Aurora Finch
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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. Aurora finch
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  • Scientific Name:  Pytilia phoenicoptera = Red winged.   Pytilia hypogrammica = Yellow winged Pytilia.
  • Sub Species in country / area of origin:  3.
  • Origin / Distribution:  Thin band across central African continent.
  • Habitat In Wild:  Woodlands and farmlands
  • Status In Wild:  Yellow winged = Rare.
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity:  Red Winged = Secure.  Red faced and yellow winged are harder to find.
  • Age To Sexual Maturity:  At least 12 months.
  • Best breeding years (estimate):  2nd - 5th year
  • Lifespan (estimate):  about 7 - 8 years
  • Sexing: Monomorphic / Dimorphic
  • Mutations:  No
  • Availability:  Bird dealers and specialist breeders.
  • Temperament:  Do well in a mixed finch collection with one pair of these birds per aviary. Generally less aggressive than the Melba Finch.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Red faced (Approx.) $250.  Red Winged approx. $100.  Yellow winged approx. $500.
  • Description Of Adults:
  1. Length: Approx.115 - 120 mm (or about  4.5 - 5 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Approx. 12 -15 gms (or about 1/2 ozs)
Aviary Notes:

Read notes on "Finches - Non Australian" web page and use in conjunction with details outlined on this page.

Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist Breeders Only.

Government Regulations & By-Laws: Refer to "Government Laws" web page.

Housing Requirements: Click on "Housing birds" web page for general details on the housing of Non Australian Finches or read on for specific details for this finch.

The Aurora finch likes a planted aviary. The Aurora finch likes to forage on the ground so care must be taken to ensure the floor of the aviary or cage is kept clean.  Mating and courtship may take place at ground level so it is preferable to have an open area on the floor of the aviary.  The open area on the floor is often covered with a layer of dry sand.

They can be bred in a Canary style breeder cage of about 900mm long x 400mm high x 400mm deep (36 x 16 x 16 inches).  Only one breeding pair per cage.

Do not mix the different types of Aurora finch as the birds will hybridize. The Aurora is closely related to the Melba Finch and should not be housed with Melba's so as to avoid hybridization.

Diet / Feeding: Click on "Feeding birds" web page for general details on the nutrition of  Non Australian Finches or read on for specific details for this finch.

The Aurora finch requires a good quality finch seed mix, seeding grasses and some fruits (e.g. apple) and vegetables.  Leafy green vegetables can be offered, e.g. silverbeet, cos lettuce & endive.  Sprouted or soaked seed if available.  Live food is not essential during the non-breeding season but is beneficial.  Live food is essential during the breeding season.  Mealworms are commonly used.  Small crickets can be used.

Basic seed mix should include Canary seed, White French Millet, Japanese Millet, and Yellow and Red Panicum.

Nesting: A basic overview only.

  • Roosting nest:  No
  • Nesting months: Spring to early autumn, but may breed year round if conditions are suitable.
  • Nesting receptacles: The Aurora finch will build a dome shaped nest in a shrub or dry brush such as tea tree. Equally it will build a nest in a wide variety of artificial nests.
  • Nest: The cock bird will make a dome shaped nest from grasses, coconut fibre, moss and soft materials. Nest is lined by the hen with feathers and soft fine grasses.
  • Who incubates the eggs: Hen at night/ cock / both share during the day.

The nest is usually built at mid height in the aviary.  Nest inspections are not recommended.
Young should be removed from the parent birds as soon as they are fully independent so as to avoid possible aggression from a parent.
More details on finch nests and a selection of finch nest photos can be located on the "nests", "finch nests" and "finch nest photos" web pages.  Click on "Up" then "nests" then "finch nests" and "finch nests photos" in the navigation bars.

Breeding: Egg Colour White.  Clutch/s per year 3.  Eggs per nest 3 - 5.  Incubation approx. 12 - 13 days.  Fledge approx. 21 days.  Independent approx. another 3 - 4 weeks.

Do not mix the different types of Aurora finch as the birds will hybridize.
Live food is essential during the breeding season.
Nest inspections are generally not tolerated.
Adequate new nest material must be available for the hen to rebuild the old nest or build a new nest for the next clutch.
The Aurora finch is closely related to the Melba Finch and should not be housed with Melba's so as to avoid hybridization.
It is best to restrict the adult breeding pair to 3 clutches per breeding season.

Young birds (when they become fully independent) must be removed when bred in a cage.  Generally safe to remove the young from the parent birds about 4 weeks after they have left the nest.

Artificial incubation, hand rearing or fostering will not be covered on this web site. It is too complex and diverse in nature to be attempted here.  Refer "Specific References" as listed below and "General References" listings.

Health Issues: Refer "Avian Health Issues" web page for information and references.

  • Worming and parasite control and Quarantine requirements of new birds or sick birds are considered to require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on this web site. Refer above option "Avian Health Issues" web page.
  • Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace. Keep updating your knowledge and skills.

General References: Refer to references listed on "Book References" web page.

Specific References:

  • Australian Aviculture
  • A/A Vol 59 No. 11 Nov 2005 Page 255-259 (Background notes on some African Waxbills).
  • A/A Vol 59 No. 2 Feb 2005 Page 25-26 (Yellow winged pytilia-Cover photo).
  • A/A Vol 25 No. 2 Feb 1971 Page 21-22.
  • A/A Vol 14 No 2 Feb 1960 Page 22-23.
  • A/A Vol 11 No 1 Jan 1957 Page 8.
  • A/A Vol 8 No 8 Aug 1954 Page 89-90.
  • A/A Vol 8 No 7 Jul 1954 Page 88.
  • A/A Vol 7 No 8 Aug 1953 Page 99.
  • Australian Birdkeeper
  • ABK Vol 18 Issue 11. Oct-Nov 2005 Page 676-681 (What's genetically pure and what's not)
  • ABK Vol 15 Issue 3. Jun-Jul 2002 Page 157-158.
  • ABK Vol 4 Issue 10. Aug-Sept 1991 Page 465-469

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