Natural Distribution and Habitat
Native to Africa they can be found in Ethiopia, Somalia, Senegal and Angola. They reside in arid and semi arid grasslands never far from water.
Diet for Melba finches
Seed– Its important to feed your melba finches a good quality feed mix. Be wary of some supermarket brands as they may have a low grade seed mix. If you are unsure of the seed you are using ask your local bird expert.
Sprouted seed– an important addition to the diet be sure to clean thoroughly with aviclens to remove any bacteria befor feeding your birds.
Millet sprays– a fresh millet loved by al finches there are 2 popularr varieties including pannicum and french millet.
Greens– Seeding grasses, silver beet and endive.
Vitamin supplements– This should be added to the water supply and neecessary for the health and vitality of your birds.
Live food– A very insectivorous finch be sure to supply fly pupae and meal worms with the addition of wombaroo insectivore mix.
Egg and biscuit formula– am important high protein supplement this can be fed in conjunction with the live food mix above.
Grit– feed a good quality grit mix with charcoal, crushed cuttlebone, shell, baked egg shells and lime stone.
Breeding Melba Finches
Breeding from september to march but they can breed any time of year. These birds will nest in a variety of places including wicker cane nests, half open finch nesting boxes and in dense shrubs against the aviary wall. Nesting material must be supplied in the form of swamp grass and white feathers to line the inside of the nest.
The hen will lay around 5 white eggs with an incubation period of 13 days. Both birds will incubate the eggs and feed the chicks and it will take 3 weeks or more for the chicks to fledge with a further 3 or 4 weeks with the parents continuing to feed the young as they learn to crack seed on their own.
Especially important to feed these birds a plentiful supply of life food when they are breeding.
Sexing Melba Finches
Adult birds can be sexed easily as the male has red on top and below the beak when the hen has only grey.