Finches are small species of birds found worldwide in the wild and in captivity. They belong to the Fringillidae family. There are many groups of finches in the world, such as true finches and lesser finches. They have played a significant historical role thanks to Sir Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Each species of finch has a distinctly colored plumage.
|Finches Facts: Fascinating Facts About Finches That You Should Know About|
So, are you considering adding a finch to your aviary? These little birds are very popular as human companions. But there are a few facts about finches that you need to know before buying one. These are a few of the most typical subjects:
- Amazing talents.
- Striking features.
- Beautiful qualities of finches that distinguish them from other birds.
We'll also reveal key facts about their health and social behavior for you to ponder. If you currently own a finch or are planning to become one, you will benefit greatly from this list we have curated for you. This can help you determine if finches are the right birds for you. Now let's start with an unsurprising but essential fact that you should know more about these birds.
What are finches?
First, we all know finches are birds. But to narrow it down, even more, finches are very small birds (they don't grow taller than 10 inches at most). They are the tiniest domesticated birds, that consume seeds and nuts. If you look at their beak, it's called a conical beak, a shorter beak designed by evolution to open up and eat seeds and nuts.
The most common pet finch is the zebra finch, which we are going to dive into a bit… They are great pets, so let's get into those facts!
There are hundreds of types of finches in the world
Finches come in many distinct types, and each one has unique traits and behaviors. But since the Migratory Bird Treaty Act protects them, including the American Goldfinch and other wild finches, not all of them can be kept as pet birds. Fortunately, you have a selection of domesticated finches. These are a few of them.
Zebra finch (The most popular finch)
|Zebra finch (The most popular finch)|
This bird is not flashy, but elegant and tough, so it deserves the designation of the most popular finch. It earned its name due to the appearance of its tail which resembles the black and white stripes of a zebra. But most of its body parts are brown, and its belly is white with a few brown patches on its cheeks and wings. It is very territorial and can become aggressive when there are other birds around. But overall it is friendly and active and will surely bring you joy.
Strawberry Chaffinch (Most Striking)
|Strawberry Chaffinch (The Most Striking)|
This fascinating bird is incredibly beautiful and distinct as it resembles a bird-shaped strawberry. Their red fur on their body, their black coats on their wings and the tip of their tail, and their white spots complement each other perfectly. The problem is that they are very light, even when they are already mature. But these finches have the best songs of any bird type, with some bird owners claiming it sounds like a flute. This is beauty and talent.
Owl Finch (The most interesting)
|Owl Finch (The most interesting)|
True to its name, this bird resembles an owl. He has a brown body with a white chest and a white face. But the most distinctive feature of its plumage is the black line that runs across the bottom of its face and chest. They can be great pets, but they are rare and a bit pricey, with others paying around $100 for this little bird.
Gouldian Finch (Flashiest)
|Gouldian Finch (Flashiest)|
The back of this stunning bird is green, and its wings and beak are orange with a purple chest, yellow belly, and orange beak. They are attractive in their own right, but their docile nature makes them even more appealing. You won't have any issues with them if you intend to house various finches in the same cage.
They are among the smallest pet birds kept as pets
Finches are among the tiniest of all the small pet birds in the world, though there are many others. The majority of finches weigh under an ounce and measure 4 inches from beak to tail tip.
They may be tiny, but they require a large cage
Despite their tiny size, finches need a roomier birdcage than most types of parrots. The reason for this is that they need to be able to fly not only for entertainment but also for exercise. So when choosing an enclosure or flight cage for them, be sure to choose one that gives them the ability to spread their wings and take flight.
The herd of Goldfinches is called "charm"
Have you seen goldfinches in your garden? These popular backyard birds are found almost everywhere in the United States, and their group's collective pronoun is "charm". These brightly colored birds are photogenic and visually pleasing, but they can be quite grumpy.
So why are they called a charm? Well, "charm" comes from the Old English word c'irm, which describes their warble song, not their personality.
Finches don't like to be handled
The fact that finches do not need human attention, in contrast to other birds, is another intriguing aspect of finches. They can establish the habit of watching their people, although they dislike being handled. Therefore, do your finch a favor and only hold them when necessary for medical reasons if you don't want them to feel anxious and agitated.
They prefer their own species to humans
Unlike other birds that like to socialize and form a special bond with their humans, finches thrive more when they are with their fellow finches. Yes, they prefer the companionship of other finches than people That's why it's best to keep them in pairs or small groups. This can help them become emotionally and mentally stable and prevent the development of fierce behaviors.
Finches are prone to infection by air sac mites
This condition is caused by air sac mites that infect birds by entering their airways. They can block the bird's air passage, which can lead to suffocation and death.
Symptoms of Air Mite Infection in Finches and Other Birds
Symptoms of this condition are not easily distinguishable in mild cases. But you may notice your bird becoming less vocal and the quality of its feathers deteriorating. They may also appear bloated and less active. In advanced cases, the symptoms are:
- Squealing (high-pitched noise).
- Wet nostrils.
- Excessive salivation.
- Tail flapping.
- Weight loss.
- Clicking sounds when breathing.
- Breathing with your mouth open.
Symptoms are worse in young birds and become severe when the bird is flying or doing other activities.
Causes of Air Sac Mites Infection in Finches
A finch bird can acquire air sac mite infection through close contact with other birds that have already been infected with the parasite. The disease can also be transmitted when a small amount of moisture containing the mites is released into the air by coughing or sneezing. Another way to spread the virus is by drinking contaminated water.
Diagnosis of air sac mite infection in finches
There are a variety of methods to diagnose air sac mites in live birds:
- The first choice is to swab the bird's trachea and look at the tissues. The mites may become visible to the naked eye or under a microscope after swabbing. Through transillumination of the trachea in a dark environment, they will appear as dark dots around the size of a pinhead.
- Wetting the feathers of the bird above its trachea with a small amount of alcohol can also help you see the mites. However, just because the mites aren't visible doesn't mean they aren't there.
- When a bird responds to therapy, a diagnosis may occasionally be made.
Finches are quite pets compared to parrots
Finches vocalize like other pet birds, but their voices are tiny compared to larger birds like parrots. Thus, they would make excellent pets for those who live in apartments and condominiums. But don't underestimate their tiny fleas as many finch owners say their sweet vocalization is soothing to the ears. This is why they like to spend time in the same room with their finch. There's a free nature concert right there.
Some finches can act as foster parents
Most finches are social, but perhaps the most social of them is the society finch. The name itself explains why. This finch acts as an adoptive parent by raising chicks of other species. And if you're wondering what this type of finch looks like, well, it looks a bit like a sparrow. It features white bellies with a brown back. This finch does not look as gorgeous as other finches, but its friendly nature makes it a desirable pet.
The eggs of female finches are pale blue
Perhaps the most exciting fact about house finches is their pale bluish-green eggs with a few speckles. They receive their egg color from biliverdin, an oxidized version of the bile pigment that contributes to the blue hue of the eggs. As the eggs grow, this pigment is deposited.
On the other hand, the spots are caused by the compound protoporphyrin which brings red and brown colors and spots. Balancing the color of their egg has some advantages as the tint of dark colors like blue can protect the embryo from strong light and harmful UV rays.
On the other hand, dark coloring increases light absorption and warms the interior, just like the dark car effect. Therefore, in sunlit nesting environments, less pigmentation will increase the harmful effect of transmission, while more pigmentation would increase the harmful effect of absorbance on the embryo.
To put it simply, blue eggs help regulate the effect of sunlight on developing chicks. Since house finches lay eggs from late March to late July, they are prone to sun exposure. But the composition of their eggs can put mothers at ease.
The pink heads and breasts of male house finches are caused by their diet
The color of male house finches varies based on their diet, not regional differences. But most adults have pinkish-red coloration around the face and upper chest with streaky brown backs, tails, and bellies. It owes its beautiful red plumage to the carotenoid pigments called echinenone which come from the foods they eat such as berries and produce a red color.
Female house finches prefer red-colored males
Most female finches have fuzzy streaks and illegible markings and are grayish-brown in color. However, they like mating with red-colored males. It's not just because they are beautiful. But because the color of their head indicates that they can provide the right kind of food for their young chicks.
Yellow-headed house finches lack echinenone
Besides echinenone, there are two other types of carotenoid pigments - beta-carotene, which produces yellow to orange colors, and isocryptoxanthin, which creates orange plumage. Therefore, the yellow feathers on the head of the house finches show that it feeds on a different food or diet than the pink-colored ones. It is a normal color variation related to diet, but females always prefer pink to males as we said earlier.
Bullfinches are smart enough to learn to sing human melodies with precision
Here is another mind-blowing fact about finches. Bullfinches learn to sing tunes precisely from human trainers, according to a new study by the late Nicolai Jürgen and academics from the University of Kaiserslautern in Germany. They found that these birds can successfully match the sequence of notes they hear to the melody learned in their brains as soon as the human starts whistling again.
When the human partner stops whistling, they expect to sing the next part of the taught melody and vocalize it appropriately. Thus, the scientists conclude that bullfinches can cope with the complicated and difficult cognitive challenges of detecting a human song in all its rhythmic and melodic complexities. And have the ability to properly learn the song and sing it.
Finches have different regional accents
Here is another fact about a type of finch that can be considered a songbird. In a study of 723 male finches from 12 different populations from mainland Europe, the Canary Islands, and the Azores, American scientists have come up with a fantastic bird find. They discovered that the farther the birds travel, the more unpredictable their notes become. This leads them to conclude that birds develop various "accents" in their song depending on where they live.
Finch Facts FAQ
How smart are finches?
Not all finches have the same intelligence, however, zebra finches, just like parakeets, can understand basic grammar. It is nothing less than amazing!
This makes zebra finches one of the few species outside of humans that have this level of abstract understanding!
I should also point out that birds that live among humans generally have a higher intellect when it comes to solving puzzles compared to wild birds.
Finches and other birds: Pigeons, domestic fowl, and birds of prey are frequently used in studies of non-human intelligence due to their "intellect".
How fast can a finch fly?
The zebra finch is one of the fastest-flying finches. Its flight speed was able to reach 7.8 mph or 12.6 km/h.
That wraps up our list of interesting finch facts you should know if you're considering buying one. Remember that before becoming a bird owner, you must first learn about bird hygiene.
This can help ensure the health and safety of your bird and your family as well. It should also be noted that these birds are not as cuddly as other birds. But if you're not ready for the demands of a parrot, these birds can be a great option.
Some finches can be aggressive. Thus, it would be best to consult an experienced finch breeder first before mixing finch species in an aviary. And even though they are on a pellet-based diet, they still need greens and fresh vegetables like vegetables, grubs, egg food, and seeds.