. Rufous backed mannikin
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- Scientific Name: Lonchura bicolor nigriceps
- Common Name/s:
RUFOUS BACKED MANNIKIN, RUFOUS BACKED MUNIA, CHESTNUT BACKED MANNIKIN.
- Sub Species in country / area of origin:
- Origin / Distribution: East coast
of Southern Africa
- Habitat In Wild: Occupy a
diverse region and equally diverse habitat including grasslands and
semi arid areas. Have adapted to farmlands and urban areas.
- Status In Wild: ?
- Status In (Australian) Captivity:
- Age To Sexual Maturity: ?
- Adult plumage: attained at about 2
- Best breeding years (estimate):
2nd - 6th.
- Lifespan (estimate): Long
lived for a finch. Often more than 8 years.
- Sexing: Monomorphic
- Mutations: No
- Availability: Bird dealers
- Temperament: Docile, hardy,
long lived bird. Generally breed well.
- Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: -
Normal colour (Approx.) $100
- Description Of Adults:
- Length: Approx. 90 mm (or approx. 3.5 inches)
- Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer
photo/s above if available.
- Weight: Approx. 10 gms (or approx. 1/3 oz)
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"
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.
Although they can be kept with other
finches, only one pair of Aberdeen's should be housed per aviary.
They breed well as a colony in a suitably sized aviary. Success
when housed in a cage is rare.
Must not be housed with other Mannikins
or Munias so there is no chance of hybridizing.
Other than for feeding and drinking,
they do not spend much time at ground level. They like tall
grasses and shrubs in their aviary however they may defoliate plants if
too many are housed in the aviary.
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
Good quality finch mix, seeding grasses, some fruits (e.g. apple) and
some green leafy vegetables. Live food is essential at breeding season.
Small mealworms, small 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.
A basic overview only.
- Roosting nest:
Yes / No
- Nesting months: Spring
to early Autumn.
- Nesting receptacles:
Will build a nest in a shrub or dry brush. Equally it will
build a nest in a wide variety of artificial nests including half
open nest boxes.
- Nest: Both parents
build a dome shaped nest made from green or dry grasses. The
nest is lined with soft fine grasses and other soft materials.
- Who incubates the eggs:
Hen / cock / both share.
Moderate nest inspection is fairly easy and generally tolerated.
Parent birds generally reuse the nest
for subsequent clutches. Adequate new nest material must be
available for the birds to refurbish the old nest or build a new nest
for the next clutch.
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.
Egg Colour White. Clutch/s
per year 3. Eggs per nest 3 - 7. Incubation
approx. 13 - 14 days. Fledge approx 21 days.
Independent approx. another 3 - 4 weeks. May return to the
nest after they fledge.
It is generally best to remove the young from the parent
birds as soon as the young are fully independent so as to avoid possible
aggression from a parent.
They are generally good parents.
Pair bonding is strong.
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 option - "Avian Health Issues"
- Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace. Keep
updating your knowledge and skills.
Refer to references listed on "Book
References" web page.
- Australian Aviculture
- A/A Vol 44 No. 12 Dec 1990 Page 319-323 (Inc photo)
- Australian Birdkeeper
- ABK Vol 8 Issue 12. Dec-Jan 1996 Page 594-596
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