. Cuban finch
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- Scientific Name: Tiaris canora
- Common Name/s: CUBAN FINCH,
CUBAN GRASSQUIT, CUBAN MELODIOUS GRASSQUIT.
- Sub Species in country / area of origin: None
- Origin / Distribution: Cuba
and nearby islands
- Habitat In Wild:
Grasslands, open woodlands and farmlands.
- Status In Wild: ?
- Status In (Australian) Captivity:
- Age To Sexual Maturity: about 4
months. Hens should be about 10 - 12 months of age before they are
allowed to breed.
- Adult plumage: attained at about 3
- Best breeding years (estimate):
2nd - 5th
- Lifespan (estimate): About 7
- Sexing: Monomorphic
- Mutations: None established
- Availability: Bird dealers and some
- Temperament: Popular bird. Active bird in an aviary. Can be aggressive and
capable of killing other Cuban finches. Cubans can be
aggressive to birds with yellow in the plumage.
- Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: -
Normal colour $80
- Description Of Adults:
- Length: Approx. 90 - 100 mm (or about 3.5 - 4 inches)
- Colour ("normal" colour): Refer
photo/s above if available.
- Weight: Approx. 8 gms (or about 1/3 oz)
notes on "Finches - Non Australian" web page
and use in conjunction with details
outlined on this page.
Level Of Knowledge Required:
Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist Breeders Only.
Government Regulations &
By-Laws: Refer to "Government Laws"
Click on "Housing birds"
web page for general details on the housing
of Non Australian Finches or read on for specific details for this finch.
Can be aggressive and capable of killing other Cuban finches.
Best housed as one pair of Cuban finches in an aviary of their own or as
one pair in a mixed species collection, per aviary. Young should be
removed when they become independent to avoid possible aggression from a
parent. Aggressive cock birds may fight through the wire if housed
in side by side aviaries. Double wired walls will minimize
injuries but not the aggression. Moving birds out of sight of other
pairs is generally best if you have an aggressive strain of birds.
The Cuban finch may be housed in a large cage, but for best results
the birds require an aviary. A planted aviary is ideal. A 2 metre (7
aviary will allow Cuban finches to display well and maintain their
active lifestyle. A colony breeding will only work if the aviary is
Diet / Feeding: Click on "Feeding birds"
web page for general details on the
nutrition of Non Australian Finches or read on for specific details for this
The Cuban finch requires a good quality finch seed mix, seeding grasses
and some fruits (e.g. apple and orange) and green leafy vegetables such
as silverbeet, cos lettuce, broccoli and endive. Live food is not essential but is
beneficial especially at breeding season. Small mealworms are ideal.
Sprouted or soaked seed if available. Seeding grasses can be offered year round.
Basic seed mix should include Canary
seed, White French Millet, Japanese Millet, and Yellow and Red Panicum.
A basic overview only.
- Roosting nest: No
- Nesting months: May breed all
year round if conditions are suitable. It is not good practice to
allow the birds to lay or breed during the winter months.
- Nesting receptacles: Both
parent birds will build a dome shaped nest in a shrub or dry brush. Equally it will
build a nest in a wide variety of artificial nests. The nests
are fairly large and some are about 250 - 300mm long.
- Nest: Made from a
variety of materials including grasses. November grass, Swamp grass and Pampas
grass are good. Nest is lined
with feathers and soft materials. Usually built at mid level
i.e. about 1 - 2 metre height. The nest entrance is in the lower
portion of the nest and access to the nest interior is in an upwards
- Who incubates the eggs:
Cubans may reuse the nest for subsequent
More details on finch nests
and a selection of finch nest photos
can be located on the "nests", "finch nests"
and "finch nest photos"
web pages. Click on "Up" then "nests" then
"finch nests" and "finch nests photos" in
the navigation bars.
Egg Colour Greenish-white with
reddish-brown spots. Clutch/s
per year 3 or more. Eggs per nest 2 - 4. Incubation
approx. 12 - 14 days. Fledge approx. 14 - 21 days.
Independent approx. another 3 - 4 weeks.
Hens should be about 10 - 12 months of age before they are allowed to
breed. Allowing the hens to fully mature will extend their breeding life
and maximize their abilities to successfully raise each clutch of eggs
Both parents feed the young. Generally make good parents but the
young should be removed as soon as they become independent to avoid the
possibility of aggression from the parent birds. Hens are quick to
recommence nesting. The cock bird will continue to feed the young
if the hen starts another clutch. If the fully independent young
are left in the same aviary as the parent birds, the adult cock bird is
often aggressive to any young males as soon as the young male/s starts
to develop adult plumage. The adult aggression may result in the death
of the young bird. The removal of the young males to another cage or
aviary is the only safe option.
Hens are often light sitters and may leave the nest if disturbed. Nest inspection is difficult and the
birds tend to be intolerant of nest inspection. Young birds can be leg
rung as soon as they leave the nest.
The young sometimes leave the nest before they are fully feathered.
Pair bonding of Cuban finches is strong.
Artificial incubation, hand rearing or fostering will not be
covered on this web site. It is too complex and diverse in nature to be
attempted here. Refer "Specific References" as listed below and
"General References" listings.
Refer "Avian Health Issues"
web page for information and references.
- Worming and parasite control and Quarantine
requirements of new birds or sick birds are considered to
require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on this web
site. Refer above option - "Avian Health Issues"
- Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace. Keep
updating your knowledge and skills.
Refer to references listed on "Book
References" web page.
- Australian Aviculture
- A/A Vol 60 No 3 Mar 2006 Page 49-50 (Venezuela).
- A/A Vol 60 No. 1 Jan 2006 Page 1-3 (Inc cover photo).
- A/A Vol 52 No. 2 Feb 1998 Page 31-34
- A/A Vol 49 No. 3 Mar 1995 Page 63-67 (Inc photo)
- A/A Vol 45 No. 6 Jun 1991 Page 131-133
- A/A Vol 42 No. 2 Feb 1988 Page 38-41
- A/A Vol 40 No. 10 Oct 1986 Page 235-236
- A/A Vol 34 No. 10 Oct 1980 Page 196-200 (Inc photo)
- A/A Vol 31 No. 4 Apr 1977 Page 47-48
- A/A Vol 28 No. 8 Aug 1974 Page 124-127
- A/A Vol 26 No. 3 Mar 1972 Page 43-45
- A/A Vol 24 No. 5 May 1970 Page 68-70.
- A/A Vol 24 No. 12 Dec 1970 Page 182.
- A/A Vol 17 No 3 Mar 1963 Page 42-43.
- A/A Vol 16 No 6 Jun 1962 Page 86.
- A/A Vol 14 No 7 Jul 1960 Page 93-94.
- A/A Vol 14 No 3 Mar 1960 Page 38.
- A/A Vol 12 No 10 Oct 1958 Page 125-126.
- A/A Vol 11 No 6 Jun 1957 Page 81-82.
- A/A Vol 4 No 11 Nov 1950 Page 130-131.
- A/A Vol 3 No 6 Jun 1949 Page 63-64.
- A/A Vol 2 No 8 Aug 1948 Page 61-62.
- The Bulletin No 19, May 1944 Page 2 - 4 (Olive finch).
- Australian Birdkeeper
- ABK Vol 2 Issue 10. Aug-Sept 1989 Page 367-368
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