The Pekin Robin and the Silver-eared Mesia are part of the Laughingthrush family, a group of passerine birds mainly from the Old World that come in a range of sizes and colourations.  They are mostly from the tropical areas of South-East Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

Hi Malcolm sorry for slow reply I did think if you see my comment it would go to my email ( this computer lark is beyond me ) I will go take a look at the softbill web site … is there a good time that I could call you … Thanks again christine

The leiothrix is an open cup nester.[9] The nests of the red-billed leiothrix are composed of dry leaves, moss and lichen; however, they are not well hidden because concealment isn't really a primary factor when determining a nest site.[9] Several nests are found between April and June and are placed within ten feet of the ground. Dense vegetation provides the shrub nesting species protection against predators.[9]

Keepers recommend keeping at least a pair of these birds as in time past, a single male was kept for his song.  They can live in a cage but need to have it covered partially in greenery for them to settle or in a well-planted aviary.  They are relatively hardy birds that don’t need full heat protection but will need a frost-free night house area in which to roost.

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Hi Christine Thanks for leaving a post!! Always good to communicate!! If you ring me on 01702584107 I can talk it thru with you. I can also recommend joining the Foreign Softbill Association. They have a good forum!

In the wild, these birds feed on plants and live food such as insects.  The main fruit it eats includes strawberries, ripened papaya and guavas as well as the fruits from other native trees.  In captivity, this translates to a good universal food, insect paste and live food as well as fresh fruit and may eat vegetables such as leafy greens as well.

The eggs of the leiothrix are found in clutches of two to four eggs with an average of three.[3] They are broad and blunt in shape with some gloss on the outside and they also have a pale blue color and red like brown spots that encircle the larger end of the eggs. The newly hatched birds have bright red skin and a rich orange red gape.[3]

Christine If you are looking for a genuine parent reared aviary bred Pekin Robin I have three babies!! I will be selling at least one or maybe two and keeping one back for breeding Malcolm

The presence of the avian malaria parasite has been found in the blood of this species.[3]

These birds have a bright red beak, olive green backs and a yellow-orange throat area with a lighter yellow chin.  They are generally around 6 inches in length and have brightly coloured wing feathers in yellow, orange, red and black along with a forked olive green tail.  Females are generally dull than the males and juveniles have black bills.  In the wild, they are very active and so are hard to see but known for their beautiful song.

In the wild, these birds eat insects and their larvae with fruit and seeds to a lesser extent.  They often forage in groups up to thirty birds and can join up with other species in the area including species of babblers.  In captivity, a good universal food will form a basis of their diet with live food such as mealworms, pinky maggots, spiders, crickets and buffalo worms.  Berries, raisins, bananas and pear are among their favourite fruits.

Hi Malcolm, Thanks for getting back to me. I am certainly interested but was actually looking to pay £200 for a pair. Will understand if you don’t wish to take this further. Please let me know. Thanks, Christine

This bird feeds on animal matter. It eats fruits such as strawberries, ripened papaya, guavas and also various species of Diptera, Mollusca, Lepidoptera, and Hymenoptera. Its food is usually gathered from foliage and dead wood and it usually searches for food in lower strata of vegetation.[4]

The leiothrix is usually found in India, Bhutan, Nepal, Burma and parts of Tibet.[5] This species is a bird of the hill forests, found in every type of jungle though it prefers pine forests with bushes. It has also been found at elevations ranging from near sea level to about 7,500 feet.[6]

Pekin robins are very active birds that make use of their home and are most comfortable when in vegetation around the top of the aviary.  However, this is not to say that they are particularly flighty and given time and patience, will learn to trust their keeper and may even come to the hand for food.

HAND-REARING MIX (If you are ever in the unfortunate position that you have to save a chick by Handrearing)

Hi Malcolm it was good to read the little story about your pekin robins ..It has been a dream of mine to own a pair and i have been looking for some time do you know of any in this area for sale

Hi Malcolm only just seen your message so sorry for the slow response I am still hoping to get a pair of pekin robins but will they be a unrelated pair and if yes how much are you asking … many thanks christine

Hi Christine I think one has to be prepared to pay up to £130 each for a UK aviary bred parent reared bird!! One can buy ‘wild’ ‘feral’ birds which seemingly are caught in France or Spain but their age or sex is not known at the outset!! I have three babies which can be available but of course they are related. However if you require a pair I know of a breeder who may be able to make up a pair? Would you like me to take it further for you?