A mixed collection is an aviary that contains a large number of different finch species, all living and breeding in harmony. A mixed collection can be housed in an aviary of almost any size; from a few square feet to a few thousand square feet and beyond.
FinchInfo have a wonderful chart that groups finches into compatible groups:
Most of the smaller quail species can also be housed with finches. Some keepers also chose to keep smaller parrots in the same aviary. Check out our article titled ‘what parrots can be kept with finches?‘ for more information.
Mixed collections of different-colored birds look fantastic, especially in a large planted aviary that emulates their natural environment.
Finches are naturally flock birds and exhibit their most natural behavior when housed in groups. It’s also fascinating to watch the interaction between different species of finch as they squabble over food and nests.
If you’re trying to decide between lots of smaller species-specific aviaries or one large mixed aviary, the amount of maintenance each option requires is worth considering. Do you have time to fill many feed dishes, or would it be easier if all your birds shared the one? It saves a lot of time to have just one feed station and one water station.
When it comes to breeding, finches housed in mixed collections usually under-perform those housed in single-pair aviaries. With more birds comes more competition over food, nesting locations, nesting material and breeding partners.
The solution to this problem is to ensure that the aviary is as lightly-stocked as possible, and that a surplus of breeding resources is always available.
Photo credit: Keith Ellwood