Finches are the perfect alternative for those wanting a feathered pet but not prepared to take on the challenges of caring for a parrot. Finches don’t talk and are hands-off birds, but they delight their owners with their aerial antics and social interactions with one another.
“Finch” is a loose term to describe one of many (hundreds!) of small passerine birds. The finch species most commonly kept as pets come from the Estrildidae family of finches, like the zebra finch Gouldian finch, owl finch and society finch. Finches are ideal for those wanting a pet bird but not ready to take on the demands of a parrot. They will be content housed in a large flight cage or aviary with other finches. A finch most likely will not be a cuddly companion (although some hand-raised finches, especially zebra finches, have been known to perch on a finger) like a parrot.
Native Region / Natural Habitat
The estrildid finches, such as the zebra finch, Gouldian finch, owl finch and society finch, are native to Australasia.
Care & Feeding
Finches need spacious housing, especially since they spend most, if not all, of their time inside their enclosure. These birds should remain fully flighted instead of having trimmed wing feathers. A horizontal cage is a must (as opposed to a vertical cage). Finches are flock animals and thrive when housed with other finches (do not house a finch with a parrot because a parrot can injure a finch). If you house pairs of finches together, be prepared for possible offspring, especially if the finches are provided a nest (small wicker-basket) and nesting material.
Some finches can be housed in same-sex pairs (a male finch with a male finch or a female finch with a female finch) to avoid the possibility of breeding but it depends on the finch species as well as possibly the time of the year. Consult an experienced finch breeder to see which same-sex finch pairs are most likely to get along. Likewise, if you plan on keeping an aviary of mixed finch species, consult an experienced finch breeder first, because some finch species can be aggressive toward other finch species, especially during breeding season. A finch will thrive on a pelleted base diet.