Cuban Finch
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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. Cuban finch
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  • Scientific Name: Tiaris canora
  • 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: Secure
  • 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 months.
  • Best breeding years (estimate):  2nd - 5th
  • Lifespan (estimate): About 7 years.
  • Sexing: Monomorphic / Dimorphic
  • Mutations: None established
  • Availability: Bird dealers and some pet shops
  • 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:
  1. Length: Approx. 90 - 100 mm (or about 3.5 - 4 inches)
  2. Colour ("normal" colour): Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Approx. 8 gms (or about 1/3 oz)

Aviary Notes:

Read 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" web page.

Housing Requirements: 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 feet) long aviary will allow Cuban finches to display well and maintain their active lifestyle. A colony breeding will only work if the aviary is large.

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 finch.

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.

Nesting: 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 direction.
  • Who incubates the eggs:  Hen

Cubans may reuse the nest for subsequent clutches.
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.

Breeding: 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 and young.

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.

Health Issues: 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" web page.
  • Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace. Keep updating your knowledge and skills.

General References: Refer to references listed on "Book References" web page.

Specific References:

  • 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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