Systematic classification and general information
Species: A. modest
In the free state its ideal habitat are the bushes and the low vegetation of the savannahs. It is part of the large group of Australian Estrildidae, present mainly in Eastern Australia and also in Central Australia. It is also sometimes called "Modest Diamond", but is better known as "D. Zebrato ”, name more easily associated with its typical livery.
Zebra Diamond - Aidemosyne modesta (photo http://forummistermandarino.forumfree.it)
Zebra Diamond - Aidemosyne modesta (photo www.birdsandbirds.com)
Newbies can easily mistake it for the "Domino" due to the presence of scales and streaks, but if you look closely at the chest you can't go wrong. It is characterized by an apologetic brown plumage, a color that extends on the croup, on the wings and on the head. The wings and tail are speckled with white. The typical brown streaks on a white background, from which it takes its common name, are present on the cheeks, throat, belly, chest and also on the undertail. The beak is lead gray. Even the eye has the same color as the beak. The legs are flesh. And a little bird about 11 cm long. The sexual dimorphism is quite evident as the male has an excuse gag, which is absent instead of the female. Exotic bird very appreciated in ornithological exhibitions.
If you have the possibility of having a room where the temperature is not lower than 20-22 degrees centigrade, then there is a real possibility that these birds can reproduce without excessive difficulty. It is not a bird suitable for our climates, therefore not suitable for living in aviaries or external cages. Being quite peaceful birds, you can try to make them coexist in colonies or with other similar species. This captive bird needs a lot of water, since in nature the reproductive period begins in conjunction with the beginning of the notorious rainy season, so they still associate the abundance of water with the possibility of starting the mating season. Since it is not many decades that this species is bred in captivity, some archaic instincts are still highlighted by them, therefore there is the possibility that they enter a real depression in a cage, therefore it is advisable to give their cage a semblance of nature, that is, place fake or real vegetation inside and outside; if put in the aviary it is easier to adapt; the aviary can be decorated with real plants or bushes. In captive breeding, the frequent use of nurses to hatch their eggs is preferable. Reproduction is more facilitated if they are allowed to form couples on their own, therefore the possibility of choosing their partner personally; this obviously goes against the selection of the breeder who wishes to expose his subjects to ornithological beauty exhibitions, who will have to correct any choices that would devalue the phenotype. The nest to be used is the box-shaped one, which these little birds fill with various fibers, including those of coconut and grass threads, but they adapt well to any kind of vegetable fiber. In hatching the parents take turns, like most of the species belonging to the Estrildidi family. The eggs laid in the majority of cases do not exceed 4 or 5. The diet is based on mixed for exotic with panic as a seed in greater quantity. In order to breed it, in addition to the normal egg-protein egg food that must never be missing, it also uses live prey, such as flour moths and even germinated seeds. Fruits and vegetables are always very welcome, but without exceeding. It is not a proper species for allibridization because it is not easy to pair with specimens of different species, but for this very much sought-after and admired if libridation should succeed. In hybridization, only male subjects are usually used, since it almost always hybridizes with larger species.
Card created by Federico Vinattieri http://ornitologia.difossombrone.it