Bloedel is for the Birds!

There are new feathered friends at Bloedel!

Star Finch (male)

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!

Star Finch

Star Finch (female)

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 (L), Orange Cheeked Waxbill (R)

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

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

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

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.


Roller Canaries


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.

Timbrado canary

Silver Pheasant

Sylvester, the Silver Pheasant

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.

Bonnici, O. (nd). The Orange Cheeked Waxbill.

Beckham, R. (2011). The Cutthroat Finch.

Honolulu Zoo (2008). Green Singing Finch, Serinus Mozambicus

Cowell, D. (2009). Silver Pheasant, Lophura nycthemera.

1 Comment

  1. January 13, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    […] The Conservatory is a great home and they are all thriving! The feathered flock also greeted new small birds that include Star, Cordon Bleu and Gouldian finches, as well as a variety of canaries and other […]

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