The mandarin diamond, also know as zebra diamond The zebra finch, it is together with the parakeets and the canaries, one of the birds most common like pet among lovers of birds, as well as canaries, parakeets or agapornis. The Mandarin Diamond Bird (Taeniopygia guttata) is a sociable animal, beautiful and easy to care for, making it an ideal pet bird for beginners and for teaching children the responsibilities that come with having a animal companion. Therefore, today we are going to tell you everything you need to know if you want to have a mandarin diamond at home: care, life expectancy, breeding and other curiosities.
Characteristics of the Mandarin diamond
The diamond would send is a species of passerine bird native to Australasia, belonging to the pinzones. The australian mandarin diamond (Taeniopygia guttata castanotis) is the wild form of our current domestic birds and is found throughout most of Australia. At the beginning of the 20th century it was established as one of the most frequent domestic birds, although it is unknown how the Mandarin diamond came to Europe.
One of the main outstanding characteristics of the mandarin diamond is that they are extremely sociable birds, because in the wild it lives in colonies or large flocks. For this reason It is recommended that your Mandarin diamond have company if you decide to have it as a pet.
What is the Mandarin diamond like?
The mandarin diamond It is a small and compact bird, it is usually about 12 centimeters long and, generally, it does not exceed 14 grams in weight. The Mandarin Diamond Bird It has a strong orange beak prepared for its grain-based diet. Its eyes are arranged on the sides of its head, this allows it to be always alert to possible predators in the wild and it can process up to 120 images per second. Is about an extremely fast and agile bird thanks to its short and angular wings with black, white and gray feathers. The Mandarin diamond has a teardrop-shaped stripe under its eyes and a zebra-like pattern on its chest that are undoubtedly one of its main features to which it owes its name zebra diamond.
How do I know if my Mandarin diamond is female or male?
There is a very easy way to distinguish the sex of mandarin diamonds, this is because this species presents a clear sexual dimorphism, that is, males and females of Mandarin diamond are different. Although the specimens of mandarin diamond younger ones do not show any differentiating characteristics at first and have white and gray feathers and a black beak in their first stage of life, after the first molt the changes begin. The Mandarin diamond peak is staining red during its first four months of life and the feathers of the males acquire a more intense color than the females. What’s more, male Mandarin diamond features orange stain on cheek as the main characteristic, while the females lack it.
Mandarin diamond: breeding
If you’ve ever had a mandarin diamond, surely you will not be surprised to learn that these birds reproduce very frequently and easily. Mandarin diamonds normally lay between 5 and 7 eggs whose incubation period lasts up to 15 days. To raise mandarin diamonds experts recommend having several females per male, so that they can take turns breeding. However, if you do not want your Mandarin diamonds to breed, it is best to only have females, since they tend to get along well with each other and this facilitates coexistence.
The Mandarin diamond reaches sexual maturity at three months of age, although experts recommend waiting up to six months to breed. In addition, these birds are excellent nest builders, whose shape is round for which they use different materials. The chicks leave the nest normally at 21 days of age.
What does the Mandarin diamond eat?
As we have said before, Mandarin diamonds feed on seeds and grains. However, it is recommended that your diet be varied with a balanced intake of fiber and protein. The seeds that mandarin diamonds can feed on They are: canary seed, linseed, white and Japanese millet, perilla and black. In addition, you can offer your dI love Mandarin some vegetables and fruits, since these will provide extra hydration and vitamins, some recommended examples are: pear, strawberry, apple, basil, cucumber, orange, arugula, chard, spinach or wheat sprouts. Lettuce, however, is one of the forbidden foods for mandarin diamonds as it can cause diarrhea.
How long does a Mandarin diamond live?
The life expectancy of mandarin diamonds It is between 2 and 5 years in freedom. The availability of resources, as well as the predators and diseases that Mandarin diamonds can suffer from are the determining factors that reduce their lifespan. However, the life expectancy of a mandarin diamond in captivity it is quite superior, even lasting up to 12 years.
What does a Mandarin diamond need: cage, nest and other comforts
The mandarin diamonds They are birds that live in colonies, so they need the company of their species. In addition, Mandarin Diamond Couples they tend to stay together practically their whole lives. On the other hand, you should know that if you adopt a adult mandarin diamond, this one will be scary and suspicious at first although it will adapt quickly to you. These cheerful and singing birds need to have a nest in their cage or aviary, since they do not like to sleep on branches, so they will feel safer and more protected in their nests. In addition, you must make sure that they have materials to build and repair the nests. Another of the essential elements of cages for mandarin diamonds it’s the bathtub. These birds love to bathe and take dips, especially in summer, so it is important that they have water to bathe.
The cage for your mandarin diamond It must be spacious, with a minimum of 80 x 60 x 40 cm per pair. In addition, it must have a face closed with wood or glued to the wall, so that it feels safe and protected. These animals are used to living in temperate temperatures, so the ideal temperature for Mandarin diamonds is 15º. On the other hand, you should bear in mind that these little birds love the sun and ideally they should have between 12 and 14 hours of sun a day, so in winter we must provide them with special artificial lighting for birds.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.