Species: L. lutea
Sometimes called the Chinese Nightingale, the Pekin Robin (Leiothrix lutea) is an ideal softbill for beginners. They are kept as songbirds in their native habitat and a good singing male is a prized possession. In many rural areas the family’s wealth is measured by how many song birds they own.
Adults have bright red bills and a dull yellow ring around their eyes. Their backs are dull olive green and have a bright yellow-orange throat with a yellow chin; females are somewhat duller than males, and juveniles have black bills.
Pekins will eat just about anything but they should be offered a well-balanced diet that includes various fruits, Universal food or softbill pellets, insects and a little nectar. There are as many Pekin diets as there are Pekin breeders but remember, they are softbills and should not be fed kiln-dried seeds.
The Red-billed Leiothrix is native to Southern Asia. It has also been introduced on the Hawaiian Islands and small populations of escapees have existed in Japan since the 1980s.