Pintailed parrotfinch

Erythrura prasina

SUBFAMILY

Erythrurinae

TAXONOMY

Loxia prasina Sparrman, 1788. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Pin-tailed nonpareil, long-tailed munia; French: Diamant quadricolore; German: Lauchgrüne papageiamadine; Spanish: Pinzón Loro de Cola Aguda.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Male: 5.9 in (15 cm); female: 4.5-4.7 in (11.5-12 cm). Sexually dimorphic. Males have a longer tail, a blue face, and red rump, tail, and belly. A yellow variant exists where the red is replaced with yellow. Females have less blue on the face, shorter tail, and a lack of red on the belly or breast. Juveniles resemble females but have a yellowish lower bill.

DISTRIBUTION

Laos south to Borneo and Sumatra. HABITAT

Found in forest edges, secondary growth, rice fields, and bamboo.

BEHAVIOR

Usually found in small flocks, but larger flocks can form especially in rice fields. The call is a "tseet-tseet" or "tsit-tsit" while the song is described as a series of clinking, crackling, and chirping.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

This species has only been observed feeding on rice or bamboo seed heads in the wild, but in captivity it takes a diversity of seeds as well as leafy green vegetables.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

The round nest is built at variable heights and is made of bamboo blades and other plant fibers. Four to six white eggs are incubated 12-14 days.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

In Borneo, this species is a major pest on rice crops. Due to the bright coloration, this and other parrotfinch species are popular aviary subjects. ♦

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