STAR FINCH ( NEOCHMIA RUFICAUDA)
The cock star is quite a handsome bird, mainly olive-green in colour with yellowish-white underparts, bright red on the forehead, cheeks, throat and face, with a red beak and orange legs and feet.It has white spotting on the red throat and the belly feathers have larger white spots at their ends.The tail is dull carmine with white spots on part of the tail. The hen has less red than the cock bird and also is less heavily spotted on the throat.
The amount of red on the head varies, a bird with maximum extent of red being the most desirable, and an aim of star finch breeders.
Star finches are good avairy birds,reasonably hardy and fairly easy to breed. They are not aggressive and live peacefully and happily with other birds their size in a communal avairy.A well planted avairy suits them best as they prefer moving around above ground level.They also take readily to cage breeding.
There is one strange oddity in the hen star finch has a display where it flies around the cock with a long piece of grass in her beak. I n most other species it is the cock bird which does this. This only occurs during the initial introduction of the birds, afterwards the cock bird does all the carrying during courtship which also involves the usual puffing up of feathers and bobbing up and down. A strong bond is formed by the pair and they stay together all the time.
The prefered nest varies, some like open nest boxes some baskets, and some prefer to build there own nests using long grasses and coconut fibre.The hen builds the nest with the cock carrying the materials to her. The clutch is between 3 to 6 eggs and the incubation period is around 14 days, both parents share the sitting and they defend the nest site strongly. The young fledge at around 21 days old and when independant should be removed from the parents who will often go down to lay again. Three, or four clutches are usual.The star finch is a good choice for any breeder
YELLOW STAR FINCH