The lesser seed finch (Oryzoborus Angolensis) is the most popular cage bird found primarily in Central & South America and some parts of the Caribbean. Its popularity in Brazil, Guyana and Trinidad are due mainly to the singing quality of these birds.
In Brazil the lesser seed finch is referred to as,”Curio”, which means,” friend of man”. In Guyana it is referred to as the,”Towa-A-Towa”, and in Trinidad it is referred to as, Chikichong.
The male has a distinctive black color with a chestnut brown chest. The female has a uniform brown color.
This wonderful species that so many of us love is becoming extinct in some parts of South America and in Trinidad as well. The use of pesticides and the over trapping for commercial use are contributory factors in the declining populations.
In Brazil it is against the law to trap these birds and massive domestic breeding programs have been implemented approximately 30 years ago. Having traveled to Brazil and witnessed the breeding facilities, I was extremely impressed how serious this hobby is revered. They have recorded hundreds of different songs from various areas and they were also able to identify numerous types of the lesser seed finch based on sightings in specific geographical areas.
Recently in New York we have embarked on the largest domestic breeding programs ever attempted in the Northeast area and we have imported foundation females and males that are now placed in breeding facilities.
Nutrition is another valuable asset to ensure the healthful condition of the lesser seed finch; they are fed mainly on a variety of millets or pellets. An assortment of greens is very important, mainly dandelion, chicory, carrots and broccoli. Breeding pairs should be fed a high quality egg food, sprouted seeds and a good multivitamin.