how long do finch birds live

The wide range here can probably be attributed to species differences as well as an increased understanding of their husbandry, especially diet. Zebra finches are arguably the most popular bird species found in the North American pet trade. They are attractive birds, and the males are easily distinguished from the females. The males have black and white bars on the throat and breast, orange cheek patches and brown on the sides of the body. Both males and females have red-orange beaks, although the male’s is much brighter in hue. The above description applies to the wild type coloration; a wide variety of color mutations are now available.

Cage Size As mentioned above, the height of the cage is not as vital as having room to fly horizontally, so a long but shorter cage is acceptable. While experts vary in their recommended minimum size, it a good idea to get the largest cage you can. 30 inches long, by 18 inches high and 18 inches wide is a good sized cage for a pair of zebra finches. If you are going to get a larger group, you’ll need an aviary or flight cage. This can be home built, but keep in mind that excellent hygiene is a must so any cage should be easy to clean. Wire spacing should be 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch.

Furnishing & Toys Supply a variety of perches, but make sure the cage is not so cluttered that the finches cannot fly back and forth (keep an open flight path through the length of the cage). Also, use a couple of different sized dowels and try to add some natural branches as perches too, perhaps angling them to provide further variety so their feet are not always holding onto perches in exactly the same way. Small clip on perches can be used for some of the perches, and are nice since they do not span the whole cage and offer a little privacy in an aviary situation since only one or two finches can sit on one at a time. If possible, provide some plant cover at the perches to allow for privacy (also more important if keeping a group). You can use silk plants or non-toxic live plants. Swings and ladders can also be provided, although ladders are more likely to be used as perches than for climbing. Small bells or hanging toys can also be included, although finches are generally not very interested in toys.

Cage Placement You’ll want the finch cage in a quiet secure location in your home (although in warmer climates finches can be acclimated to outdoor aviaries). Avoid direct sunlight (overheating risk) as well draughts or being to close to heat or air conditioning ducts. Finches do not crave social interaction with people so unlike parrots do not need to be in a busy social part of the home, and in fact will probably be less stressed if kept in a quiet corner.

Water & Feed Dishes Provide fresh drinking water daily. Some keepers prefer tube style water dispensers, while others use dishes either attached to the cage (with perches for access) or on the floor (place away from perches to reduce soiling with feces). Whichever you use, make sure there is always a supply of fresh clean water available, and clean water dished daily. Food dishes can also be placed on the floor (also not under perches, of course) or attached to the side of the cage. Again, these need to be cleaned daily.

Bath A shallow dish of water should be provided several times a week for bathing. The water in the bath should be clean so remove the bath water as soon as it becomes soiled.

Lighting Some people use full spectrum lighting for their finches. This is helpful especially in controlling molting and breeding behavior, but isn’t strictly necessary for the average pet zebra finch.

Seeds Feed a good quality finch seed mix, although this should never the the sole diet of your finches. Check that the seeds are fresh by sprouting them (put some in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel) – if they will not sprout then they are too old to feed. Millet sprays are a favorite treat of many finches but should be given sparingly, or the finches may develop a preference for millet.

Sprouted Seeds This is an excellent way to boost nutrition as the seeds are at the peak of their nutritional value at sprouting. Ideally they should be fed just as they begin to sprout.

Greens & Fresh Foods A variety of green should be provided, such as romaine lettuce, dandelion greens, kale, and spinach (in moderation), along with a variety of fresh vegetables and fruits (NO avocado, though). Experiment to find what they like and keep offering a variety as it may take your finches a few tries to accept new food items. Remember, though, that serving sizes of these foods should be small.

Pellets These are excellent balanced diets and are nice to offer as part of a varied and balanced diet. Be sure to get a good quality pellet especially formulated for finches, and you may need to be persistent in offering pellets before your finches will try them if they are not used to eating them.

Eggfood This is a supplement that is very important for breeding birds but that can be fed in moderation to non-breeders as well.

Cuttlebone & Grit Some sort of calcium supplement is recommended and a cuttlebone is an easy way to add calcium to the diet, as are crushed oyster shells or even eggshells (heat thoroughly before crushing to prevent salmonella contamination). The role of grit is still highly debated. It is now quite widely accepted that parrots do not need grit, but the need for grit for finches and canaries is less clearly understood. Many avian vets now recommend no grit even for finches, as they do hull their seeds (grit is essential for doves and pigeons, for example, because they swallow seeds whole and need the grit to help hull the seeds). There seems to be a definite risk to overeating grit leading to impactions however, so this is something you should discuss with your avian veterinarian. If you do feed grit, only offer a few granules at a time and at infrequent intervals, especially mineralized grit.

Zebra Finch Health Problems

Common diseases in zebra finches include:Â

  • A bird’s face can get scales from klimicopes mites, and its legs can develop crusty lesions.
  • A bird’s ability to breathe may be compromised by air sac mites.
  • One fungus that can cause both weight loss and dyspnea is Aspergillus.
  • Coccidiosis, a parasite, causes diarrhea and lethargy (exhaustion and sleepiness).
  • A bird becomes pale and listless due to bloodsucking mites, which leave crusty patches beneath its wings.

A pet zebra finch can live 5 to 15 years, compared to the 2 to 3 years that wild finches only live.

  • Zebra finch parenting. Zebra finches, both male and female, devote a lot of time to raising their young. Over the course of a week, they collaborate to gather supplies and construct the nest. While the female spends two weeks tending to the eggs, the male guards the nest.
  • Zebra finch songs. Young zebra finches observe how their mothers respond to their song as they learn to sing and craft their own melody. When they like what they hear, mothers fluff up their feathers or make gestures with their wings. It is crucial for the male zebra finch to receive female input because they use their songs to court females.
  • Zebra finch studies. Scholars examine speech disorders such as stuttering using zebra finches. One of the rare few animals that acquires communication skills similar to those of humans is the songbird. Both songbirds and humans learn vocal patterns through imitation.

Bath: Several times a week, a shallow dish of water should be available for bathing. Remove the bath water as soon as it gets soiled because the water in the tub should be clean.

This large variation is most likely due to species differences and improved knowledge of animal husbandry, particularly nutrition. Perhaps the most common bird species in the pet trade in North America is the zebra finch. These birds are pretty, and it’s easy to tell the males from the females. Males have orange cheek patches, brown body sides, and black and white bars on their breasts and throats. Males and females have reddish-orange beaks, but the male’s color is significantly brighter. The aforementioned explanation only relates to the wild type coloration; a large range of color mutations are currently accessible.

Greens It might take a few tries for your finches to accept new food items, so try different things to see what they like. However, keep in mind that these foods should be served in small portions.

Furnishings Additionally, use a few dowels of varying sizes and attempt to incorporate some organic branches as perches. You could even try angling the branches to add even more variation so that their feet don’t always grip perches in the same manner. Some of the perches can be replaced with small clip-on perches, which are useful because they don’t cover the entire cage and provide some privacy in an aviary setting because only one or two finches can sit on them at a time. To promote privacy, try to add some plant cover to the perches (especially if you’re keeping a group). You can use silk plants or non-toxic live plants. Additionally, swings and ladders can be supplied; however, ladders are more frequently used as perches than as means of climbing. You can also add little bells or hanging toys, though finches aren’t usually big fans of toys.

Cage Location: Although finches can be acclimated to outdoor aviaries in warmer climates, you should place the cage in a peaceful, secure area of your house. Steer clear of draughts, direct sunlight, and areas too close to air conditioning or heating ducts to prevent overheating. Unlike parrots, finches do not need to be kept in a busy, social area of the house; in fact, they will likely be less stressed if kept in a quiet corner. This is because finches do not crave human social interaction.

More On Pet Health

how long do finch birds live

how long do finch birds live


How long House Finches live?

Banding studies show House Finches may live to be over 11 years old in the wild. House finches are early nesters, beginning in March in most of the country. Both male and female House Finch display a strong tendency to return to the same area to breed, often occupying the same nest site as the previous year.

Do house finch birds mate for life?

House finches are monogamous (one male mates with one female). Males and females begin to look for mates in winter, and have formed breeding pairs by the time the breeding season begins.

Where do wild finches sleep at night?

In the winter, cardinals, Blue Jays and finches will roost in dense evergreens, using their body heat to keep warm. Some finch species, especially the Common Redpoll, may tunnel into the snow. Woodpeckers and chickadees, however, will sleep in small tree cavities for warmth and protection.

Do finches come back?

Spring and fall migration tends to be a time when these birds are really on the move and disappear from feeding stations seemingly overnight. Be patient and pay attention to the quality of your feeders and seed because they will return and reward you with their beautiful spring-summer plumage.