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Strawberry Finches: A Closer Look at These Vibrantly Colored Waxbills

Mackenzie Gary

Birding

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Strawberry Finches, scientifically known as Amandava amandava but also referred to as Red Avadavat or Red Munia, are small, strikingly colored birds native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.

With their vivid plumage, unique physical characteristics, and intriguing behavior, these birds are a captivating subject of interest.

In this article, we will delve deeper into the fascinating world of Strawberry Finches, focusing on

  • their appearance,
  • dietary preferences,
  • care requirements,
  • and breeding habits.

Appearance

Strawberry Finches display remarkable sexual dimorphism, meaning that there are clear visual distinctions between males and females.

The females, or hens, exhibit a brown-gray upper body and a yellow-gray underbelly that extends to their undertail.

Both males and females sport random white spots scattered across their plumage.

They are characterized by bright red beaks, flesh-colored legs, and striking black eyes circled by a red-brown ring.

Male Strawberry Finches, during the breeding season, undergo a remarkable transformation.

They transition to a deep, bright red plumage, enhancing their attractiveness to potential mates.

Intriguingly, environmental factors can influence their appearance, and under less favorable conditions, males may even turn black.

Size

These charming birds are incredibly diminutive, typically measuring between 3 to 4 inches (9 to 10 centimeters) in length, adding to their allure.

Diet

In their natural habitat, Strawberry Finches primarily rely on a diet of grass seeds, occasionally supplementing their diet with insects like termites.

In captivity, a well-rounded diet is vital for their well-being.

Providing a small seed mix, such as Finch seed, comprising a blend of millets and seeding grasses is essential.

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While they are not highly insectivorous, incorporating live food sources like small mealworms, waxworms, and fruit fly larvae into their diet daily can be beneficial.

Fresh water, cuttlebone, and grit should always be accessible to these birds. To diversify their diet and enhance their nutritional intake, consider offering a variety of fresh greens, including

  1. lettuce,
  2. spinach,
  3. chickweed
  4. , spray millet,
  5. egg food,
  6. broccoli tops,
  7. and carrot tops regularly.

General Care

Maintaining the overall health and hygiene of Strawberry Finches requires routine nail trimming and access to daily baths.

Compatibility

Strawberry Finches tend to coexist well with other bird species in a mixed aviary setting, provided there is ample space, and other bird types outnumber the Strawberry Finches.

However, during the breeding season or when housing multiple male Strawberry Finches together, some level of aggression towards their own species may manifest.

Housing

Strawberry Finches thrive in spacious, planted aviaries with a mix of bird species.

If breeding is the objective, consider separating them into pairs within roomy flight cages.

During the winter months, additional heating may be necessary, making large indoor aviaries preferable during this season.

In contrast, they flourish and display their most vibrant colors in outdoor aviaries during the summer.

Song

Strawberry Finches stand out among waxbills as the only species known to have a true song.

The male’s song is characterized by a melody reminiscent of tiny silver bells, somewhat resembling that of a weaver, albeit with a more monotonous tone.

Singing is an exclusive trait of the males.

Breeding

Breeding Strawberry Finches can be accomplished in both cage and aviary settings.

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Typically, the male collects nesting materials, which the female receives and utilizes to construct the nest.

The average clutch size comprises 5 to 7 eggs, with an incubation period of approximately 12 to 14 days. The young Strawberry Finches fledge at around 3 weeks old, exhibiting either hen or male-like eclipse plumage, depending on their sex.

In conclusion, Strawberry Finches are captivating birds with their striking plumage and captivating behaviors.

They make wonderful additions to mixed aviaries and can thrive in both indoor and outdoor environments, provided their needs are met.

With proper care and attention, these beautiful birds can bring joy to avian enthusiasts and breeders alike.

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