Red-throated Parrotfinches

Red-throated Parrotfinches (Erythrura psittacea)

The Red-throated Parrotfinches, Erythrura psittacea, is a finch found in New Caledonia. It inhabits subtropical or tropical lowland moist forest and shrubland habitats. This parrotfinch has adapted well to living on farmlands and in urban areas.

This species is common in its natural habitat and popular in captivity, where several color mutations have been bred.

Its lifespan is about 7 years.

Red-throated Parrotfinches Standing on a Rocks
Red-throated Parrotfinches Standing on a Rocks


The plumage is mainly green, with a red head and throat, and red tail feathers.

The young are all green. The adult plumage is attained when they are abou 9 to 12 months adult.

Call / Vocalization:

It has high-pitched chee-chee voice and a clicking sound.

Personality / Behavior:

These finches love water. One can frequently see them jump in and out of their bathing dishes. Bathing will take place a couple of times a day, summer or winter – and are an important part of their daily grooming.

Another characteristic of the parrotfinches is their almost semi-nocturnal nature. They are always last to roost at night, and can be seen still on the food station or darting around the aviary after dark. They are also the first to stir in the morning.

Red-throated Parrotfinches on a Woods
Red-throated Parrotfinches on a Woods


Aviary Requirements:

The Red faced Parrot finch is generally suitable for mixed collection aviary and can be bred in a colony.

This breed is totally vivacious, very energetic, and always on the move. They are very gentle, which makes them an ideal choice for a mixed, large and well-planted aviary. They need plenty of flight space. A good aviary dimension would be 8ft. long x 7ft. wide. However, an aviary can never be too big for these active finches.

The two factors that seem to be very important for this finch species is the provision of a spacious aviary (more important than with other parrotfinch species) – some sub-species may also require figs as part of their daily diet.

This parrotfinch species has been successfully bred in captivity and the incubation period and the independence age of the young is identical to that of the other members of the red-headed family. The exception being that the young birds only obtain their full color at 20 months – while other parrotfinches obtain it at or before 12 months of age.

This tropical species needs to be protected from the elements. During the winter months, they need to have access to a heated shelter. The outside flight needs to have some draft protection. One way would be to install slotted tracking on the sides of the aviary that will allow you to slide in either Perspex or Polycarb sheets during the winter months to keep out chilly winds and help keep some heat in. Alternatively, such panels can be hung up along the sides – as long as they are firmly installed.

It is recommended to provide some cover within the aviary, which can be achieved by planting bushes suitable to your area, or alternatively putting up appropriate brush, which even when dry seems to provide cover adequate for their needs.

Over time the breed has adapted well to cooler climates. However, when purchasing birds from a breeder find out whether the breeder uses artificial heating sources. It takes time for birds to acclimatize to your local temperature and conditions.

The pair bonding of the adult birds is very strong, and in the aviary they are seldom seen apart. However, should either one die, a new partner should be introduced as soon as possible.

It is always advisable to have more hens in your colony than male birds, as it minimizes the potential conflict between males. Having said all that, give them food, water, and nesting material, and they are likely to thrive and breed. If within your aviary, you have the facility to grow a seeding grass, then you are guaranteeing yourself a happy flock of parrot finches.

Red-throated Parrotfinches on Branch
Red-throated Parrotfinches on Branch


Within their natural range, the breeding season usually starts in September with the building of a big nest of grasseshigh in the trees. In captivity the breeding season will be dictated by the climate and length of the days.

They usually produce two clutches in a season that consists of of 3-4 eggs that are incubated for about for 14 days.


In their natural habitat, they eat mainly a wide range of fruits. Some sub-species may also require figs as part of their daily diet.

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