|Common Name||Cherry-Headed, Plum-Headed Finch|
|Latin Name||Neochmia modesta|
|Average Lifespan||7 - 10 Years|
|Average Length||4.5 Inches|
|Average Weight||12 Grams|
Noise Level & Vocalization
It is a robust bird, with a stocky, strong beak and a long tail. It measures some 15 cm long. The scientific name emphasizes the absence of the flamboyant livery typical of many Australian species, as the brown tones predominate in the plumage of this bird; the upper part of the body (nape, back, wings and tail) is in fact a deep brown color, with a tendency to darken on the tail, while the ventral area (cheeks, throat, chest, abdomen and hips) is beige color that turns towards white in the central part of the belly and on the undertail. The bird distinguishes for its fine zebra like colouring, which is white and present on the eyebrows, neck, chest, hips and tail, while on the remiges are two rows of white spots. The beak is black, the legs are flesh-colored and the eyes are dark brown. In the male there are also a rust colored bib and a frontal stain of the same color (often with a brighter color tending to purple red), which in the female are reduced or absent, in any case with a predominance of brown on red; they also have less dense stripes.
The female is similar to the male but lacks the male's black chin spot.
Non-aggressive in a mixed finch collection. Hardy bird and breeds well. They will breed all year round if conditions are suitable and a compatible pair would be good for a beginner / intermediate level bird-keeper. They are happy in a small aviary or a large planted aviary. Can be bred as a colony. One pair can be bred in a large canary style cage.
In the wild, the Plum-headed finch will forage and feed on or near ground level.
Good quality finch mix, seeding grasses, and some leafy green vegetables. Live food is beneficial but not essential during the breeding season. The best breeding results are generally obtained from the pairs that feed live foods to the young. Mealworms, small commercial cockroaches, and small crickets can be offered. Sprouted or soaked seed if available. Very few Plum-headed finches show much interest in consuming fruit.
Basic seed mix should include Canary seed, White French Millet, Japanese Millet, and Yellow and Red Panicum.
The Plum headed finch prefers an aviary with shrubs and tall growing grasses. Care has to be taken if too many are kept in a planted aviary as they can defoliate the shrubs. For birds that are very hard on a planted aviary, they can be placed in an aviary that has bundles of dry brush such as tea tree attached to a wall fixture in which to build their nest.
They are easy to house as they will breed in a large canary style cage/cabinet but an outdoor aviary is preferred.
A planted, fully roofed aviary is ideal.
|Age of Maturity||1 Year|
|Breeding Aviculture||Somewhat Common|
|Average Clutch Size||4 - 6 Eggs|
Dome-shaped nest made of dry and green grasses and has a side entrance. The nest does not have a tunnel entrance. The nest is lined with feathers and soft fine grasses. The nest is small in comparison compared to other finches.
They are generally intolerant of nest inspections. They nest low to the ground.
Parents usually build a new nest for each new clutch. Adequate spare nest receptacles must be available for pairs nesting in artificial nests before the current clutch leave the nest. Adequate new nest material must be available for the birds to build a new nest for the next clutch.
Stable - Least Concern