. Star finch
|This page is Sponsored By:
Your Name, Your Address
Refer to "Advertise on web" web page
|We specialise in xxxxxxxx birds / product
Contact us on: (0X) XXXX XXXX
or e-mail us @ .............
- An Australian Finch
- Scientific Name: Neochmia
- Common Name/s: STAR
FINCH, RED FACED FINCH, RED FACED GRASSFINCH, RED FACED
- Sub Species:
2 or 3, Neochmia
- Origin / Distribution: Top of
Australia including Western Australia, Northern Territory and part
of Northern Queensland, with the nominate form inhabiting southern
- Habitat In Wild: Open
and eucalypt woodlands. Along creeks and streams in reeds and
- Status In Wild: Declining in
its natural range and becoming rare in many areas. Some of the
populations are critically endangered. The nominate sub-species N.
r. ruficauda may be close to extinct in the wild.
- Status In (Australian) Captivity:
- Age To Sexual Maturity: 9 - 12 months.
Hens may lay at 9 months but better long term success can usually be
achieved if the hens are about 12 months of age when they commence
- Adult plumage: attained at about 6
- Lifespan (estimate): approx. 7 - 8
- Best breeding years (estimate): 12 months to 5 years.
- Sexing: Monomorphic
- Mutations: Yes, Many.
- Availability: Pet shops & bird
- Temperament: Good beginners bird.
Popular aviary bird and breeds well in captivity. Not aggressive to
other species and does well in a mixed species collection.
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 colour (Approx.) $50 - $60
- Description Of Adults:
- Length: Approx.120 mm (or approx 5 inches)
- Colour ("normal" colour): Refer
photo/s above if available.
- Weight: Approx. 10 gms (or approx. 1/3 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.
CONSERVATION VALUE: Star finches used to be seen in large
flocks flying free in the wild. Today the wild population of some
of the sub-species is
thought to extinct or restricted to only a few pairs. This could mean we
have a few hundred breeding pairs left in the wild!! These few
remaining breeding pairs are at the mercy of land clearing, bushfires,
predators and human interference.
In future years the Star finches we keep in the aviary will probably be
bred in increasing numbers to produce an endless
combination of colour mutations. The Gouldian finch is now bred
mainly to produce colour mutations. Few Gouldian finch breeders can honestly say they
have pairs of birds that always produce true "normal" coloured birds.
Almost all Gouldians bred in our aviaries have some colour mutation
impurities and may be of little value as a breeding stock suitable to
release back into the wild.
More value must be placed on the rarest of the Gouldian Finches....The
true pure "normal" bird.
The Star finches we have in our aviaries are most likely a mix of all
three sub-species. True sub-species would be rare in our aviaries.
With the introduction of more Star colour mutations, a true value
must be placed on the pure normal colours.
A closed metal leg ring may be necessary on each bird bred to keep
track of the genetics of each bird. The genetic background of each
bird sold should be available to the purchaser.
notes 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.
Not aggressive to other species and does well as a single pair in a
mixed species collection. Does well as a colony.
Star finches require more privacy than most finches and must be left
alone and not subject to inspections during nest building or breeding.
Star finches do well in a planted aviary of about 3 metres long (10
feet). 900mm (3 feet) wide is sufficient.
Star finches can be bred in a large cage/cabinet of about 1metre long
(3.5 feet) but the breeding results are usually less than achieved in an
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 Star finch requires a good quality finch mix, seeding grasses,
some fruits (e.g. apple) and some green leafy vegetables such as endive
or silverbeet. Live food is not essential during the
non-breeding season but is beneficial during breeding season.
Mealworms and small crickets 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.
Breeding pairs that are not fed insects
will benefit from high protein food supplements during breeding season.
A basic overview only.
- Roosting nest: No
- Nesting months: Stars
will often breed throughout the year however Spring to Autumn gives the best results.
- Nesting receptacles:
Will make their nest in shrubs, dry brush such as tea tree. May use artificial nests such as half
open nest boxes.
- Nest: Dome shaped nest
with a side entrance and made of grasses. Nest is lined
with feathers and soft fine grasses such as November grass or Swamp
grass. Nest is usually built at mid height to upper part of
- Who incubates the eggs: Hen
during the night, both share during the day.
Star finches do not tolerate nest inspections.
Nests are generally built at mid to high parts of the aviary and
difficult to inspect safely. The young can be leg rung as soon as
they leave the nest.
Parent birds may 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. Removal of dirty nests once the young have
left will make the parents build a new clean nest for the next clutch.
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 2 - 3. Eggs per nest 4 - 6. Incubation
approx 14 days. Fledge approx. 18 - 21 days.
Independent approx. another 21 - 28 days. The young may
return to the nest for about one week after fledging.
Pair bonding is strong but with care
they can be re-paired if required.
Care must be taken to ensure they do not hybridize with other species
when housed in a mixed species collection
Star finches are generally intolerant of
nest inspections. In an aviary it is generally safe to
leave the young in the same aviary as the parent birds after they become independent.
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 59 No 6 Jun 2005 Page 133-137 (Inc photo).
- A/A Vol 58 No. 11 Nov 2004 Page 254-257.
- A/A Vol 57 No 9 Sept 2003 Page 205.
- A/A Vol 57 No. 6 June 2003 Page 132-133.
- A/A Vol 56 No. 7 July 2002 Page 143-145
- A/A Vol 50 No. 9 Sept 1996 Page 206-207 (Inc photo)
- A/A Vol 46 No. 6 Jun 1992 Page 136-140 (Inc photo)
- A/A Vol 42 No. 5 May 1988 Page 111-113
- A/A Vol 40 No. 6 Jun 1986 Page 144-147
- A/A Vol 39 No. 2 Feb 1985 Page 40-41
- A/A Vol 35 No. 3 Mar 1981 Page 61-65 (Inc photo)
- A/A Vol 33 No. 9 Sept 1979 Page 153
- A/A Vol 29 No. 11 Nov 1975 Page 170-171
- A/A Vol 24 No. 12 Jan 1970 Page 12-13.
- A/A Vol 15 No. 1 Jan 1961 Page 10-12.
- A/A Vol 13 No 8 Aug 1959 Page 109-111, 122-124 (Inc colour
- A/A Vol 12 No 8 Aug 1958 Page 97-99, 110 (Inc colour plate).
- A/A Vol 11 No 11 Nov 1957 Page 160-162.
- A/A Vol 10 No 8 Aug 1956 Page 94-95.
- A/A Vol 9 No 6 Jun 1955 Page 65-66.
- A/A Vol 8 No 8 Aug 1954 Page 100.
- A/A Vol 8 No 4 Apr 1954 Page 48, 52.
- A/A Vol 6 No 1 Jan 1952 Page 10.
- A/A Vol 4 No 6 Jun 1950 Page 74.
- A/A Vol 4 No 5 May 1950 Page 58.
- A/A Vol 3 No 9 Sept 1949 Page 98 (Sexing Aust. finches).
- Australian Birdkeeper
- ABK Vol 16 Issue 12 Dec-Jan 2004 Page 675-677.
- ABK Vol 4 Issue 8. Apr-May 1991 Page 381-385
- ABK Vol 2 Issue 12. Dec-Jan 1990 Page 473-477
- ABK Vol 2 Issue 8. Apr-May 1989 Page 293-294
Top of - Star finch- Page