Species group: Other Finches
Other name(s): Nyasa Crimson-wing Finch;
Mountain Finch; Red-faced Crimsonwing
AppearanceDetails: The Red-faced Crimson-wing Finch is a “wow” species for the expert, mostly because it's rare in captivity and needs to be bred more often before it can be considered secure in aviculture. The adult male is a spectacular bird with a vivid red eye patch on a plain olive face, as well as bright red splashes of color on the wings, back, and rump. The adult female is easy to pick out, with her duller yellow eye patch.
Weight: 15 grams
Average size: 11 - 12 centimeters
Lifespan: 5 - 7 years
Diet: If you have experience feeding waxbills, then you shouldn't struggle with providing a good diet to your Red-faced Crimson-wings. The backbone of the diet is a high quality small seed mix, fresh enough to sprout – and you should test it by sprouting regularly. These finches love the milky seeding heads of grasses, in addition to the sprouts. Sprouted or milky seeding heads of millet should be particularly well appreciated. You should also supply a finely chopped salad that includes greens, apple, carrot, and broccoli, as well as eggfood and/or a high quality finch pellet that the birds will eat.As you approach the breeding season, offer plenty of tiny white-skinned mealworms, waxworms, and perhaps ant pupae or fly larvae to bring them into season. Don't run short on the live food, or the pair may stop feeding their youngsters. All finches should have access to a small amount of clean grit, as well as a clean cuttlebone.
Housing: Some breeders report that Red-faced Crimson-wings get fat if they don't have plenty of room for exercise. They are also often considered to be somewhat secretive birds. Therefore, they may do best in a large, well-planted aviary that gives them plenty of room to fly, to exercise, and to explore. If you do opt to cage breed them, you will be wise to provide cages larger than might seem reasonable at first – such as a minimum size of 4' long by 2' feet wide and 2' tall, with a bar spacing of ½” wide. Make sure that you have a nice bushy bird-safe plant in front of the nest basket to provide a feeling of security when the pair wishes to remain hidden. However, you might have the best chance of success in an aviary large enough to accommodate a really dense, dark bush for their nesting project.
There are three subspecies of the Red-faced Crimson-wing, which occurs in several isolated populations in thick mountain forests in west, central, and, perhaps most notably, east Africa.
As a forest bird, the Red-faced Crimson-wing is somewhat shy and will require sufficient cover to feel secure. They are considered gentle birds that fit in well with other species in a mixed-species planted aviary, and they get along well enough to breed in colonies, assuming everyone has enough cover, space, and nesting material.Written by Elaine Radford