Pin tailed Parrotfinch
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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. Pin tailed parrotfinch
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  • Scientific Name:  Erythrura prasina
  • Sub Species in country / area of origin:  2.. Erythrura prasina prasina, and Erythrura prasina coelica.
  • Origin / Distribution:  South-east Asia and Indonesia.
  • Habitat In Wild:  Forested areas and surrounding vegetation including bamboo thickets.  Will feed on rice in rice plantations.  In some rice growing areas it is considered a pest due to its liking for eating the ripe rice.
  • Status In Wild:  Declining in most areas.
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity:  Rare
  • Age To Sexual Maturity:  About  5 - 6 months
  • Adult plumage:  Attained at about 6 - 8 months.  The birds moult twice per year.  
  • Best breeding years (estimate):  2nd - 5th.
  • Lifespan (estimate):  approx. 7 - 8 years
  • Sexing: Monomorphic / Dimorphic
  • Colour mutations:  No.  Has 2 naturally occurring colour variations.
  • Availability:  Specialist breeders.
  • Temperament:  Very attractive bird.  Active, agile, non aggressive birds.  Prefer a planted aviary.  They do not breed as well in a cage.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $???
  • Description Of Adults:
  1. Length: Approx. 130 - 150 mm (or approx. 5 - 6 inches)
  2. Colour ("normal" colour): Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Approx. 14 gms (or approx. 1/2 ozs)

Aviary Notes:

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 Non Australian Finches or read on for specific details for this finch.

Prefers a well planted aviary; dense shrubs and tall grasses are ideal.  The aviary should have long open areas to allow the birds plenty of flying space.  Best results are achieved with one pair of Parrotfinches in a mixed collection per aviary.  They do not breed as well in a cage.

Only one species of Parrotfinches should be housed in each aviary as they may hybridize with any of the other species of Parrotfinches.  Spare cock birds should not be housed with breeding pairs.

May be kept with other finches but with their rarity in Australian aviaries it would be best to give each pair an aviary of their own.  If housed as a colony, the dominant pair or pairs may be the only birds to successfully rear young.

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.

Good quality finch mix, seeding grasses and some fruits (e.g. apple, figs), berries and some leafy green vegetables such as silverbeet can be offered.  Live food is essential at breeding season.  Mealworms, crickets and small locusts can be offered.  Sprouted or soaked seed if available.

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

The Pin-tailed Parrotfinch will eat a significant amount of rice as part of its natural food intake.

Nesting:  A basic overview only.

  • Roosting nest: Yes / No
  • Nesting months:  Spring to autumn.
  • Nesting receptacles:  Prefers dense shrubs or dry brush such as tea tree but will nest in a half open nest box.
  • Nest:  Domed pear shaped built with grasses, coconut fibre, moss and other suitable materials, usually with an tunnel entrance.  Nest is lined with soft fine grasses.
  • Who incubates the eggs: Hen / cock / both share.

Nest inspections are generally not tolerated.

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 - 6.  Incubation approx. 13 - 14 days.  Fledge approx. 21 days.  Independent approx. another 28 days.

Unlike most birds that mate on the ground or on branches, the Pin tailed parrotfinch usually mate in the nest.

They nest low to the ground.  Parents usually build a new nest for each new clutch.  Adequate spare nest receptacles must be available for pairs nesting in artificial nests before the current clutch leave the nest.  Adequate new nest material must be available for the birds to build a new nest for the next clutch.

These birds need an area of privacy to feel secure and start a nest.  Some breeders separate the sexes during the non-breeding season and re-introduce the birds just prior to the breeding season.

Bengalese have been used to incubate and raise Pin tailed Parrotfinches.  Be sure to remove the young from the Bengalese as soon as they have become fully independent and place them with their own species.

Overseas these birds are often handreared after the first week or so due to the parent birds lack of attention to the young.

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 20 No 3 Mar 1966 Page 41, 44 (Inc colour plate).
  • The Bulletin No 4, Nov 1942 Page 1 (The breeding of finches - conclusion).
  • Australian Birdkeeper

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