A mixed finch collection is a situation where multiple finch species are housed together in a single aviary. They are usually landscaped to resemble the wild habitat of the birds kept within, with grasses, shrubs and even trees growing naturally.
A planted aviary can be an aesthetically stunning addition to any backyard. Dozens of vibrantly coloured birds; each with a unique personality and song, can be a true pleasure to behold. This post will look at five of the best finches for a mixed collection that even a beginner can successfully keep.
The Gouldian finch is a small, colorful finch endemic to Australia’s savanna woodlands. They are easily the most vibrant finch commonly available and have dozens of available colour mutations.
Gouldian finches are a little more delicate than some of the other finches listed here, but are well worth the extra effort. They eat mostly seeds, but need occasional leafy greens and seeding grasses if they’re to be long-lived.
Parrotfinches are native to the tropical South Pacific islands, but adapt well to many different climates. They like to be able to forage among dense shrubbery and particularly like palms.
Red faced parrotfinches are easy to care for and have a reputation for being willing to eat almost anything you provide for them. Some keepers actually use them to teach other finches to eat different foods! They are a very bright and active species and rarely keep still.
The Double-barred finch is a small estrildid finch native to northern and eastern Australia. They are sometimes known as the Bicheno’s finch or the Owl finch.
Double-barred finches are low-maintenance birds with an active and sociable nature, housed best in small flocks where they will playfully chase each other. They are very placid, hardy, primarily eat seed and have a delightful song that sounds like a little trumpet.
The star finch is found throughout the northern parts of Australia. They are a hardy and easy to care for bird that will peacefully share an aviary with most other finches.
Large groups of Star finches can be destructive to plants, so it’s probably a good idea to limit the number of pairs in a planted aviary. Star finches do best in aviaries that resemble their wild habitat, so make sure you provide lots of seeding grasses, access to natural sunlight, and keep the floors clean and dry.
Painted Firetail (Emblema) Finch
Emblema finches are yet another Australian native (noticing a pattern yet?), typically found in the country’s harsh dry interior. They need an aviary that protects them from the weather, as wet conditions will not be tolerated.
Painted Firetails are immensely placid and quickly warm to their keeper. They show a lot of personality, have a unique-sounding song and are very entertaining to watch as they build elaborate nests.
Before deciding to buy some finches, it’s best to do some more in-depth research on the specific species you wish to keep; either through birdkeeping books and magazine, or by reading our species profile articles.