An ever busy joyful little bird that loves to sing a pleasant melodious song . It is one of the few finches with a true song. The female will also sing but with a little less fervor.
Description: 4 inches long. When not in season, male and female look alike with brown backs, tiny white spots on the wings and bright red beaks. When the male adopts his seasonal change of plumage, he becomes russet colored with scarlet head, throat, breast and rump. Wings are covered with numerous white spots. The first adult moult will be splotchy with reds, oranges, whites and browns showing through here and there. Only after the male is 2 years of age will he attain his true fiery adult coloring.
Country of Origin: India, Pakistan, South East Asia.
Diet: Standard finch mix with mixed millets and canary grass. Greens and small pieces of fruit and sprouted seeds. Live food is desirable but not essential for health if other forms of protein are given.
Housing: 70 degrees. At least a 2 foot wide cage or preferably a 6 foot flight cage in a mixed aviary of passive finch. Prefer a sleeping nest at night.
Breeding: Strawberries prefer the smaller 4 inch wicker baskets and nesting materials such as sisal, grasses, coco fibre and white feathers. They particularly love a hanging nest with natural cover from plants around the doorway. The male builds the nest and the hen will incubate about 12 days with the male providing short periods of relief. The rest of the time, he busies himself defending his nest from all intruders. Small live food is enjoyed but in addition they must have other forms of high protein such as egg food which is essential for the young to thrive.
Recommendation: Nesting males will sometimes give chase to all nearby inhabitants of the territory. If Strawberries are in a mixed collection, it is imperative that the birds be housed in a large flight where there are hiding places. I have not had any problem with chasing or bullying to date, however, my strawberries are in 6x6 foot flights with no more than 4 other pairs of small finch and plenty of vines and artificial greenery for privacy.