The Green-Winged Pytilia, also known as the Melba Finch, is the largest and most attractive member of the Pytilia family. They are far more extroverted characters than other Pytilias. The courtship ritual is a feast for the ears and eyes. These beautiful birds prefer a warm and dry environment with plenty of direct sunlight. Green-Winged Pytilias for sale are also referred to as; Crimson-faced Waxbill, Common Melba Finch, Melba Waxbill, Red-faced Weaver Finch, Uganda Melba Finch (P.m. grotei), Sudan Melba Finch (P.m. soudanesis), Senegambian Melba Finch (P.m. citerior)
Geography: Dry regions of tropical Africa and part of south Africa (but not in the western and central African rain forest regions).
Song / Call: Click to hear the Melba Finch These exquisite finches have substantial geographical variation in their calls. The song is long (each strophe lasts up to 15 seconds) beginning with the sound of a water drop followed by long and short whistled note then gurgling and trilling sounds, ending with three fluting notes. In the race citerior, a single ‘veet’ note followed by a short series of whistling and croaking notes comprises the song. The hen can also sing but her song is quieter and shorter.
Size / Weight: 5″, 20 grams
Sexing: The Green-Winged Pytillia (Melba Finch) are easily visually sexed as the hen lacks the red on the face and throat; the red of her tail and rump is less intense; her barring is less distinct; and she only has a hint of green on her chest.
Temperament: Even outside of the breeding season, green-winged pytilias tend to become aggressive and very territorial, especially when being introduced into a new aviary, being introduced to a new mate, or in defense of their nest. They may also target other pytilia species as well as unrelated species that have red mask plumage (such as the Star Finch), and should not be housed with such birds. Allegedly they may tolerate being housed with Lagonosticta firefinches and Estrilda waxbills. Care should still be taken to closely monitor birds in a mixed aviary setting as well as to provide plenty of hiding space and visual barriers to allow birds to escape each other. Due to their aggression, they can become habitual feather-pluckers.
Breeding: Green-winged pytilias are monogamous and should be housed one pair per enclosure. They must be fed termites while breeding and may refuse to do so or toss their chicks if they are not provided sufficient live food to their liking. The typical breeding season for the Melba Finch is from the latter part of the rainy season into the start of the dry season. Typically November to June in South Africa (peaking in February & March after the heaviest rains), January to April in Zambia, February to June in Malawi & Mosambique, April in Tanzania, August and September in Nigeria, October-November, February, and May-July in Sudan, May and June in Ethiopia, March-May in Uganda and Kenya. In the UK, captive birds commence nesting in April.
Diet: Classic Finch Seed, Termites (a must for breeding), Cuttlefish Bone, mineral grit, egg shells, Dried Egg Food