Finches

Pet-lover, this is Finch.
Finch, this is Pet-lover.

Let’s fly:

Free bird: ‘Just let me be a finch’.

If you’re someone who likes to do your own thing and would love your pet to be the same, the Finch is the bird for you. You really can just feed ’em and leave ’em to flutter, jump, strut and just enjoy being a Finch. As with any pet, you will want to give them the proper diet, housing, mates and care they need. But overall, they’re pretty low-maintance, if we do sing so ourselves: Simply put, if they’re allowed to perch and eat seeds, they’re chirpy.

Finches are worldly warblers.

Most Finches are native to the southern hemisphere, although one subfamily is common in Europe, where they probably perch onto art museums. Although birds of many other species are commonly called ‘Finches’, the most popular of them all are the Zebra Finch and the Bengalese Finch. These freewheeling friends are very domesticated and willing to breed. (Hey, at least you’ll have more room for these little guys than the stork.)

Zebra Finches
You’ll find these teardrop-eyed, tweet-tweets come in various mutations, although males typically have orange cheek patches, and stripes on their throats. Fun feathered fact: Zebra Finches will nest in just about anything they can stick their bodies into.

Bengalese Finches (aka Society Finches)
Some quick stats on these winged wonders: Males and females are similar in colour, but they won’t be tweeting out of turn if you get them confused. Despite their air of independence, there’s a lot of love in these birds: Let’s just say it’s harder to make them stop breeding, than it is to make them start.

Preparing for your feathered friend.

Welcoming a Finch into the family? Here are some things you’ll want to get sorted before bringing home the birdie:

  • Unless you have a flock of breeding experience, it’s best to go with an adult Finch.
  • If you’re thinking of intermingling different species of Finches, beak prepared – not all breeds get along, folks.
  • If your bird has been sleeping during the day or is mostly inactive, chances are, he’s not well. So, sing out to his vet.
  • It’s best to only buy Finches with well-formed beaks; clear eyes and nostrils; and healthy-looking skin. Chirp, chirp!
  • Exotic Finch species are a bit higher maintenance than the more popular breeds. So, be prepared to manage a special diet, the room temperature, and flowers on the sidetable, every day. (Wait a minute, not every songbird gets to make diva demands, Daisy!)
  • Living with a heavy smoker is a recipe for your Finch’s demise, so weigh your options before bringing him home.
  • Taunting kiddies and kitties can actually scare your Finch onto the next train to glory – that is, frighten him to death. So, you’ll want to keep your little wingman’s cage up, up and away.
  • Get some good, healthy feeding advice to keep your compact companion singing for years to come.

See? A Finch is a cinch – and they’re just as easy to love. Good luck!