|Common Name||Cutthroat Finch|
|Latin Name||Amadina Fasciata|
|Average Lifespan||12 Years|
|Average Length||5 Inches|
|Average Weight||17 Grams|
Noise Level & Vocalization
The cock sings a low-pitched, bubbling warble.
Forehead, crown and nape are pale sandy brown with a hint of pink, most feathers showing black bars towards their tip, the back is similarly coloured, but with the barring becoming more v-shaped. The face and throat are creamy white, with a broad band of red across the lower throat and extending up the side of the face, behind the eyes. This band is, of course, what gives the bird its common name. The breast is creamy white, shading to fawn lower down and on the underparts. There is a chestnut patch on the belly.
The female is similar to the male but without the red band or in most cases the chestnut on the belly Juveniles are paler versions of the adult including the red band on the male
Cut Throat Finches are not a community flock bird. They will pick on other birds in a small mixed aviary. If they are going to be housed with other finches Java Sparrows would be a good bet but you will need the largest flight cage possible.
Fresh seed, pellets & live food (mealworms, termites, ant pupae), millet, green food, egg food, some fruit (oranges, pears, apples).
In the wild the Cut-throat feeds mainly on grass and millet seeds, with some insects - especially termites. As with most species covered by the WFS, live food is appreciated when feeding its young, although it is said to be one of the few among our species that will raise fledglings successfully on seed and eggfood. Feeding could therefore consist of the usual foreign finch seed mixture with other seeds added for variety, and certainly seeding grasses and other weeds/wild plants will be gladly accepted.
Due to their aggressive and interfering nature while breeding, Cut-throats should not be housed with smaller birds such as waxbills while breeding. Cut-throats have been known to investigate the nests of less-bold species and throw out their eggs and young in order to commandeer the nest, though they tend to remain peaceful towards other cut-throats even while breeding (if a spacious enough enclosure is provided). In a nonbreeding aviary, Cut-throats may be peaceful inhabitants, but if they show signs of aggression, they may need to be separated from the more passive species. Cut-throats are prone to induced melanism if they are not housed adequately. To avoid this plumage problem, make sure to provide your birds with adequate lighting and a quality diet. If housed in small enclosures, Cut-throats have a tendency to become lethargic and obese; keeping Cut-throat finches in a spacious, well-planted aviary is advised. Hens of this species also tend to suffer from egg binding; therefore, providing a constant source of calcium and a balanced diet is important, and breeding should be limited to warmer weather.
|Age of Maturity||1 Year|
|Average Clutch Size||3 - 6 Eggs|
|Nest Box||Wicker or Plastic Cup Nest|
|Breeding Life||3 Years|
Very undemanding in choice of nest site and will often use an old nest or, as mentioned earlier, one that it has emptied of its rightful occupants. The nest will usually be lined with feathers
Pairs may breed successfully in either a cage or an aviary and can even be bred in colony fashion. A male will court a female by singing to her while displaying with fluffed underparts and erect head feathers, turning his head from side to side and bobbing his body up and down. An interested hen will solicit copulation by quivering her tail. They may accept a covered nest box and use coarse nesting materials (grass stems, bast, millet stems, shredded paper, coconut fiber) and feathers for the construction of the nest. Wild birds build their nests in bushes, trees, or tree hollows using grass stalks and feathers for lining; they may also accept abandoned weavers' nests or commandeer nests of other species. Provide hens with a constant source of calcium and a balanced diet to help prevent egg binding, and only attempt to breed mature birds during warmer weather. Both sexes will take turns incubating the eggs, and both birds will roost in the nest at night. Live food should be provided to breeding birds for chick-rearing purposes. Some pairs are prone to abandoning their eggs or nestlings in captivity. In an effort to avoid this problem, provide a wide variety of nesting options, materials, and rearing foods (including egg food, green food, and soaked seed) to breeding pairs and avoid nest checks. Limit breeding pairs to two clutches per year.
Cut-throats are known to be aggressive to other birds (even larger ones), especially in the breeding season. They will spoil the nests of other birds if kept in a mixed community and often throw out the eggs and young.