What parrots can be kept with finches?

"Rainbow Lady" by Prab Bhatia
“Rainbow Lady” by Prab Bhatia

Mixing different species of birds in an aviary is incredibly popular for many reasons. Some want to create an aesthetically pleasing mix of different colors, others try to create region-themed “habitat aviaries”, while others simply don’t have enough space to house all their young birds prior to sale.

Housing parrots and finches in the same aviary is certainly achievable, but it should only be attempted with certain species and with a great deal of care taken to minimize the risks.


The most significant risk involved with housing parrots and finches together is the size difference between the birds. Squabbles and territorial disputes between birds housed in close proximity are common, but a fight between a parrot and a finch is almost always going to end badly for the finch.

Parrots and finches in a confined space are also prone to mid-air collisions – especially when startled. When two birds of substantially different sizes collide, the impact on the smaller bird could be fatal.


Housing Considerations

Aviary Size

Mixed collections should not be attempted in small aviaries. Anything smaller than 50 square feet should not be attempted; ideally the aviary should be larger than 200-300 square feet. Multiple hiding places and sight barriers should be used to allow birds to escape one another and multiple nesting areas should be provided.


Finches and parrots usually have different dietary requirements. It is possible to mix parrot seed and finch seed together in one feeding station, but in the interest of aviary harmony multiple feed stations should be provided.


Compatible Parrot Species

Parrots in the Neophema genus are most commonly housed with finches. These include the Scarlet-chested parrot, Turquoise parrot, Elegant parrot, rock parrot, Blue-winged parrots; plus the closely related Bourke’s parrot. They are arguably the most placid parrot commonly available in aviculture and rarely show aggression, although the suggestions above should still be implemented – especially during their breeding season.

Domesticated budgerigars (known as budgies or simply “parakeets”) are very aggressive and should not be housed with finches. However, wild-type budgerigars; known as “bush budgies” or “shell parakeets,” are substantially less aggressive and can be housed with finches in very large aviaries.

Purple-crowned Lorikeet by Rexness
Purple-crowned Lorikeet by Rexness

The smaller lorikeet species, such as the Little lorikeet and Purple-crowned lorikeet, have been successfully housed with finches by some keepers. Once again, this is only achievable with a very large aviary. Lorikeets also have challenging dietary requirements that make them unsuitable for beginners.

Larger parrots like the humble Cockatiel or the Plum-headed parakeet can also be housed with finches. Levels of aggression vary between individual birds so it’s important to monitor the aviary diligently. It’s usually necessary to separate the parrots during the breeding season when they are most aggressive.

Closing Thoughts

While housing finches and parrots together is achievable and produces a stunning mix of colours, breeding results are almost always lower than those achieved in single-species aviaries. Ultimately it’s up to you to decide whether the aesthetic advantages outweigh the risks and costs.

25 thoughts on “What parrots can be kept with finches?”

  1. Hi , I have gouldian finches, orange breasted finches, Fire Finches and Scarlet Creasted Parrots all together in my aviary and I was wondering if I could add a pair of eastern rosellas or similar lorikeets??
    Cheers Jonathan

    • Rosellas don’t mix with smaller birds. Similarly, lorikeets other than the Little and *maybe* the Purple-crowned should not be housed with finches.

  2. I have a semi tame female ringneck. can i put a pair of gouldian finches in the aviary with her? Aviary is 1 metre wide by 2 metres long by 1.8 metres tall. Your thoughts?

      • I have two finches and looking to get a hyacinth macaw. I have a whole bird room in my home with plenty of space. I would have separate aviaries for sleep and feed. Would that be okay? To allow them all to be out together in the room but when enclosed they are in separate enclosures?

  3. Just got a finch and its always really scared, we dont bother it too much. Can we buy a parrot and put them in the same cage? Or any suggestions what the finch would get along with.

    • Parrots and finches should never be housed together in a cage. Perhaps you should find a mate for your finch—they are very social birds and are very stressed and miserable if housed alone.

  4. When I was a kid my neighbour bred Hooded parrots housed with Gouldians in small aviaries (2.4x1x1.8). Anyone else had success with hooded or golden shouldered?
    …My dad had a disaster with Red rumps years ago so I don’t know what to trust – but I’d like golden shouldered. Maybe I’ll just do a test with zebs ?

  5. I have a green cheeked conure, grey cockatiel and two zebra, two blue and two yellow breasted wax bills. (the finches all live together). Can I mix either cockatiel or conure with each other? They all live in separate cages but wondering about just having them out of cage together.

  6. How about canaries and rainbow finch..can they be together. I have 1 finch and put it in a decent cage with two canaries

    • It depends on the canary. I keep one to several canaries in each of my large flight cages of Gouldians, mostly one canary to a cage. But, rarely, a canary is too aggressive and pesters the Goulds too much, or, more often, is too active and disturbs the Goulds. On the other hand, I have a pair of canaries that breeds, raises their young in the same cage with the Goulds, and all are happy. Keep in mind that the Goulds rest and feed on a different schedule than the canaries, so watch your canary to make sure it isn’t bothering the other birds. The sex of the canary hasn’t seemed to make too much difference as to whether they live peaceably with other finches. I feed their seeds in different dishes, and the canaries enjoy such a wide variety of fresh vegetables and fruits that the finches watch and learn to eat things they normally would ignore. Give it a try.