The Cordon Bleu

The Cordon Bleu
Cordon Bleu

Identification: The Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu Finches (Uraeginthus bengalus) – also known as Red-cheeked Blue Waxbills, Uganda or Abyssinian Red-cheeked Cordon-bleus – are attractive, small African finches with bright red cheeks (hence their common name) and sky-blue plumage details.
Geography: Africa

Song / Call: Hear the Red Cheek Cordon Bleu

Size / Weight: 4.9 – 5.1 inches / 0.31 – 0.39 oz (8.9 – 11 g)

Lifespan: 5-10 years

Sexing: Red Cheeked Cordon Bleu finches are easily visually sexed as the females have a duller plumage, less extensive blue feathering and lack the red cheek patches.

Temperament: These finches are generally docile, peaceful and quiet and can grow quite confiding. The Red Cheek Cordon Bleu is often seen feeding on the ground in urban areas.

Breeding: Unlike most other finches, which usually roost inside next boxes or in sheltered areas, the Red-cheeked Cordon Bleus generally like to roost on open branches, which makes them susceptible to low temperatures. For nesting, they usually accept the readily available finch nest boxes. During the breeding season, males can get quite aggressive towards other males. These finches are not tolerant to nest inspections or disturbances in general when nesting, and often abandon any eggs or chicks. This should also be taken into consideration with respect to placement of the aviary.

Diet: Red-cheeked Cordon-bleus mostly feed on grain, grass seeds and other seeds, as well as Millet and Egg Food.  Classic Finch Seed offers a balanced mix of seeds. Occasionally, they also eat beeswax. When raising young in particular, they also take insects (meal worms) – as the chicks require a diet rich in protein to support their rapid growth.


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