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African Birds in Botanic Garden Aviary

This article was first published on 12 Aug 2020.

Fire finch

Fire finch

Photo by the Otago Daily Times

Dunedin Botanic Garden has recently welcomed a new flock of African fire finches to the aviary. These feisty little creatures can be seen busy zooming around their new enclosure on the far left side of the middle aviaries.

Several species of firefinches belong to the genus Lagonosticta a name that originates from the combination of the ancient Greek words, lagon “flank” and stiktos “spotted.

They are known to live happily amongst other birds in a mixed aviary and generally have a calm gentle nature with other species of finches. This which makes them ideal for life as part of a larger mixed flock.

This finch is fairly easy to care for and very eye catching.

There are distinct differences in colour markings between the sexes.  The male of the species is a rich red/burgundy with tiny spotting along the back and the female is a dull but warm brown with a drop of red on the face. Both sexes have a dull yellowish ring around the eye.

When visiting the aviary, if you are quiet and see one that is close to the aviary netting they may inquisitively look up, checking you out as they move about amongst the surroundings of their home.