The Longtail Finch
Suitability: These guys are a member of the Grassfinch family and are renowned for their friendly nature and liveliness in the aviary – they are also known as Blackhearts. However, they can tend to dominate weaker species and are best kept as single pairs in the mixed collection or as a small colony by themselves. They will often take over prime nesting spots and aren’t fussy where they steal their nesting materials from! A standard finch mix, such as Golden Cobb, will be readily taken and they are fairly indifferent to livefood but the extra protein is relished by some pairs. However, livefood is not as critical as for some finches.
Do well on half-ripe green feed and relish the addition of most green feed to their diet especially when breeding.
This species comes in two “basic” Races – the yellow billed form and the red billed or Hecks Longtail. Both are available in good numbers.
Breeding: Construct their own neston most occasions in the Tea-tree and will use any type of nest box. White and Emu feathers are relished. Like to use some greens grass strips for the external shell of the nest. Will use most types of nesting materials so supply plenty to avoid them scavenging other bird’s nests!
If you are lucky you may even get a male that sings in captivity – very rare though!
Recommended: These finchessuit both the beginner and the long-timer! Their nature and displays are such that they endear themselves to the finch keeper. Just remember their tendency to be disruptive if their numbers are allowed to build up.
When moved these finches tend to scour and this can be remedied by giving them electrolyte mixes in the water prior to moving them. A good worming regime is also recommended.
Mutations: These guys are available in Fawn, White and Pied – beware that many pied birds tend to be that way more from age than genetics!!
If you can I suggest you get your mutation Longtails from non-fostered stock.
Permit: A permit is required to keep these finches in NSW.