is the smartest, most beautiful of all the Finches in the
ANSWER: That would undoubly be the Parsons Finch.
Here is an article
about The Parsons Finch by: Kerri McCoy
The Parson's Finch, also called the Black Throated Finch,
is a stunning Australian finch with a very peaceful nature.
Although it should not be housed with the closely related
Heck's Grassfinch or the Masked Grassfinch; I have found
that housing it with any of the other Australian finches
to not be a problem. I have even housed young, just weaned,
zebra finches with the Parsons with great results.
The Parson's Finch overall length is roughly 4 inches.
Beak color is black depending upon the color mutation. Parson's
colors range from the normal as described below to creames
and fawns. The head of a normal is a beautiful blue/gray
with black streaks around the eyes giving it an almost oriental
appearance. Below the beak and running down to the top of
the chest is a bold black bib. The chest itself is a soft
brown, and the back of the body is a rich cinnamon-brown.
The abdomen and vent areas are white. The tail is black
and definitely shorter than the Heck's ending in a square.
A large black patch is also present on the lower flanks.
The legs are faded orange in color, depending on the mutation.
Sexing of the Parsons can prove difficult to the uneducated
eye. Although seeing a male and female beside one another
resting on a perch, the sexing is quite easy. The male's
bib is quite wider than the females.
Although if you were to catch them up the bib size changes
as the bird moves it's neck. One cannot sex Parsons only
on bib size. There are many in between bib sizes that makes
sexing visually, almost impossible. I have also noticed
that the head of the male is usually slightly lighter in
color than that of the female. But, to surely distinguish
the sexes one must wait for the male to sing his whistling
song. While singing his neck area will also extend somewhat
making watching for the males a little easier.
It is advisable to allow Parsons to choose their own mates.
Once, the birds have chosen their mates the bonding between
them is unsurpassable. Parson pairs bond for life and a
large percentage of their time is spent doting upon one
another. My experience with the Parsons is that they love
mealworms with a passion. Limiting them to 1 or 2 each 2x
a day is best. Feeding mealworms and an eggfood (rearing
food), helps put them in the breeding mood. They will usually
choose a box nest over a rattan style nest. They tend to
use bermuda grasses initially and then line the nest with
soft materials such as burlap and feathers.
Once the nest has been made to their satisfaction the female
will begin laying. Clutch sizes range from 5 to 9 making
it one of the largest clutch sizes of the Australians. Incubation
is usually 12 days. Parsons are extremely diligent parents.
They raise their young with the same passion as do zebras.
The young will usually fledge at around 3 weeks. I normally
leave the young with their parents for 45-55 days. I have
found that moving them sooner, even though they are exhibiting
self-feeding, can present a problem. It is advisable to
leave the young with their parents until their first molt
sets in at roughly 6 weeks of age. Parson finches reach
sexual maturity very early, but it is advisable not to allow
the birds to breed until they are between 9-12 months of
I would not recommend housing Parsons in small cages. They
are graceful, fast flyers and should one escape, catching
them can prove quite time consuming. Housing Parsons in
flights around 6 ft in length is best for these beautiful
birds to show off their flying skills.
I would recommend Parsons to any finch fancier, whether
a beginner or an experienced breeder. Anyone who chooses
to add these birds to their collection will be most pleased.
It is also important that should you decide to add Parsons
to your aviary collection, to concentrate your efforts on
the breeding of these lovely birds. Although, somewhat common
in captivity, their numbers in the wild are drastically
dropping, making them one of Australia's endangered species.
To behold this beautiful Parsons finch, see: