Silver eared Mesia
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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. silver eared mesia
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  • Scientific Name: Leiothrix argentauris
  • Common Name/s: SILVER EARED MESIA.
  • Sub Species in country / area of origin: ?
  • Origin / Distribution: Himalayas to Indochina and Indonesia.
  • Habitat In Wild: Forests and surrounding secondary vegetation
  • Status In Wild: Has a CITES Appendix 11 listing.
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity: Rare
  • Age To Sexual Maturity: ?
  • Best breeding years (estimate): ?
  • Sexing: Monomorphic / Dimorphic
  • Colour mutations: No
  • Availability: Specialist breeders
  • Temperament: Similar behaviour to the Pekin Robin.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $3000
  • Description Of Adults:
  1. Length: Approx. 160 - 180 mm (or approx 6.5 - 7 inches)
  2. Colour ("normal" colour): Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Approx. 15 gms (or approx 1/2 ozs)

The Silver eared Mesia is related to the Pekin Robin - Leiothrix lutea. Their requirements are the same as the Pekin Robin.

Aviary Notes:

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

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

Housing Requirements:  Click on "Softbills" web page for full details on the housing of  Softbills or read on for specific details for this finch.

Prefer a well planted aviary.  They will build a nest in a clump of bamboo if it is available.  To obtain best breeding results, house only one pair per aviary.  If more than one cock bird is in the same aviary, the cock birds can become aggressive to each other during the breeding season.

In the wild they are very social birds found in groups of 6 to 20 or more.  If more than one pair is kept in an aviary, generally only one pair will produce young.  A dominant pair will not allow the other birds to breed.

Silver eared Mesias like to bathe.  This helps these birds keep their plumage in top condition.

Diet / Feeding:  Click on "Softbills" web page for details on the nutrition of  Softbills or read on for specific details for this finch.

Insects form the majority of its food intake.

Good quality finch mix, seeding grasses and some fruits (e.g. apple, figs), some berries and some leafy green vegetables can be offered.  Live food is essential especially at breeding season.  Mealworms, small crickets, small commercially bred cockroaches and small locusts are ideal.  Sprouted seed if available.

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

Nesting:  A basic overview only.

  • Roosting nest: Yes / No
  • Nesting months:
  • Nesting receptacles: Will build a nest in a shrub or dry brush.  They will use a wooden nest box with the top half of the front removed.
  • Nest: They build a cup shaped nest out of grasses, twigs, mosses, coconut fibre, short pieces of teased hessian and other materials.  Nest is lined with feathers, soft materials and soft fine grasses.  May use a half open nest box.  If a nest box is to be used, the box should be placed in a concealed place preferably behind some shrubbery to provide some privacy for the birds.
  • Who incubates the eggs: Hen / cock / both share.

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 rebuild the old nest or build a new nest for the next clutch.

Breeding: Egg Colour Pale blue with brown speckles on the larger end.  Clutch/s per year 2 - 3.  Eggs per nest 2 - 4. Incubation approx. 14 days.  Fledge approx. 14 days.  Independent approx. another 3 - 4 weeks.

Silver eared Mesia breeding pairs can be offered softbill rearing foods.  They form strong pair bonds and can mate for life.

Young should be removed from the parent birds as soon as they are fully independent so as to avoid possible aggression from a parent.

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 58 No. 2 Feb 2004 Page 45-46.
  • A/A Vol 20 No 3 Mar 1966 Page 45, 47-48 (Inc colour plate).
  • A/A Vol 14 No. 8 Aug 1960 Page 105,118 (Inc colour plate).
  • Australian Birdkeeper

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