There are new feathered friends at Bloedel!
The Conservatory is alive with new melodious songs and exotic sights! Many of our new feathered friends are waxbill finches, named for their bright red cone shaped bills that are similar to the colour of sealing wax. Timbrado and Roller canaries are also stretching their wings and their lovely vocals are enhancing the ambiance of the dome. And let’s not forget Sylvester! The handsome new Silver Pheasant!
The Star Finch is native to Australia where it can be found in grasslands and dry savannas. The males are olive in colour with a large red face mask and star-like spots over his chest and neck (click here for video). Females have less colour on the face and no red on the chin.
Red Ear-striped & Orange Cheeked Waxbills
Red Ear-striped Waxbill
These birds are native to Africa, preferring to live in the grasslands, marshes and open areas with thorn scrub. Both males and females are easily identified by their crimson eye mask.
Orange Cheeked Waxbill
This small bird, also native to Africa, relies on grasses for food, shelter and nest building in the wild. They are also insectivorous, eating gnats, aphids, fruit flies and termites. The males have a very melodious song and is the easiest way to tell males from females.
Cordon Bleu Finch
Cordon Bleu finch
These small waxbills are also native to Africa. Unlike some species, both males and females will sing. The females are a slightly duller blue than the males. Here is a video of the little Cordon Blue Finch having breakfast.
Cut Throat Finch
Cut Throat Finch
Also known as the Ribbon or Bearded finch, both sexes are light gray and tan with speckles, but the male is easily recognized by the swash of red under his chin. These finches are native to Africa, living on the Savannah, bush and farmland. Favorite foods are live food (mealy worms), millet and fruit.
Green Singing Finch
Green Singing Finch
This finch is native to central Africa and is slightly smaller than a canary. Females have a ring of black dots around their necks. It is said the Green Singing Finch has a lighter, more delicate and higher pitched song than canaries and sing frequently throughout the day.
The Conservatory is now also home to a variety of new canaries thanks to the Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary. Canaries are native to the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa. You will be able to see both Roller Canaries (both all yellow and a mixture of yellows, cream and brown) and Timbrado Canaries. While both have lovely songs, the Timbrado has a greater range of notes. Originally imported to Spain from the Canary Islands during the 1400s, the Spanish Timbrado Canary began to be bred in Spain in the 1940s and 50s. Only the male canaries of both species sing, which is the only way to tell them apart from females.
Sylvester, the Silver Pheasant
And let’s not forget Sylvester! There are 15 subspecies of Silver Pheasants, with the True Silver Pheasant being the largest of them all. The striking white feathers of the male are laced with delicate black patterns (see video). The legs and face wattles are red. Silver Pheasants are considered common in mountainous areas of Southeast China and have been successfully introduced into Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Some references say this Pheasant is well known in ancient Chinese art and poetry and was sometimes referred to as the White Phoenix.
If you did not find the birds you were looking for on this post, please take a look at A Quick Guide to the Birds of Bloedel. All of our feathered friends are a great reason to head to the Conservatory for a visit. They would love to meet you!
Hinze, I. (1999). Differentiating the Red Eye-striped waxbill. http://www.finchworld.com/Birds/Finch/Waxbill/red_eye_striped/differentiating_the_red_eye.htm
Bonnici, O. (nd). The Orange Cheeked Waxbill. http://www.petngarden.com/birds/voucher/voucherb11.php
Beckham, R. (2011). The Cutthroat Finch. http://www.efinch.com/species/cutthroat.htm
Honolulu Zoo (2008). Green Singing Finch, Serinus Mozambicus. http://www.honoluluzoo.org/green_singing_finch.htm
Cowell, D. (2009). Silver Pheasant, Lophura nycthemera. http://www.gbwf.org/pheasants/silver.html