost anything you put in front of them. The sexes are identical and it takes a trained eye to determine the sex of each bird.  The Java Sparrow is a very willing bird to breed and a good nest builder. This season I have bred so far 38 chicks with hopefully more to come. They are not as aggressive as some books lead you to beleave. They are also in my mixed aviary. i keep Normals, Silvers, Fawns, Whites, Pieds, Opal Isabel, Agates, Pastels and Creams.

 

STAR FINCH (Neochmia Ruficauda). Sometimes known as the Rufous tailed Finch or the Red tailed Finch. The bird is Native to Northern Australia and is around 4 1/4" tall (11 cm). Breed easy and like mixed flights. In the wild they live near water in area of tall grasses, bushes and small trees. The star Finch is a pleasant bird and has a quiet song and very passive and will mix well with other passive species. The Cockbird has a bright red forehead, side of the head, chin & beak. Green wings and a grey-brown belly. The Henbird has a mask which is less bright red and sometimes it has no red mask like the Cockbird. The spots on the hens are also less distinctive. The Henbird will sit after the third egg is laid. The clutch is 3-6 eggs, eggs take 12-14 days to hatch and it is usually six weeks before they are weened.

 

                                                                           

CHERRY FINCH (Neochmia Modesta) sometimes known as the Plum-head Finch. Origin is Australia. They are easy to sex as the Hen does not have the plum (skull cap" like the Cockbird. The Cherry Finch does not like the colder months and would prefer inside enclosure during the winter months. They are not aggressive birds and can be kept with other species. There main diet is Foreign Finch seed and a little green food, including dandelion. They will also eat Live food if offered.
Eggfood is also estential to their diet. Their clutch comprises of 4-5 white eggs. Incubation takes about two weeks. The chicks will fledge when they are four weeks old.
 

                                                                                              

LOVEBIRDS (Agapornis) eight species are native to the African continent and the grey-headed lovebird is native to Madagascar. They live in small flocks and eat fruit, vegetables, grasses and seed. They are 5"-7" in length (13-17 cm). They are among the smallest of the parrot species. The Hen will spend lots of time in the nest box before she lays any eggs. The Hen will lay one egg each day until it has a suitable clutch. Usually between four and six eggs. Sexing Lovebirds is difficult but the Hen will carry material to the nest and the Cockbird will regurgitating it's food, feeding the Henbird. Diet is various types of seed, grains and nuts. Also very keen on Milletspray and greens. Lovebirds are very vocal birds and make a loud, high pitch noise.

 DIAMOND DOVES (Geopelia Cuneata). Native to Australia. 19 - 21 cm long. Great miniature Doves. Well suited to mixed aviaries. Will lay only two eggs. They seem to produce one Cock bird and one Hen bird. They are willing breeders and will make nests in Canary pans or even food dishes. I have had alot of success with this species. Highly recommended. The chicks are fully feathered and flying in two weeks. They will breed all year round if you let them so be careful in the colder months. It seems like I have always kept this species for as long as i can remember.
 CHINESE PAINTED QUAILS (Excalfactoria Chinensis) Native to South China and India. 4 1/2 inches in size. Best to keep only one Cock bird with your hens. Cock birds will fight each other, sometimes to the death. hens will lay an egg every day but the hard part is getting the hens to sit on them. They normally hatch half the eggs. The chicks are minute and are capable of running through avairy wire. They are also capable of drowning in water bowls. It's best to separate the chicks as soon as they are born. They feed themselves from birth. If you have trouble getting the Hen bird to sit on eggs consider using an incubator. if you seperate the chicks you must keep them warm are free from draughts. The chicks will feed on Chick Crumbs but the adult birds will eat any food that is in the avairy from seed to friut to greens. When scared they will fly upwards and could hurt themselves on the avairy wire. These are nice birds to keep and the chicks are absolutely beautiful. Word of warning if your CPQ's are breeding in the avairy the chicks will run around as soon as they leave the egg. They are so small they can easily escape through the avairy wire. 

                                                                                       

 BENGALESE FINCH (Lonchura Striata) 4 inches in size. Not found in the wild. Also known as the Society Finch. 4 inches in size. I have not had much luck with this species.  The Bengalese is suppose to be a great feeder and will help Aviculturists rear young from other species. Sexes are alike but the Cock bird has a sharp song and will carry straw in his beak as a mating dance. Last year I sold all my  Zebra Finches who have been dominating my flights. I now have only one pair and this has allowed my Bengalese Finches to breed really well this year. This finch is an excellent beginner's bird. They are a very friendly species and a great addition to a mixed avairy.  I also now keep the Creasted Benaglese as well as the chocolate & white and the fawn and white.

 

Long_tailed_grassfinch_small.jpg Hecks Grassfinch image by norwichfinchman

HECKS GRASSFINCH (Peophila acuticauda hecki)Originates from Australia and measures 5-6" in size. the hecks in an inquisitive, peaceful and hardy bird. loves foreign finch mix and spray millet. Fascinating to watch is the Cockbird head bobbing courtship display. it is quite comical, he will jump up and down on the perch. This species is difficult to sex but generally the cock birds' bib is larger and the black bar across the flank is broader. The 100% correct way to sex your bird is - The cock bird will sing. The Hecks Grassfinches that I keep belong to my son William.

 

BlackThroatedFinchIM.jpg Parson Finch image by norwichfinchman

PARSON FINCH (Poephila Cincta) Also known as the Black Throated Finch, Diggles Parson, Black Throated Grass finch, Black-Rumped Grassfinch. This stunning looking finch is 4” long and should not be housed with Hecks Grassfinches. Head is a blue/grey colour with black streaks around the eyes. Beak colour is black. Below the beak and running down the chest is a bold black bib. Chest is a soft brown, back of body is a cinnamon brown. Sexing of the Parsons can prove difficult to the uneducated eye. Although seeing a male and female beside one another resting on a perch, the sexing is quite easy. The male's bib is quite wider than the females. I have also noticed that the head of the male is usually slightly light grey in colour and the female is darker brownish/grey. Also the male has a broader head than the hen. But, to surely distinguish the sexes one must wait for the male to sing his whistling song. While singing his neck area will also extend somewhat making watching for the males a little easier. The Parson Finch pair bond for life and a large percentage of their time is spent doting upon one another. Although, somewhat common in captivity, their numbers in the wild are drastically dropping, making them one of Australia's endangered species. I feed mine on a Foreign finch mix, Dried mealworms, Eggfood, Millet spray and some green food. I also add calcium to the drinking water twice a week. Presently my Parsons are sitting on eggs. My pair of parsons finches deserted their chicks first time round but the second nest they managed to get a lovely chick on the perch at it wasn't long before the youngsters looked very much like it's parents. I have a split cream cockbird with a normal hen and at present they have a nest full of chicks waiting to flegde. I have had very good success with all my parson finches this year.

 

72867473aGX03sTFGouldianFinchblackh.jpg Gouldian Finch image by norwichfinchman

GOULDIAN FINCH (Chloebia gouldiae soon changing to Erythrura gouldiae) Found only in the northern territory of Australia. There is strong evidence of a continuing decline of this species in the wild and is therefore now considered an endangered species. 130-140 mm long. the Gouldian Finch was named after Elizabeth Gould the wife of british Ornithological artist John Gould in 1844. Sometimes known as the rainbow finch, Gould Finch, Lady Gouldian finch. Eats foreign finch seed but loves insects during breeding season. The cock bird is alot brighter in colour then the hen. This species is most probably the most colourful finch in the world. My Gouldian Finches belong to my wife, Tracey. First pair bred two chicks and the second pair have put four healthy youngsters on the perch who are colouring up very nicely. All of our Gouldians are parent reared and are all the same mutation, black headed/purple breasted. Great birds to keep and hardier then given credit for! Seven chicks this year which is not as good as last year.

 NAPOLEON WEAVER (Euplectes Capensis) Native to Africa. 5 inches in size. Also known as the Yellow Bishop. The Cock bird when in breeding condition is unmistakable and most probably the most striking looking bird in my collection. Bright yellow and black. The hen bird is almost Sparrow like. It's best to pair one cock bird with two or three hens for breeding results. They make thier own nests by weaving materials between branches. I am afraid I now only have a cock bird and i'm looking to sell this bird onto a breeder. I have had the same Napoleon Weaver Cockbird for the past twelve years.

 

 RED BILLED WEAVER (Quelea Quelea) Native to Africa, 5 inches in size. Also known as a Red Billed Quelea. Cock bird has a black face and bright red bill. Hen bird is sparrow like with a orange beak. The cock bird becomes aggressive when breeding and fights off any other species that venture near to it's nest. I have only witnessed the Cock birds making nests and I must admit the nests are very well constructed. The nest is weaved between branches into a basket shape with a round opening. Unfortunately i lost the hen bird last year so I only have a Cock bird and I have had him for twelve years now!

CHESTNUT BREASTED MANNKIN  (Lonchura Castaneothroax) This Australian Munia is considered hard to breed. I have at present two pairs that are sitting on eggs. They are very hardy birds and are considered long lived for Mannakins.

The bright, bold and flashy coloration consist of various shades of brown, black and white. They have bright silery blue beaks. Sexes are identical and are sexable by the cockbirds sond and display.

They do seem to like alot of cover (Brushing) in the avairy and build their nests away from praying eyes.

I presently have 7 Chestnut breasted mannikins but so far they have had three chicks between them.

 



BICHENO FINCH "New for me in 2013" (Taeniopygia bichenovii)This delightful Australian finch is sometimes known as the Owl Finch because it's face has a look of an Owl about him. In Australia they are known as the Black Rump Owl Finches, In the USA they are known as the Double Bar Finch or the Clown Finch. The Bicheno finch and the Zebra finch are the only two species in the family Taeniopygia.

Great birds to keep but very hard to sex. I have two pairs of these and they live in an outside aviary with other Australian Finches.

It is said that some of the visual clues to sexing your Bicheno's include: the thickness of the breast bar, the width of the crown and the whiteness of the face mask. The thicker the breast bar and the wider the crown of the head and the whiter the upper breast indicates the cock bird. I still find it very hard using these 

 but a certain clue is the cock bird will sing and the hen will lay eggs?

 
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