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Bengalese Finch

February 10, 1985|ELEANOR PRICE

Since the Bengalese finch (Uroloncha domestica) is a very social bird, one that's even willing to sit on a nest as a foster parent for small waxbills and other finches that don't sit very well, it is also known as the society finch. Its background is cloaked in the mystery of antiquity, but it probably evolved from sharp-tailed finches (U. acuticanda) and Asian sharp-tailed finches (U. straiti) that were crossed by Japanese and Chinese bird fanciers. A quaint, delightful bird, the Bengalese has few requirements. Since it is a prolific breeder and spends much time rearing chicks, it needs a fairly large breeding cage in the aviary, even though its powers of flight are not exceptional. The Bengalese comes in brown, fawn, white and black and white. Some have been bred to wear crests that resemble the coronas of crested canaries. A crested bird usually has a white spot on the chest and another above the upper beak. It may even wear two crests in addition to a necklace of fluffy feathers. Birds with crests may not be quite as strong physically as plain-headed Bengalese finches.

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