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 with a great deal of care taken to minimize the risks.

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.

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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.

Feeding

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.

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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.

Home Forums What parrots can be kept with finches?

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  • #14615 Reply
    Jonathan
    Guest

    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

    #14616 Reply
    Shane Gowland
    Keymaster

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

    #14617 Reply
    Amy
    Guest

    Rosellas are big bullies.. i wouldnt bother.

    #14618 Reply
    Peter
    Guest

    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?

    #14619 Reply
    Peter
    Guest

    Clarify to the above, “indian ringneck”

    #14620 Reply
    Shane Gowland
    Keymaster

    Absolutely not. Indian ringnecks, especially females, are far too aggressive to house with anything smaller.

    #14621 Reply
    Hamza
    Guest

    Can I put kakarikies with gouldian

    #14622 Reply
    Shane Gowland
    Keymaster

    Maybe. How big is the aviary?

    #14623 Reply
    Susanne Vanden Heuvel
    Guest

    Can I put Weiros in the aviary with zebra finch

    #14624 Reply
    Shane Gowland
    Keymaster

    Sometimes. Depends on how aggressive the weiros are.

    #14625 Reply
    Gabby Oldfather
    Guest

    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?

    #14626 Reply
    tanya
    Guest

    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.

    #14627 Reply
    Shane Gowland
    Keymaster

    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.

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