Caged birds: Granatino

Caged birds: Granatino

Systematic classification and general information

Class: Birds
Order: Passeriformi
Family: waxbills
Kind: Uraeginthus
Species: U. granatinus
Synonymous: Grenadine grenadine

African estrildide. Its territory includes Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Its habitat is characterized by semi-desert areas and savannah areas. The presence of acacia plants is important for these birds.

Granatino - Uraeginthus granatinus (photo

Granatino - Uraeginthus granatinus


Little bird about 13 cm long. The predominant color of the plumage is brown. One of the typical characteristics of the species is the apex mask of the head, cobalt blue in color. The cheeks are purple ,. The throat is black. Its rump is purplish blue. The legs are light gray. The beak is red. Locchio is black. In this species the sexual dimorphism is very evident as the female has slightly more pale plumage colors than the subjects of the opposite sex. Its tail is very long compared to the normal reports of estrildidae, without this it would be one of the smallest birds in the world.


It is not an easy to reproduce estrildide, but still robust enough. It is an exotic bird that needs warm temperatures, never below 20 ° C. It is ideal to lodge it in a room where the ambient temperature oscillates between 20 ° and 25 ° C. The solar heat is very important and therefore, if housed outside It is good practice to place the cage or aviary where direct sunlight can reach. In cages it is always on the move. Although all the subjects visible today in Europe were born in captivity, it has maintained a lot of wild instinct, therefore it always proves to be rather agitated when it is in the presence of people. Throughout the year it proves to be a very aggressive species, therefore it is advisable to keep them divided in pairs. During the love period both subjects work, above all the male, who takes on the task of building the nest, something quite unusual for most exotics where it is the female who often builds the nest. The nest to be used is the box or pear-shaped one in wicker; in any case it adapts well to any type of nest. To line the nest, use vegetable fibers: coconut fibers, grass threads, etc. The duration of the hatching is about thirteen days. Parents take turns in hatching, like most estrildids. If you are lucky, the couple will go in love without major problems, but the problem exists at the moment when the young are born, since in nature these exotics live in very hot temperatures, so in the free state they are not used to warm the young in the nest, and for this reason many chickens die of hypothermia. The use of nurses makes it possible to adequately provide for newborns. Their diet is based on a mixture of exotic, egg food, integrated with germinated seeds. Fruits and vegetables can be supplied at will. Fundamental are the foods of animal origin, therefore during the cove it needs live prey in abundance. They drink very rarely, in fact in their natural habitat water is a rare resource and therefore they have adapted to make little use of it, optimally metabolizing that present in fruit and vegetables.
At ornithological exhibitions these exotic birds can rarely be admired. To see some specimens of Granatino one must go to see one of the various specialist ornithological exhibitions of exotic animals, which are organized, usually from September to December, throughout the national territory. Being little present at ornithological exhibitions, this species is judged in the same category as many other less common African and Australian estrildids, a category called "other ancestral estrildids".

Card created by Federico Vinattieri

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