. Tri coloured parrotfinch
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- Scientific Name: Erythrura tricolor
- Common Name/s: TRI
COLOURED PARROTFINCH, TANIMBAR PARROTFINCH, TRI COLORED
PARROTFINCH, THREE COLOURED PARROTFINCH.
- Sub Species in country / area of origin:
- Origin / Distribution: Island
of Tanimbar and surrounding areas (Indonesia).
- Habitat In Wild: Tropical
islands. Grasslands and the verges of forests and uses
- Status In Wild: ?
- Status In (Australian) Captivity:
Generally specialist breeders only.
- Age To Sexual Maturity: approx. 6
- Adult plumage: attained at about 4
- Best breeding years (estimate):
12 months to about 4th year.
- Lifespan (estimate): approx. 6 - 8
- Sexing: Monomorphic
- 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
- Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: -
Normal colour (Approx.) $400 - $500. There are more cock birds
available than hens. Spare cock birds have little monetary
- Description Of Adults:
- Length: Approx. 100 mm (or approx. 4 inches)
- Colour ("normal" colour): Refer
photo/s above if available.
- Weight: Approx. 8 - 9 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.
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
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 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.
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
- 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
- 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
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 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
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.
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"
- Australian Aviculture
- A/A Vol 54 No. 6 Jun 2000 Page 130-134 (Inc photo)
- A/A Vol 31 No. 12 Dec 1977 Page
(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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