RFI:Blue-faced Parrot Finch-plumage enquiry.

To: Del Richards <>
Subject: RFI:Blue-faced Parrot Finch-plumage enquiry.
From: Mike Owen <>
Date: Thu, 04 Nov 2004 22:30:33 +1000
Del Richards wrote:

On 10th August 2001 an immature Parrot finch died after hitting a plate glass window locally. In due course it was forwarded to Canberra for DNA testing in order to determine that if it was a different race to those present in the Pacific and PNG area. As is our typical experience we received no feed back on the results of our initiative and effort. However my point is anybody with experince with avairy birds able to point out at what age this species attains full adult plumage?

They are generally considered fully coloured at around 12 months, although by 6 to 8 months it is usually possible to begin to differentiate between sexes - especially from the same clutch. Interestingly, it is not that unusual for them to begin breeding before they are fully coloured.

It is a pity that nothing came of the hoped for DNA testing - aviculturalists have long claimed that the variety kept in Australian aviaries is not the Australian subspecies but one from the Pacific islands. This is based on the aviary Blue-face Parrot finches being noticeably brighter in their body colour than the wild Australian ones.

Also it would be remarkably difficult to set out to trap the Australian birds in significant numbers, and so it is hard to see how Australian birds could have accounted for the large numbers kept in aviculture. Much more likely that the aviary birds have bred from significant numbers imported 50 years or more ago, when importation of such birds was legal and uncontrolled.

DNA work would possibly help to settle the argument.


Sunshine Coast

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