Karl Linnaeus, who described the species in 1758, attributed it to the crossbills, giving the specific name Loxia malabarica, and the species was later assigned to the family of finch weavers and in 1862 received the generic name Euodice from Ludwig Reichenbach in the middle of the 20th century, the Malabar finch living in Asia was isolated as a separate species from The silver-billed finch Euodice cantans2 inhabiting Africa in 1964, Colin Harrison proves that genetically representatives of the genus Euodice belong to the genus of Munia.From that moment, both Malabar and silver-billed finches are classified as representatives of the genus Lonchura3
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Tricolor finch, or parrot finch(Erythrura trichroa)
Family - finch weavers
Genus - Parrot finches
Bright tropical colors in the plumage of birds, so necessary in the equatorial belt for a secretive lifestyle, distinguish these birds from other finches in their cage keeping. Against the background of the grassy-green body, the purple head and red uppertail stand out. The tail feathers are also red, but the upper tail is duller, the two middle feathers are elongated. Flight feathers are brownish, bill is black, legs are light brown. The female and the male are colored almost the same - it is difficult for an inexperienced amateur to distinguish between them. However, looking closely, you will notice that the female's purple "mask" is somewhat smaller and slightly dimmer than that of the male.
The female does not sing, it is smaller in size, which, however, cannot always be detected by visual examination of the birds. It also differs in a more horizontal body position. In young birds, the plumage is dull, the abdomen is olive green. The purple color of the plumage on the head is either absent or slightly developed. The beak is light brown, lighter at the base.
The area of distribution of parrot finches covers the territory from the southeast of Asia to New Guinea, from the north of Australia and to numerous Pacific islands. Several species have extremely small areas of distribution. So, for example, the black-faced parrot finch lives only on the Fijian island of Viti Levu.
The natural habitat of parrot finches is humid jungle, thickets of bamboo and meadows. Several species inhabit anthropogenic areas such as croplands and orchards. The food of birds usually consists of bamboo seeds, annuals and perennial herbaceous plants. Some species, such as the king finch, specialize exclusively in ficus seeds. Insects and their larvae often supplement the diet.
Parrot finches live on mountain slopes partially overgrown with shrubs and trees, not far from water, they are usually found at an altitude of 800 m above sea level, but sometimes they are found at an altitude of 2400 m.This indicates the ability of birds to adapt to existence at low temperatures. They live not only in wild forests, but also in parks, along the edges of plantations of cultivated plants. Where the population is cutting down the forest, the number of parrot finches also increases. The birds feed on the seeds of various grasses. They often live on the edges of grassy fields or fields of grain crops, where they keep near trees and bushes, in which they hide from danger.
Parrot finches spend the night in the dense crown of tall trees. Feeding activity in them was noted already half an hour before sunrise. At this time, the birds fly from branch to branch, moving to the edge of the clearing, where they feed until 11 o'clock in the morning. The hottest period, from 11 am to 3 pm, the birds spend in dense intertwined branches of trees and bushes.
A new period of foraging activity lasts from 15 hours before sunset.
In the non-nesting period, finches are kept in flocks, as a rule, in small ones.
With a lack of food, the flocks are divided into smaller ones and wander in search of nourishing places. During the mating season, couples are separated from
flocks and start building nests, which are located in the dense crowns of trees, in their shady part.
An oval-shaped nest with a side hole is made from herbs, leaves and various plant fibers. From the inside, it is lined with soft grasses and roots. The main nesting period lasts from October to February. There are 3-6 white eggs in a clutch.
Keeping in captivity
This species was introduced to Europe in 1886, and in 1887 the first offspring were obtained from birds. Due to the difficulties in delivery, the importation of parrot finches to Europe at that time was rare, so closely related crossbreeding began, which led to the weakening of the offspring, the loss of their vitality. The only species imported from Indonesia was the finch (Erythruraprasina).
In the 50-60s, red-headed, tricolor, short-tailed and other types of parrot finches entered the European markets, which were imported from Japan and directly from natural habitats.
Thanks to this, various types of finches quickly spread among amateurs. The most common of them are tricolor and red-headed parrot finches. This was facilitated by the sufficient ease of breeding them in captivity.
In summer, they may well live in open enclosures, where they reproduce successfully, and can withstand temperatures down to -5'C and below. In some European countries, birds live in outdoor enclosures throughout the year.
Parroted finches are peaceful and get along well with other birds outside the breeding season. Indoors, they live well in cages or large cages. For several years we kept parrot finches in cages of the following sizes: 100x50x60 cm, 100x40x40 cm, 90x60x70 cm. Birds can reproduce in such cages. And one more feature when keeping parrot finches is the need for daily bathing.
The diet requires soft and green food. Grain feed is best given either unripe or sprouted. A simple observation after giving the finches food shows that birds prefer soft food and only in their absence do they begin to eat grain. Special attention should be paid to the nutrition of newly received birds: after all, they could have come to us from nature, having lived in captivity for only 1-2 months.
Experts advise adding a lot of ant eggs, dry and sprouted seeds, chopped chicken eggs to the feed.
It is necessary to gradually accustom the birds to constant food, at first limiting it to greens in order to avoid upsetting the gastrointestinal tract.
Tricolor parrot finches reproduce quite easily. To do this, they need large cages at least 1 m long. A nest box or a house is installed in such a cage. The entrance hole can be small - 5x5 cm or slit-like 4x10 cm. It is better to install the house in the upper part of the cage, in the corner far from the exposition side, well covered with spruce branches or other dense branches. The length of daylight hours should be at least 12-14 hours. The success of nesting is most dependent on the male, his activity,
Malabar finch is a small bird Body length up to 11.5 cm, extended tail becoming wedge-shaped 4 to 5 cm Wing in span a little more than 5 cm, paws length up to 2 cm, conical beak about 1 cm5
The coloration of males and slightly smaller females is very similar6 Upper body plumage, including coverts, minor and tertiary feathers, is earthy brown Primary primary feathers and wingtips are black Toptail coverts are white with a black edging sometimes with a reddish or pinkish tinge of rusty6, feathers -brown The head on the sides and the lower part of the body is off-white or fawn, on the sides with dull patches of rufous, more saturated in males than in females6 The upper part of the beak is lead-gray, the lower is lavender, the legs are light lavender-pink Iris of the eyes dark brown5 The white uppertail allows you to confidently distinguish the Malabar finch from other passerines of a similar size and color, sharing the range with it - the silver-billed finch in the countries of the Arabian Peninsula, as well as the desert bullfinch and the short-toed stone sparrow of India, the adult adolescent Bronze Amadine finches so also characterizes the white uppertail, but in general, the color of the latter is much darker4
The song of the Malabar finch is a repetitive short melodic trill, which is sharply different from the song of the silver-billed finch, which emits even shorter abrupt notes without an obvious melody.In addition, there are typical welcome chirps in English transcription, transmitted as chirrup, danger signals and even a semblance of conversation between representatives of one kind, which is a repetitive whistle6
Sharp-tailed herbal finches
Okay, I'll report! It appears that I bought some wit ... but I don't feel complete satisfaction, however, in order. My breeder brought ostryk from Kaunas, took her pair and left for the dacha, and left those who were for sale at home with her grandmother. I came to her house, the granny put a cage in front of me - choose. I call the breeder to find out xy from xy, she says: look at the ties and tails, in my opinion 1-male, 3-females. I look and see that it was not quite what I wanted, I wanted natural, but in the cage there is 1 bird of natural color and 3 birds of a fawn mutation, but they are also of course good, delicate such, ties, stripes, in general paws, I decided to take everything , and can bring natural from Germany. I began to look, and they are worn as if undermined, go and see these ties. Well, I undressed, sat down next to me, I think let them calm down, maybe they will also sing. Granny saw it and said: okay, you choose here, and I'll go watch TV for now. No one sang for me, but in the end I noticed that one yellow tie would be wider and brighter, I caught it and began to choose a female. To be honest, I wanted a natural one, but ... The yellows are all so fine, with a posture, and this one is smaller, a little hunched over, besides, I didn't like how she holds her left wing, she had it slightly lowered. In short, I refused it, reluctantly, chose one of the fawn, the second had a little plumage in the chest area, it was plucked, and went home. I came home, put another perch in the cage - in the center at the very top, released my handsome men into my gang. To my great regret, the quarantine was, for some reason, unfeasible. At first, everything seemed to be nothing, the oops immediately settled on the top perch, after observing them for half an hour, I realized that there was really an obvious difference in their ties, now I won’t confuse them, and the hope that this is a pair increased. One has a tie for the whole throat, because of this, it looks more voluminous, while the other has a tie, which is especially noticeable under the beak, and besides, it is shorter. I decided that everything was fine, the new ones were accepted, agga ... Zyabrovaya youth decided to show xy from xy here and began to swing rights, especially one, presumably a male. He drove them well, I thought I'd have to jail them. But by nightfall, everything seemed to have calmed down, the oarsmen settled down on the top perch and the night passed calmly. In the morning, this parasite began to chase them again, drove from work with trembling knees that I would find corpses, but no, everyone seemed to have calmed down, they were still being spanked a little, of course, but already bearable, in any case I no longer worry about their lives. In general, the birds are cool, their voices are melodic, especially after the finch, behind which I don’t hear the Japanese at all, and on the Japanese-finch background they look just charming. In a week, as soon as the opportunity arises, I want to put them away in order to listen to who is singing and who is not, I hope for a couple, otherwise, in the company of my finch bandits, I’m unlikely to make out anything in a common cage.
In dashed off However, I lied, chichas already feel satisfaction from the newcomers, they are such paws. But I still want natural.
Habitat and lifestyle
Malabar finch in a nest on acacia branches
The Malabar finch is widespread in South and Southeast Asia, including India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Iran and the east of the Arabian Peninsula Also found in Afghanistan and as an introduced species in most countries of the Arabian Peninsula, Jordan, Israel, Taiwan , Puerto Rico7 and Hawaii8 native to Malabar finch countries, its numbers cannot be estimated, but this species is often found in nature and, apparently, it is not threatened with extinction. Also, the possibility of reducing the population, which is estimated as stable, is not considered. where the species was introduced, the number in Taiwan is roughly estimated at 100 to 10,000 breeding pairs7
The Malabar finch is a social bird Representatives of this species flock to spend the night and spend the night several in one nest between mating seasons Behavior such as mutual cleaning of feathers is observed4
The beginning of the mating season coincides with the beginning of the rainy season.During courtship, the male sings, sitting on a branch or trunk almost vertically, turning to the female, and enticingly waving a bunch of building material in front of her.4 After the formation of a pair, she builds an uneven egg-shaped nest of grass and straw with one the entrance hole, lined with soft grass and feathers, is built mainly by the female, and the male supplies material for the nest The nest can be built on a tree that is not high up to 3 m, in a thorny bush or on the ground in a heap of branches. birds of prey - eagles and vultures The abandoned nests of other finches are often used for clutches from 3 to 8 according to one author - up to 25 white oval eggs Incubation lasts 19 days Newly hatched black chicks spend the first ten days of life in the nest in silence, while the parents do not stop carrying them food, so that the most active couples have time for season to hatch up to four clutches6
The diet of the Malabar finch consists of seeds and invertebrates. Birds of this species usually feed in small flocks in open areas.
A sharp-tailed finch, 17 cm long and weighing from 13 to 17.6 g. The crown is silvery-gray, the area between the eyes and the beak, the so-called bridle, is painted black. The throat and tail are also black. In addition, the black belt runs through the back half of the body. The back and coverts are brownish to reddish-brownish in color. Females, on average, are somewhat smaller than males and have a less extended spot on the throat and goiter. Young birds are colored a little more dimly than adult birds and their beak is still black.
Both subspecies differ, first of all, in the color of their beak: in P. acuticauda hecki
the beak is bright red. In general, this subspecies is colored somewhat more intensely and the black spot on the throat is somewhat larger. In the nominative form
P. acuticauda acuticauda
on the contrary, the beak is yellow.
Molting is very slow and can last up to one year.