Vinaceous Fire Finch
(Lagonosticta vinacea)

 

The Vinaceous Fire Finch (Lagonosticta vinacea), sometimes referred to as the Masked Fire Finch is from south of Senegal and SW Mali, through Gambia to Guinea. It is one of the most beautiful and distinctive members of the African Fire Finch family. More common in European aviaries than here in the U.S., at 4″, it is a quiet and peaceful addition to the aviary.

Common in bushes, savannas and plains in the wild, they are found in pairs or small family groups. They often spend time on the ground searching for small seeds and insects.

Male: The forehead, crown, nape, mantle and upper back is a gray-blue. The wings are brownish black with wine-red borders.
The upper tail coverts and center tale feathers are a deep red, the under tail coverts are black. The face mask, forehead and throat is a deep black. The rest of the body is dark wine-red with little white spots on the flanks. The eyes are dark brown, with a blue-white eye-ring. The bill is steel-blue. The legs and feet are a gray-brown.

Female: The female is much duller, without the black mask. The throat and cheeks are a grayish yellow, and the back and crown are a dull wine-red.

Immature birds are like the female, but paler. They are mostly gray-brown with a little red in the borders of the wing feathers and tail feathers and the belly and under tail coverts are brownish black.

The nest is constructed from fine grass and fibers, and often lined with small feathers. Incubation of the 4 white eggs is usually eleven to thirteen days, and the young leave the nest between eighteen to twenty-one days.

Most pairs to not tolerate nest inspection, becoming very nervous and then refusing to feed their young.

A 50/50 finch seed and wild seed is ideal. They also appreciate soaked finch seed, egg food, fresh greens, spray millet and mealworms. A variety of live food should be offered when they are nesting and raising their young.

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