An undistinguished bird with brown on the back, white streaked with brown underneath, a grey beak, and a plum-coloured patch on top of the head over the eye and a darker plum-coloured small bib on the chin under the beak. The hen is similar but lacks the bib so is easily identified. The name cherry finch is misleading as one thinks of cherries as red whereas it is the dark morella cherry which is meant.
It is also called more accurately plum- headed finch but cherry finch has become the universal name in the uk.
A slightly delicate bird, better suited to the birdroom rather than the avairy. It is not aggresive, however, mixes well with other peaceful birds, but should not be allowed access to mealworms in quantity, as they will over- indulge with often fatal results. They are ready breeders, the clutch being 3 to 6 eggs, but are light sitters and easily desert the nest if disturbed, The chicks fledge at 19 to 22 days old but return to the nest at night with the parents to roost. They should be removed as soon as independant or there presence will stopp the parents going down again.
It is best to remove the nesting material when they are rearing the young as they might desert them to begin to nest again.