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Parrotfinches
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Red-throated Parrotfinch (Erythrura psittacea)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Estrildidae
Genus: Erythrura
Swainson, 1837
Species

About 12, see text.

Parrotfinches are small, colourful passerine birds belonging to the genus Erythrura in the family Estrildidae, the estrildid finches. They occur from South-east Asia to New Guinea, northern Australia and many Pacific Islands. They inhabit forest, bamboo thickets and grassland and some can be found in man-made habitats such as farmland, parks and gardens. Several species are commonly kept as cagebirds.

They are 9 to 15 cm long. The plumage is usually mainly green. Most species have blue or red markings on the head and a red rump and tail. The tail is pointed and often fairly long.

Seeds, especially those of grasses, comprise the bulk of the diet. Some parrotfinches also feed on fruit and small insects. Many species forage in flocks, keeping in contact with high-pitched calls.

Three species, the Green-faced, Royal and Pink-billed Parrotfinches, are classed as vulnerable to extinction because of habitat loss and degradation.

Species list

There are 10-13 species of parrotfinch.

References

  • Clement, Peter; Harris, Alan & Davies, John (1993) Finches and Sparrows: An Identification Guide, Christopher Helm, London.

External links



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