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Systematic classification and general information
Species: C. reichenovii
Part of the group of African estrildidae, this bird is native to Angola, Cameroon, Zaire, Uganda, Mozambique and Tanzania. As the name implies, it lives at high altitudes up to 2000 meters above sea level, always in wooded areas.
Astro Montano di Reichenow - Cryptospiza reichenovii (photo http://ibc.lynxeds.com)
Astro Montano di Reichenow - Cryptospiza reichenovii (photo www.buckhambirding.co.za)
About 12 cm long; it is not one of the most elegant Estrildidi, also because the colors of the plumage are not as bright and bright as in many other similar species. The dominant color of the plumage is an olive green, with various shades and shades, which extends over the whole body. It has bright red glasses, as well as on the rump. The red is also found on part of the tail, on some feathers of the hips and on some feathers of the wings. The eyes are black. The legs are light gray and the beak is lead gray. This bird is not easily available, it is rarely found on the market, also because it is not very bred, in fact in the exhibitions it almost never has a specific category of judgment, but it is always judged in the category called "other African estrildidi", or "other estrildidi ancestral ”, where there are some different species that are poorly bred.
It is not at all easy to have Astro Montano reproduced in captivity, despite being a rather peaceful and robust species. It is a good idea to set up a fairly large cage in a room where the temperature never drops below eighteen degrees.
If the pair works and the breeding season begins, the female will lay 3 to 4 eggs. The nest to be used is the box-shaped or wooden or plastic one. To line the nest the A.M. of Reichenow uses various vegetable fibers and also animal fibers. As a food, in addition to the classic mix of exotic, easily available in any pet shop, you must also make available grass seeds, a lot of vegetables. To breed and feed, it is necessary to make many live prey available to the couple, such as flour moths; some breeders also use ant eggs. Egg food, better if integrated with germinated seeds, must always be available in the period of the hollows. Difficult to use for libridation, therefore not widely used for this practice. The breeders who manage to breed this species in purity are very few, since those who try this species are aware that there will be few products and that they must make use of nurses to hatch the eggs to replace the real mother.
Card created by Federico Vinattieri http://ornitologia.difossombrone.it