Masked Grass Finch
The Masked Grass Finch, also known as the Hooded Grass Finch or Black-hooded Finch, is a small passerine bird species that are native to South America. It is named for its distinctive black mask-like marking that covers its face and head.
Masked Grass Finches are typically found in open grasslands and savannas, where they feed on a variety of seeds, grasses, and insects. They are social birds and are often seen in flocks, but they can also be found in pairs during the breeding season.
In captivity, Masked Grass Finches are popular pets due to their striking appearance and active personalities. They require a spacious aviary with plenty of room to fly and exercise, as well as perches, toys, and other forms of stimulation. They also need a balanced diet that includes a variety of seeds, fruits, and vegetables, as well as live insects.
Masked Grass Finches are known for their vocalizations, which consist of a variety of chirps and whistles. They are also active and playful birds, and they enjoy playing with toys and other objects in their environment. They can be kept in mixed-species aviaries with other small birds, but it is important to ensure that they are housed with compatible species that share their gentle nature.
Scientific Name: Poephila personal
This attractive grass finch spends a great deal of time on the ground and is sometimes a little less hardy than other species of grass finch. However, it thrives well if provided with suitable accommodation with protection against dampness and cold. Although not aggressive, except in the breeding season, this bird tends to disturb its aviary companions with frequent alarm calls for no particular reason. It is not a good bird to exhibit, since it sits on the cage floor too frequently. Description:
Size: 13 cm (5 in)
Body: cream-grey. Wings: beige. Tail, mask, and upper thighs: black. Beak: yellow.
Very similar but a little paler in color with a slightly smaller mask. The hen’s beak is also a paler yellow. Behavior is a more reliable indication of the sex of the bird, but the cock must be watched carefully to spot the ruffling of his throat feathers and to hear his song.
Plain canary seed, mixed millet, and finch tonic seed form the basic diet. Charcoal should always be available, for without this breeding is not attempted. Grit and cuttlefish bone are also necessary.
Standard half-open nest boxes should be provided at low levels. If several pairs are kept, they should be allowed plenty of space between nesting sites. Once the hen has accepted a nest box, it is 21 days until the first egg is laid. Progress is far slower than that of other grass finches. The nest building is a lengthy affair with both parents taking part in lining the nest with moss and feathers. The normal clutch is five eggs, with cock and hen sharing the incubation and rearing of the chicks. Masked Grass finches tend to rear their young on one solitary type of food. Some parents feed only sprouted seeds, others only standard canary-rearing food mixed with a hard-boiled egg or brown bread and milk. So seek out live food. Watch carefully to learn their preference and always provide larger amounts of the favored dish until the young are independent. The juvenile molt commences when the chicks are nine weeks old. This specie is sometimes rather aggressive during the breeding season.
Masked Grass finches have hybridized on many occasions with the Longhaired, Parson Finch, Zebra Finch, Birchen, Cherry Finch, and Chestnut-Breasted Finch.
If difficulties occur in rearing young Masked Grass finches, Bengalese may be mused as foster parents.
To promote proper breeding and nesting you may offer the birds with a nest box with a hole for free passing. A half-open box would be an ideal one. You may serve the pair with coconut fibers for forming the base while the burlap or soft feathers for lining the nest. You are recommended to leave these birds alone while they are sitting on the eggs as they tend of abandoning their eggs or chicks if disturbed. Place the young birds with another masked grass finch as soon as they learn to eat on their own.
The Masked grass finch is the sub-specie of white-eared masked grass finch.
See more: Turquoise Grass Parakeet