Bird Families

Reed Astrild - review


Finch weavers and, in particular, astrilds have an almost translucent beak, it seems that it is made of wax. That is why these birds have a second name - wax-billed weavers. Amaranths are also called fire finches.

The birds got this name mainly because of the red plumage.

Amaranths and Astrildas are popular with aviary breeders. At the same time, you should pay attention to the arrangement of the aviary in the winter.

These species of birds are not adapted for wintering in temperate latitudes, therefore, during the cold snap period, they need to be provided with heating and artificial lighting in order to extend the feeding period.

Popular types

No color mutations have been identified among both genera; hybrids can appear only when species are mixed. It is not worth allowing the appearance of offspring in a couple where the male and female belong to different species, since in the future the hybrid offspring cannot reproduce. Today, breeders are trying to keep groups of birds - representatives of the same species. Such groups are usually few in number. All this is done so that couples can successfully form and give good healthy offspring, which will then also reproduce.

Wavy Astrilda (Estrilda astrild).

Wavy astrild

The wings and back of these birds are covered with a large number of transverse stripes of dark brown color, which pass to the sides. Determining the sex of a bird is very difficult. During the mating season, males acquire a pinkish tint.

Bridle astrild

This species of Astrilda boasts a pink border on the flight feathers. Their upper tail also has a pink color. Outside the mating season, it is very difficult to determine the sex of a bird.

The bridle astrild is a bird that prefers life in pairs.

Females usually have less bright red spots and stripes, but the intensity and brightness of the bird color can vary depending on the geographic location of the birds, so this is not reliable. At the onset of the mating season, males can be identified - they perform mating dances.

Black-cheeked astrild

This subspecies has black spots on the sides of the head. The top of the head is gray. The upper tail and the entire lower part of the body are colored red. Females have a gray-brown undertail. The wings of black-cheeked astrilds are gray, with many dark stripes located on them. The tail feathers are painted black.

Males and females have a slight external difference - the sides of the females are lighter, although the sides of both sexes are red.

The black-cheeked or elf astrild is a very shy bird, hiding in the thickets at the slightest disturbance.

Orange-cheeked astrild

These birds owe their name to the orange spots located on the cheeks. They begin above the eyes and reach the beak. The head is gray. The wings are brown. The uppertail, like that of other Astrilds, is red. The lower part of the body is gray-brown. The tail feathers are black.

Very pleasant birds to keep

The reed astrild is a small bird (much smaller than a sparrow) of the finch weaver family. In color, they are rather inconspicuous and inferior to other members of the family - for example, gulda finches, parrot finches or amaranths. However, they are made very attractive for keeping at home by their livable character, relatively simple care and incredibly attractive song of the male: not very diverse, but very, very melodic.

As for food, I usually feed mine with Padovan or Belgian Prestige. They are very fond of gnawing spikelets of various wild cereals and plantain, as well as an apple and a pear. They also like porridge: boiled millet and buckwheat.

Regarding breeding, I can say that mine are extremely easy to divorce (I have a pair), however many complain about the difficulties in breeding. I hang a closed braid when the chicks appear, give live food (tormentor), food for insectivorous birds from Padovan, as well as his own egg food.

A spacious cage is needed, these birds love to fly.

In general, I would recommend them for beginner lovers of finch weavers.

Description and appearance

Finch weavers, regardless of the species, have an almost translucent beak, and external data can vary significantly:

  • marsh astrild (Estrilda radiodisola) - has a body 10 cm long... The species is represented by six geographic forms, which differ in plumage colors. The main feather coloration is gray, brown, red and black-brown. The throat is white and the abdomen is pinkish,
  • wavy astrild (Estrilda astrild) - has a body, 10.5-12.5 cm long... The body is brown on the upper side, with darker wings and a wavy pattern. A characteristic of the species is the presence of a red stripe near the eyes,
  • yellow-bellied or gray-breasted astrild (Estrilda melanotis) - has a body 9-10 cm long... Different geographic forms differ in plumage colors. The nominative form has a dark gray neck and head, as well as an orange uppertail and upper coverts,
  • red-sided astrild (Estrilda thomеnsis) - has a body, no more than 11 cm long... Males have a bluish-gray crown, back and coverts. Females differ from males by the complete absence of a red spot on the back,
  • red-tailed astrilda (Estrilda cairulesens) - has a body, no more than 10.5-11.0 cm long... Males and females have the same coloration. The upper part of the head, the region of the neck and back, as well as the wings, are light bluish gray in color,
  • orange-cheeked astrilda (Estrilda melroda) - has a body up to 10 cm long... Males and females have the same coloration. A characteristic difference of this species is the presence of an orange spot in the middle of the abdomen,
  • gray astrild (Estrilda trоglоdytеs) - has a body, 9-10 cm long... On the upper body of the male, gray-brown color and indistinct transverse stripes prevail, and the chest has a pinkish tint. Females are colored paler and are almost completely devoid of a pink tint,
  • frenulum astrilda (Estrilda rhodorygа) - has a body, no more than 11 cm long... Different geographic forms differ slightly in plumage colors. The most widespread is considered to be the northern form.

No less interesting are species such as the gray-breasted, enambrian and Arabian, black-and-white or astrild nuns, as well as black-faced, black-tailed, black-capped and black-cheeked or elf astrilds.

Habitat and habitats

Many species are distributed from Angola to the northernmost regions of the territory of Zambia, as well as in the lower reaches of rivers and in southern Nigeria. They are found in Ethiopia and eastern Sudan, in the southwestern zone of Uganda and in the northwestern territories of Tanzania.

They live in thickets of tall grasses and reeds, which are located in the coastal zone of rivers or near stagnant natural reservoirs. Some species prefer to settle on the outskirts of forest zones, in foothill areas, and even in close proximity to human dwellings.

Lifestyle and longevity

Astrilds are diurnal, gregarious.... They are very mobile. All species are monogamous, therefore they live in pairs, and the male is directly involved in raising offspring, building a nest and incubating eggs.

The average lifespan for most species does not exceed five or seven years in captivity, and the green astrild in a cage or aviary can live a little over one year.

Keeping Astrild at home

Astrildas are highly valued by poultry farmers not only for their beauty and exotic appearance, but also for their pleasant, gentle singing.

Such small birds are distinguished by sociability and friendliness, they are able to quickly get used to humans and adapt well enough to cage or aviary content in captivity.

Arrangement of the cell

Almost all species easily take root not only in mixed bird groups of birds, but also within one species... Small granivores and representatives of the pigeon family, including the diamond striped dove, will be great company.

Important! The cage or aviary should be very large in order to allow the birds to fly freely and maintain the physical activity necessary to maintain health.

Heat-loving Astrilda are hard to tolerate drafts and cold, so the cage or aviary is settled in warm rooms. Various live plants are installed in the aviary, which are very actively used by birds for nesting. For wintering and as a shelter, you can place a small house in the aviary.

It is important to remember that the distance between metal rods in a cage or aviary should not exceed 10 mm. As filling and all kinds of additional accessories installed in cages and aviaries, standard feeders, drinkers, bathing bowls and perches, as well as nest houses are used.

Care and hygiene

In the process of keeping, it must be remembered that a lack of sunlight, as well as a too low temperature regime in the room where the cage or aviary is located, becomes the main reason for the violation of molting. In this case, the plumage takes on a faded and very unkempt appearance.

Important! It is strictly forbidden to use any detergents containing toxic components to wash the cage or accessories.

Increased air humidity in the room also has an extremely negative effect on the health of the feathered pet. Birds must be kept clean. General cleaning of the cage or aviary is done once a week, and the feeders and drinkers should be thoroughly rinsed every day.

How to feed the Astrilds

Astrildas are granivorous birds, so regular canary food can be used for their nutrition. Among other things, it is recommended to periodically give the bird food of animal origin, represented by mealworms, aphids, and other small insects.

When self-compiling a food ration, it is advisable to give preference to sprouted wheat, various fruits, as well as fine-grained forages based on millet, herbs and crushed particles of grain crops with the addition of a small amount of activated or charcoal and crushed eggshells.

It is interesting! Astrildas are characterized by rather fast metabolic processes, which is due to the small size of the bird, therefore the digestive cycle in such a feathered pet proceeds in a short time.

Diseases and treatment

Diseases in decorative birds are easier to prevent than then to treat a seriously ill petand. The most common non-infectious diseases include:

  • fractures and bumps,
  • skin injuries,
  • defeat by lice,
  • lesions with gamasid mites,
  • knemidocoptosis,
  • defeat by helminths,
  • coccidiosis,
  • frostbite or hypothermia,
  • burns,
  • pathological abnormalities in egg-laying,
  • avitaminosis.

The greatest danger is posed by severe infectious diseases, represented by smallpox, salmonellosis, tuberculosis, aspergillosis, scab and bird flu. After the bird has fallen into captivity, the full realization of the natural needs for movement, food, as well as various behavioral manifestations is disrupted, which causes the problems associated with metabolism.

Important! The problem of adaptation to captivity conditions is especially acute for caught, already adult birds.

Owner reviews

Decorative small birds quickly get used to the cage or aviary, but unlike the popular budgerigars and canaries, they are rather wary of their owner throughout their lives. The nature of such a bird is peaceful and calm, but it is highly discouraged to take the feathered pet in your arms or stroke, since in this case the poultry is under severe stress.

Astrilda are quite simple to maintain, not gluttonous, and do not require increased attention to themselves. The daily intake of grain feed is one and a half teaspoons per adult bird. A properly acclimatized and adapted bird does not cause trouble for its owner, and also reproduces quite easily, so the cost of such a domestic feathered pet is quite affordable.

Red-tailed astrild

The plumage of these astrilds is colored bluish-gray. The lower and tail feathers, as well as the upper tail of a bright red color. There are small white spots on the sides of the body. A thin black stripe runs from the eyes to the beak. Males and females are different - males are more brightly colored. There is a species very similar to this - the black-tailed astrilda. Their difference from red-tails is in the darker color of the plumage, undertail, and their tail feathers are black.

Red-tailed astrilda are rare species of finches.

Common amaranth

Males of this species of birds have a red head, chest, undertail and upper tail. The lower part of the body is colored with a brown tint. Small white spots are located on the sides. Females are almost completely brown, with the exception of the part of the head around the eyes, the undertail and upper tail - they are red. These birds have another name - the Senegalese fire finch, but it is rarely used.

Common amaranth or Senegalese fire finch (Lagonosticta senegala).

Gray astrild

Gray astrildas are the most popular species among those who love these birds. The side of the head between the back of the head and beak is decorated with a red stripe. The lower part of the body is lighter than the upper one. The wings of these birds are brown. These birds are distinguished from other members of the family by the complete absence of stripes on the sides and wings and the black color of the tail feathers. The external difference between the sexes is noticeable only during the nesting period, at this time the lower part of the body of the males becomes pinkish.

Care and maintenance

Amaranths and Astrildas are very attractive for aviary breeding. They take root well both in mixed groups of birds and within a group of the same species, and if the purpose of keeping is breeding, then it is better to keep them only with representatives of their own species.

Astrilds can live in the same territory with small granivores and representatives of the pigeon family, such as the diamond striped dove, but the neighbors should be non-aggressive.

Astrilds and amaranths are lovers of warm climates, so their dwellings should be isolated from cold irritants.

Particular attention should be paid to the home of the birds. It must be reliably protected from cold, rain and wind. To do this, you need to build a good roof and close the back of the enclosure.

The usual mesh construction will poorly protect birds from bad weather. The aviary should contain plants that should be watered with a hose. Plants are needed by birds not only as nesting places, but also as bait for small insects that Astrilda eat.

It is advisable to place a warm house in the aviary in which the birds will spend the winter. It is necessary to provide them with heating. If this is not done, then it will be necessary to transfer the birds to warm rooms for the winter, and it is inconvenient to change the birds' habitat.

Breeding of these birds requires feeding of the parent individuals with insects.

At the beginning of the mating season, in order to attract the female, the male takes some nesting material into its beak and performs an enticing dance.The most difficult thing in breeding these birds is not the selection of pairs or the organization of nesting sites, but the process of raising chicks itself. During this period, adult Astrilda parents begin to feed not on grain, as usual, but on insects.

It is possible to feed chicks normally only if adult birds consume a sufficient amount of live food. Insects should make up the majority of the diet, even if the birds are additionally fed with a different nutritious food or egg mixture.

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Astrild Tiger - breed standard

Body length: 9-10cm

Price: from 2000 rubles. up to RUB 3000

Lifestyle: Day


  • Sociability:

  • Wingspan: 20-22

    Life Expectancy: 6-7 Years

    Number of cubs: 4-6

    • Description
    • Breed standards
    • Features of the content
    • Feeding
    • Breeding
    • Diseases
    • More details
    • Maintenance and care
    • The diet
    • Breeding and reproduction
    • Diseases
    • History of the breed

    History of the breed

    In Europe, these birds appeared in the 17th century thanks to Portuguese sailors. In our country, orange-cheeked astrilds first appeared in the 60s of the twentieth century. And although it would seem that there is enough information on breeding and caring for these birds, they still have not taken root in Russia too much and have not won as many admirers as some other feathered friends.

    The tiger astrild, or red munia, is native to tropical Asia. This is one of the most unpretentious species among astrilds. The main color of the plumage is carmine red. The nape, bridle and back are brown, the flight and tail feathers are dark brown. On the sides of the birds are small white specks. The beak is red. The female and male during the non-breeding period are similar in plumage color.

    Representatives of both sexes sing in the tiger astrild, but in females the trill is quieter, although in both of them the song is distinguished by sadness and tenderness.

    There are several very important features in keeping the Astrilds. Firstly, these are thermophilic birds, therefore drafts and cold damp rooms are contraindicated for them, otherwise they may simply get sick. Secondly, the cage must be spacious enough for the Astrilds to spread their wings and fly. Otherwise, they will develop physical inactivity, obesity, and in a tight space they will never bear offspring. Thirdly, Astrilds definitely need a company, so a couple is the minimum that you should start if you want to keep these birds. They also get along well with other species of birds. The main thing is that those birds are non-aggressive and granivorous.

    The cage should be located in a place protected from cold, drafts and moisture. In addition, there should be stable warmth, without temperature drops.

    The arrangement of the cage itself for astrilds does not differ from the arrangement of a cage for many other birds: it should have a feeder, a drinking bowl, a bathing suit, perches and nesting houses. It must be cleaned daily, and disinfected at least once a month. After the last procedure, the bird returns to the cage only when this cage is dry and ventilated.

    The question of feeding the Astrilds is also one of the main ones, because due to an incorrectly composed menu, the bird may even die. The main diet consists of fine-grained feed, since the large grains of the astrilda simply cannot peck. Cereal mixes for these birds include millet, forbs, and ground grain particles. To improve digestion, fine gravel, crushed eggshells and charcoal are added to such mixtures. Some experts and amateurs give astrilds ready-made canary food, which is sold in pet stores. Soft food for these birds is also necessary. It usually consists of boiled eggs, carrots, cottage cheese. Do not neglect live food - mealworms, aphids and other small insects. They are not only a treat for your birds, but also a useful addition to their diet.

    If you want to get offspring, then for a couple you need to allocate a separate cage (if they are contained in a common aviary). They do not start nesting soon, so it is better to start doing this at the end of winter. If everything succeeded and the birds began to incubate the chicks, then in no case should they be disturbed. When the chicks are ready for independent life, they need to be placed in a separate flight cage, otherwise the father will start chasing the young.

    Fresh water should always be available for Astrilds. Remember that these are small birds with fast metabolic processes and their digestive cycle completes very quickly. If you left your pet hungry for the whole day and went to work, then he simply may not survive this day.