Behind The Feathers: Strawberry Finch

The name “strawberry” evokes images of warmth, sweetness, and a stunning crimson and speckled hue, all of which characterize the strawberry finch well. These little birds are quite simple to care for, fascinating to watch, and more engaging than some of the more popular finches.

Strawberry finches come in two varieties. The more well-known strawberry finch (Amandava amandava) is known as the red avadavat or red munia and is named from the male’s striking red breeding plumage. The green avadavat (Amandava formosa) looks like an immature strawberry.

Strawberry finches are members of the waxbill finch family. They are said to have originated in the tall grasslands, marshes, and shrubs of India, Pakistan, portions of China, and the Philippines. They wander in small groups and make nests in reeds, shrubs, or grasses in their natural environment. Unlike many other species of waxbills, the male strawberry finch’s song is clear and flute-like.

Strawberry finches are sexually dimorphic, therefore men and females may be distinguished visually. Males have rich red and white-spotted feathers during mating season, as well as dark reddish-brown heads, backs, and wings with a black tail.

Males and females appear similar outside of mating season, with brown feathering on top, darker wings, and yellow underparts. The rump and upper tail have a dark crimson color. Female strawberries have white patches on their wings. Males and females have crimson beaks, as do most waxbills.

Tips for Good Health

These busy, energetic birds need a spacious cage that is at least 30 inches long and allows them to fly. Alternatively, you might keep them in a big flight or aviary. Breeding couples should always be maintained in flight for the best chance of producing young. Choose 3/8-inch bar spacing or screening.

Provide a variety of nests and 3/8- to 3/4-inch perches or nontoxic tree branches. Most strawberry finches need regular nail trimming, however natural tree branches assist to wear down their nails. They also like planted enclosures with leafy branches, grasses, reeds, and thick shrubs for protection, socialization, and nesting.

Strawberry finches love taking baths on sometimes. Provide a 1 inch deep bath dish with 1/2 inch of water or a clip-on bathhouse intended for finches.

Every day, you must provide fresh, nutritious food and clean water. Make a finch seed mixture using white and yellow millets, as well as canary seed. Strawberry finches thrive from green foods like as chard, spinach, celery tops, kale, chickweed, and dandelion greens on a regular basis. Don’t forget about the sweets! Favorites include millet spray, sprouted canary seed, and reward sticks for finches.

Protein-rich meals, including as egg and nestling feeds, mealworms, aphids, pupae, and daphnia, should be fed, particularly during breeding season.

Cuttlebone, oyster shell, and grit with charcoal are key components of a healthy strawberry finch’s diet. They are rich in minerals and trace elements that are essential for optimum health. Grit may help with digestion. [It is widely assumed that passerines can benefit from a little grit to help the gizzard grind up food, though this is not as important for finches and canaries as it is for pigeons. —Eds.] Cuttlebone contains calcium, which is required for the bird’s beak to be strong and for females to create good eggshells and avoid egg binding.

Strawberry finches are prone to melanism, which causes a lack of radiance in their normally red plumage. The specific reason is unclear, but since this illness occurs seldom in strawberry finches housed outside, sunshine may play a role in avoiding it. To replicate natural light and the health advantages connected with it, supply full-spectrum illumination as well as a nutritious, varied food if you keep strawberry finches inside.

Some people say that strawberry finches are difficult to reproduce at first, but after they have gained expertise, they do pretty well. Following the previously mentioned health tips for breeding success — a protein-rich diet, a planted environment, a large flight, plenty of privacy, and appropriate supplementation — will ensure breeding success.

Breeding Alternatives

Strawberry finches are frequently excellent parents, making them an excellent option for new waxbill breeders. They can become aggressive when defending their nests during breeding season, so keep each pair of strawberries separate from the other pairs.

Strawberry finches will accept a wide range of nesting materials, including closed wicker baskets and half-open nest boxes. Most strawberries prefer to make their eggs in aviary bushes or in man-made nest boxes. This procedure involves both men and women. They make use of dried grasses, coconut fibers, burlap, hay, and other plant materials. They line the inside of the nest with moss.

Clutches typically contain four or five eggs, but up to seven are not uncommon. Hens incubate the eggs and raise the young with the assistance of the male. Incubation lasts about 12 days, and chicks fledge at about 3 weeks.

Strawberry finches are known to breed until they are exhausted, so clutches should be limited to three per year. The nests should then be removed to keep the pair healthy and strong.

These wonderful little finches are both attractive and entertaining. Their catchy songs make them endearing and unique. They are also charming birds who captivate their owners. Look no further than the strawberry finch for a warm, sweet, and luscious little red bird.

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