Heck Grass Finch
Origins: North West Australia
Two forms of this beautiful bird exist the Long-Tailed Grass finch, which sports a yellow beak, and the Heck’s Grass finch, which has a coral beak. A bird with an orange beak is a cross or hybrid of the two types.
This bird can be aggressive and is best kept with Diamond Sparrows and Zebra Finches.
Size: 18 cm (7 in)
Head: silver. Body and wings: lawns. Belly: paler fawn. Oval bib on the throat and upper breast: black. Eye stripe: black. Thighs: black and white.Tail: black. Beak: yellow, coral, or orange as explained above.
Similar, but often has a smaller black bib. This bird is quite difficult to have sex with my appearance.
Diet: (Seed eater)
Millet sprays and seeding grasses are eagerly consumed. Greenwoods are accepted by some of these species but ignored by others.
Although a fairly hardy species, it will fare better in cold weather if provided with some heat.
The cock bird displays this by ruffling his bib whilst singing and performing a hopping jig before his intended mate.
This bird prefers to choose his mate for breeding. Pair bonding between cocks and hens of this species is often for life and a compatible pair breeds well if conditions are suitable. A colony may be kept with the other recommended species so that there is plenty of choice for partner selection.
Breeding should not be contemplated before the pairs are a year old. As the hen is susceptible to egg binding even when mature, it is advisable to add cod liver oil to her seed once a week to prevent this problem.
Nest boxes and baskets should be placed in the aviary in medium-height bushes giving a variety of choices.
A little privacy will encourage the birds to commence nesting preparations. Some cover should be provided, with easy access. The nest will usually be lined with soft grasses, moss, and feathers, so always provide plenty of nesting materials so that they will not fight over possession of officered items.
Four to six white eggs are laid and incubation is shared by cock and hen with both parents roosting in the nest at night. The incubation period lasts 17 days. Nest inspection is not usually re-sent ed, but should be kept to a minimum. The young chicks are fed by their parents for 21 to 23 days.
During the rearing period, sprouted seeds and extra millet sprays should be given. Bread and milk may also be fed,
but take care not to allow the milk to sour. Soft-rearing food mixed with hard-boiled eggs is eagerly taken, and some birds also enjoy chopped mealworms. The young should be independent aft era further month and should be separated from their parents before further breeding. If birds are housed indoors, take the parents from the quarters and leave the young in the surroundings that they know. Some chicks have been known to refuse food and die after having been moved. If housed out of doors, it is easier to partition off part of the flight while further broods are raised.
The parents should not be allowed to rear more than three broods a year. As they attempt to breed all year round, cocks and hens should be separated after the third round. Split ring the progeny for future identification.
See more: Japanese Hawfinch