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- An Australian Finch
- Scientific Name: Neochmia phaeton
- Crimson finch - black bellied = Neochmia phaeton phaeton
- Crimson finch - white bellied = Neochmia phaeton evangelinae
- Common Name/s:
CRIMSON FINCH, BLOOD FINCH, WHITE BELLIED CRIMSON FINCH, BLACK
BELLIED CRIMSON FINCH.
- Sub Species: 2 or 3. Some
recognise a third sub-species N. p. albiventer
- Origin / Distribution: Across top
of Australia and part of New Guinea
- Habitat In Wild: Open
grasslands and lightly timbered areas but has also adapted well to
farmlands and some urban areas.
- Status In Wild: Nominate
sub-species is common but the other sub-species are listed as
- Status In (Australian) Captivity:
- Age To Sexual Maturity: about
9 months of age
- Adult plumage: attained after the
first moult, about 4 - 6 months of age.
- Best breeding years (estimate): 2nd - 4th
- Lifespan (estimate): about 5 - 6 years.
- Sexing: Monomorphic
- Mutations: Yes
- Availability: Bird dealers
- Temperament: The Crimson
finch can be an aggressive
bird, particularly to other red coloured birds. In a mixed
finch collection, best breeding results are when only one pair of of
Crimsons are kept in that aviary. A single pair can be housed in a small aviary.
Care must be taken to ensure they do not hybridize with other
species when housed in a mixed species collection.
- Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal coloured...Black bellied = about $175, White bellied =
- Description Of Adults:
- Length: Approx. 130 mm (or 5 inches)
- Colour ("normal" colour): Refer
photo/s above if available.
- Weight: Approx. 11 - 12 gms (or less than 1/2 oz)
The Neochmia genus comprises the Crimson finch Neochmia phaeton,
the Red browed finch Neochmia temporalis, The Star finch Neochmia
ruficauda, and the Plum headed finch Neochmia modesta.
on "Finches - 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" page.
Housing Requirements: Click on "Housing birds"
web page for general details on the housing
of Australian Finches or read on for specific details for this finch.
The Crimson finch can be housed in a large mixed species aviary. A single pair
can be housed in a small aviary. A single pair can be housed
indoors in a large canary cage or large breeding cabinet.
Some people report that the Crimson finch may be aggressive towards
any other bird or birds that have red in their plumage. The wild
Crimson finches are not social birds and generally do not form a flock.
This behaviour shows up in the aviary as these birds usually do not do
well when kept as a colony. A single pair in a mixed species
usually breed well.
Crimson finches love to bathe.
Diet / Feeding: Click on "Feeding birds"
web page for general details on the
nutrition of Australian Finches or read on for specific details for this
The Crimson finch requires a good quality finch mix, seeding grasses
and some fruits (e.g. apple). Live food is essential especially at breeding season.
Small mealworms and small crickets are ideal. Sprouted or soaked seed if available.
Basic seed mix should include Canary
seed, White French Millet, Japanese Millet, and Yellow and Red Panicum.
A basic overview only.
- Roosting nest: No
- Nesting months: Depends upon
where in Australia they are being bred. Spring and early
autumn usually gives good results.
- Nesting receptacles:
Both parents will make their nest in shrubs, dry brush such as tea tree, or
artificial nest boxes.
- Nest: Both parents
build a dome shaped nest made
with grasses. Nest is lined with feathers and soft fine
grasses. November and Swamp grass are ideal for lining the nest.
- Who incubates the eggs:
Hen / cock / both share.
Hen usually sits on the eggs overnight.
The Crimson finch nest is usually built in the higher
parts of the aviary.
More details on
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.
Egg Colour White. Clutch/s
per year 3. Eggs per nest 4 - 7. Incubation
approx 12 - 14 days. Fledge approx. 21 days.
Independent approx. another 21 days.
Both parents feed the young. Nest
inspections are usually not tolerated.
Although they are sexually mature at about 9 months of age, it is
better if the hens can be about 12 months of age prior to them laying.
Care must be taken to ensure the Crimson finch does not hybridize with other species
when housed in a mixed species collection. A single pair in a
mixed species collection will usually breed well.
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.
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 "Avian Health Issues"
web page option.
- Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace. Keep
updating your knowledge and skills.
Refer to references listed on "Book
References" web page.
- A/A Vol 57 No. 8 Aug 2003 Page 178-179.
- A/A Vol 53 No. 12 Dec 1999 Page 275-278 (Inc photo)
- A/A Vol 50 No. 5 May 1996 Page 106-109
- A/A Vol 49 No. 8 Aug 1995 Page 186-189
- A/A Vol 45 No. 4 Apr 1991 Page 83-86
- A/A Vol 42 No. 9 Sept 1988 Page 221-226 (Inc photo)
- A/A Vol 32 No. 9 Sept 1978 Page 138-143
- A/A Vol 31 No. 7 Jul 1977 Page 95
- A/A Vol 29 No. 10 Oct 1975 Page 145-146
- A/A Vol 22 No 4 Apr 1968 Page 64-66.
- A/A Vol 21 No 6 Jun 1967 Page 86-87.
- A/A Vol 16 No 11 Nov 1962 Page 152.
- A/A Vol 12 No 8 Aug 1958 Page 97-99, 110 (Inc colour plate).
- A/A Vol 11 No 12 Dec 1957 Page 176-179.
- A/A Vol 11 No 8 Aug 1957 Page 116.
- A/A Vol 9 No 7 Jul 1955 Page 77-78.
- A/A Vol 8 No 4 Apr 1954 Page 50-51.
- A/A Vol 7 No 11 Nov 1953 Page 125-126.
- A/A Vol 5 No 11 Nov 1951 Page 135-135.
- A/A Vol 3 No 9 Sept 1949 Page 98 (Sexing Aust. finches).
- A/A Vol 1 No 4 Apr 1947.
- Australian Birdkeeper
- ABK Vol 18 Issue 11. Oct-Nov 2005 Page 676-681 (What's
genetically pure and what's not)
- ABK Vol 4 Issue 8. Apr-May 1991 Page 381-385
- ABK Vol 2 Issue 11. Oct-Nov 1989 Page 435-438
- ABK Vol 2 Issue 7. Feb-Mar 1989 Page 250-251
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