Saturday, May 12, 2012

Finch and Parakeet Differences

This is a rather vast title for such a short post, but I've made several recent observations that are interesting to me.

Four of our five new baby Lady Gouldian finches
Our first ever clutch of Lady Gouldian finches seem to go back and forth into and out of their nest box. Last night all five were snuggled back in the box and this morning all five were back outside again. During the day some venture "home" again. They put their heads outside the nest box entrance and beg to be fed. Mom will fly over, but not feed them. She hops back and entices them to come back outside to be fed. "Grow up," she seems to be saying.

Young Rosy Bourkes who were hand fed.
I've yet to see a Bourke, Splendid or Budgerigar parakeet ever return to their nest box once they've left it. Occasionally, I've returned a baby Bourke to their box overnight if I thought it was still pretty young and might get cold outside the nest box. They always came out the next morning and never went back on their own.

Young Rosies taken out for a hand feeding. Adult is
checking them out. Actually an older sibling of those in
the cup. They don't stay there, it's just for transport.
I'm surprised by all the differences I see between these two species. Bourke fathers take over the lion's share of feeding babies once they leave their nest. I notice the my Gouldian hen is doing all of the feeding of her five offspring while dad just sits and watches. I don't know if this is typical of Gouldians or not. I've raised Bourke parakeets for many years, but this is my first and only pair of Lady Gouldians. Is he just a lazy guy? Or, is this the usual response for male Lady Gouldian finches?

The whole family. The babies love the swing and play on it
even though their parents have always ignored it.

I also wonder if this "young" pair of Gouldians I recently obtained, and who insisted on breeding and raising a family before expected, will ever fully color up. Notice the hen at far left in the photo and her mate in front do not have full black cheek patches, and his purple doesn't extend fully across his chest. They look young, and maybe their molt was arrested so it will happen later...?

It will be interesting to wait and see. Meanwhile, my husband and I both think the babies' soft colors are lovely. He likes them better than the adults' bright plumage.
Your comments are welcomed.

Peace and Blessings.

1 comment:

neversink7 said...

the parents won't molt while they are breeding. once they are done with breeding, they'll probably rest and then molt before they are ready to molt again. mine tend to molt in late spring to early summer as the weather gets warmer. once they are done with breeding, most breeders will put them on a rest diet with mainly a seed mix and decreased amount of eggfood. this is a signal for them to rest and molt. once they start molting, i usually give them a bit more eggfood to help them do a compressed molt. most of my pairs will feed fairly equally, but sometimes a male will do most of the feeding or a hen may do a lot of feeding. no sure pattern.