Latest issue out now

Bengalese Finches
British Birds
Budgerigars
Canaries
Cockatiels
Game Birds
Love Birds
Parrots
Parakeets
Poultry
Raptors and Owls
Waterfowl
Other

The World Of Birds Book Give away -
enter here today - click here

Courtesy of the Natural HistoryMuseum, we have a copy to give away.

Where’s the Bengalese from?

Not a trick question – the origins of this favourite hardbill are controversial. Tony Edwards brings us up to date

White-headed nun: has been crossed with Bengalese by Continental breeders

THE name “Bengalese finch” is widely known throughout the world of aviculture. It is not known where this particular name came from, but one thing is pretty certain – the Bengal region of India plays no part in the bird’s origin! In the USA it is called the society finch, a name I like since it beautifully describes the nature of this friendly little bird.
 
By contrast, in many European languages “Japanese” appears in the name, which describes the origin of the first birds imported into Europe in the mid-1800s.
 
The ancestors of the Bengalese are definitely Lonchura species, referred to usually as munias or mannikins, terms which are interchangeable. (Note: you do need to be careful with the spelling – “manakins” (Pipridae) are a totally different family found in the American tropics.)
 
Silverbills from Africa and Asia are also in Lonchura. It is commonly accepted that “munia” is used for Asian species, and “mannikin” for African species and those from other areas. “Nun” is also sometimes used, and I have also seen “reed sparrow” used as a translation for various species!
Read more...

Cage and Aviary Birds is Published by

KELSEY MEDIA,
Cudham Tithe Barn,
Cudham, Kent. TN16 3AG

Tel: +(044) 195 954 1444