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Star Finch - Finch mutation

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Star Finch

Original image copyright: Ross Walker (Ohmi Finch)  近江フィンチ

Species: Star Finch コモンチョウ
Common names: Rufous-tailed finch, Red-tailed finch, Red-faced finch, Ruficauda finch, Queensland star finch (N. ruficauda), Western Australian star finch (N. r. clarescens)
Genus: Neochmia ruficauda
Mutation: Yellow body イエローボデイ
Gender: Cock
Split ring number:  44
Born (day/month/year):  6/1/2017 (estimated)
DB item code: 46585
(for the bird pictured above): 

What a gorgeous mutation. This Star was imported from Europe as a so-called "double-factor" Star. I do not know whether "double-factor" means a yellow-body Star (i.e., fawn + cinnamon). It has similar phenotypical characteristics like the deep red head, pink tail, and complete suppression of the darker pigments. However it does not have the same striking deep yellow body of the "Yellow body" mutation. The only information I have is that the pied mutation was involved in the making of this phenotype. I suspect cinnamon is also in there too.


General mutation notes: This is not a single mutation; it is a combination of the fawn (autosomal recessive) and cinnamon (sex linked) mutations.

Excelling information from the Aussie Finch Forum:


To start from 1st base is quite a long process but very doable.
If you could obtain just one yellow-bodied bird it would cut down the process by at least 2 years.

I got them established from just one yellow-bodied hen and a collection of fawns, but it took me 3 years and I did obtain a known fawn split cinnamon cock in the second year which greatly assisted me to do it in that time.
If not, you should familiarise yourself with the autosomal recessive (fawn) and sex-linked recessive (cinnamon) modes of inheritence and the breeding expectations for all possible matings within these modes. If you don't first have at least a basic grasp on how these work, the whole process is going to be very confusing and difficult for you.

Once the cinnamon and fawn genes have been combined, the pure cinnamon birds are no longer useful to the process of establishing yellow-bodieds - fawns are the best ones to keep a separate strain going for regular outcrosses and you should do this.

Year 1: Mate your best Cinnamon cocks with your best fawn hens to produce cinnamon hens split to fawn. These are the "money birds" from the first year, so the best of these should be retained as year 2 breeders.
The young cocks will be normal phenotype stars but double split to both fawn and cinnamon - these are less useful than the young hens because no matter what you mate them to, they are going to produce a wide range of genotypes in any subsequent offspring (some of which need to be test-mated to correctly identify their genetic composition). Any such matings should be avoided - you need to mate birds which give known genotype offspring to proceed with confidence. So for our program to establish yellow-bodieds, 1st year young cocks should be discarded.

Year 2: Mate the best cinnamon split fawn hens to the best fawn cocks to produce fawn split cinnamon cocks. These are the "money bird" from year 2. Some of the young cocks will be normal star phenotype - these again are double-splits and hence should be discarded. The young hens will be 50:50 fawns and split fawns. If any of the fawn hens are standout quality birds they can be combined with your other fawns to keep improving them. However the split fawns are not directly useful for our program so should be discarded.

Year 3: Mate the best of your year 2 young male fawn split cinnamons to the best fawn hens you have. This will produce your first yellow-bodied progeny - yellow-bodied hens. It will also produce some fawn hens. The young cocks will be fawns and fawn split cinnamons which will be visually identical so best discarded. Some year 2 matings could also be continued in year 3 to produce extra fawn split cinnamon cocks which will always be useful in breeding yellow-bodieds. Year 1 matings are no longer beneficial to the program.

Year 4: Mate the best yellow-bodied hens with the best fawn split cinnamon cocks this is the best mating for breeding yellow-bodied stars thereafter. This mating produces Yellow-bodied cocks and fawn split cinnamon cocks, Yellow-bodied hens and fawn hens. You then have them established. In my experience Yellow-bodied to yellow-bodied matings are neither productive nor do they result in decent quality young birds. This year 4 mating is the best mating for producing yellow-bodied progeny in both sexes.

The best outcross mating for strengthening the yellow-bodied combination is a really good yellow-bodied cock mated to a really good fawn hen. This produces all yellow-bodied hens and all fawn split cinnamon cocks.

That's the whole process. As you can see, if you can possibly obtain yellow-bodied birds you can jump straight to where they fit into the process & hence cut down the process considerably.
General species notes: Forehead, sides of head, chin and beak: bright red; neck and upper back: grey-green to olive green; wings: grey-brown; belly: yellowish green; rump and central tail feathers: crimson. Red eyes, yellow legs and feet. Spots located on mask, chest and along the sides of the belly. Older birds tend to have more intense coloration and a greater number of spots. Race N. r. clarescens males have more extensive red on the head, brighter yellowish-green upperparts, yellowish breast and flanks. Juveniles are very similar to Crimson Finch juveniles; they are a dull olive-brown with their underparts being a lighter shade than their back, have a blackish bill, and have brown legs and feet.

Mutations include:

(but pied feathers only tend to show on the head, wings, and tail);
yellow-faced or orange-headed (where the mask is yellow instead of red);

(a lighter, more fawn version of the bird with the same markings, just in a lighter, browner tone) present in Europe, similar to the Australian cinnamon - sex-linked mutation;

Cinnamon (in Australia; green-brown upperparts, underparts paler and more green-buff, rump and uppertail coverts pink-mauve, but red face mask retained);

(in Australia; upperparts pale fawn/cream, underparts pale buff-yellow, rump and uppertail coverts pale pink, eyes red, red face mask remains);
yellow-bodied (in Australia, upperparts and underparts yellow, red areas retained, eyes red);

(in South Africa; upperparts silver green-grey, underparts pale grey-green, red areas become pale orange-yellow while yellow is reduced in intensity in yellow-faced forms)
clear-head (total lack of red on the head, sexing must be done by DNA)

Data source: http://www.finchinfo.com/birds/finches/species/star_finch.php

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Site copyright: Dr Ross Walker, Shiga, Japan. The information contained on this website is provided as an educational resource.

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