Tri coloured Parrotfinch
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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. Tri coloured parrotfinch
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  • Scientific Name:  Erythrura tricolor
  • Sub Species in country / area of origin:  None
  • Origin / Distribution:  Island of Tanimbar and surrounding areas (Indonesia).
  • Habitat In Wild:  Tropical islands.  Grasslands and the verges of forests and uses farmlands. 
  • Status In Wild:  ?
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity:  Generally specialist breeders only.
  • Age To Sexual Maturity:  approx. 6 months.
  • Adult plumage: attained at about 4 - 6 months  
  • Best breeding years (estimate):  12 months to about 4th year.
  • Lifespan (estimate):  approx. 6 - 8 years
  • Sexing:  Monomorphic / Dimorphic
  • Mutations:  Yes
  • Availability:  Specialist breeders and possibly some bird dealers.
  • Temperament:  Best kept as single pairs.  Commonly bred indoors in a canary style cage.  Should not be housed with other Parrotfinches due to the possibility of hybridization.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $400 - $500.  There are more cock birds available than hens.  Spare cock birds have little monetary value.
  • Description Of Adults:
  1. Length: Approx. 100 mm (or approx. 4 inches)
  2. Colour ("normal" colour): Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Approx. 8 - 9 gms (or approx. 1/3 oz)
Aviary Notes:

Read notes 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" web 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.

Tri coloured finches are commonly bred indoors in cabinets (canary style cages).  When bred indoors, the temperature and lighting can be regulated to optimize their natural wild environment and hopefully maximize the breeding results.  Optimal environment should also help keep the birds in top condition and health.  They can be kept in an outdoor aviary.  They like tall grasses, small bamboo plants and shrubs in their aviary.

Although they can be kept with other finches, only one pair of  Tri coloured finches should be housed per aviary.  This should minimize the chances of aggression or injury occurring.

These birds are shy birds and like an area to hide or escape attention from a mate.  In a cage a panel can be placed on the front to give the birds some privacy.

They should not be housed with other species of Parrotfinches.  This will minimize the risk of hybridizing.

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, some fruits (e.g. apple) and some leafy green vegetables.  Live food is not essential during the year but is beneficial during breeding season.  Medium size 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.

Nesting:  A basic overview only.

  • Roosting nest: Yes / No
  • Nesting months:  May breed year round if conditions are suitable but Spring to Autumn gives the best results.
  • 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.  In a breeding cage they will use a half open wooden nest box.
  • Nest:  Both parents build a dome shaped nest with a side entrance.  The nest is made from grasses, coconut fibre and other suitable soft materials.  Nest is lined with feathers and soft fine grasses. Swamp and November grass is ideal.
  • Who incubates the eggs: Hen / cock / both share.

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.

Nest inspections should be kept to an minimum.

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 2 - 3.  Eggs per nest 3 - 5.  Incubation approx. 14 - 15 days.  Fledge approx. 21 days.  Independent approx. another 3 - 5 weeks. Both parents feed the young.

Birds can be "paired-up" at about 6 months of age and allowed to commence breeding at about 12 months of age.  Pair bonding is not strong.  Spare cock birds should not be kept with breeding pairs.  Like most finch species, the Black throated finch hen should be allowed to fully mature and not be allowed to breed till about 12 months of age.  More than 3 nests per year may be detrimental to the long-term breeding health of the hen.

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

To maximize production, the eggs can be removed and placed under Bengalese Finches and allow the hens to lay another clutch.  This was common practise when these finches were held in low numbers.  When raised by Bengalese they are usually successfully raised without live food.  If they are fostered under Bengalese, be sure to remove the young as soon as they have become fully independent and place them with their own species.

If Bengalese are to be used as foster parents to raise birds that have live foods as a dietary requirement, add live food to the foster parent birds and monitor which birds feed the live food to the baby birds.  Keep an accurate record of the birds that feed the best quantities of the live food to the babies.  Use these birds when one has to foster birds that have live foods as a significant portion of their preferred diet.  "Pairs" of two male Bengalese have been used successfully to raise foster birds.

Bengalese and Tri coloured Parrotfinch eggs are the same colour and size, so don't get them mixed up.

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 54 No. 6 Jun 2000 Page 130-134 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol 31 No. 12 Dec 1977 Page 177-181 (Inc photos) (4 Parrotfinches)
  • A/A Vol 20 No 3 Mar 1966 Page 42, 44 (Inc colour plate).
  • A/A Vol  6 No 12 Dec 1952 Page 137-138.
  • Australian Birdkeeper
  • ABK Vol 14 Issue 9. Jun-Jul 2001 Page 520-521.
  • ABK Vol  5 Issue 6. Dec-Jan 1993 Page 279-281

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