The Different Groups Of Finches

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Post  FinchG on Sat Jan 22, 2011 3:31 pm


Like a Star @ heaven Fringillidae: The 138 members of this group are often
called the “true” finches. This family includes the canaries,
chaffinches, some siskins, rosefinches, goldfinches, and
bullfinches. These finches are adapted to crush seeds and,
as a result, they have strong skulls and jaws. These finches
are found on all continents.

Like a Star @ heaven Passeridae: This group of 38 finches includes sparrows and
snowfinches. Formerly found only in Europe and the surround-
ing areas, these finches have now been introduced to habitats
all over the world. Two types of Passeridae are commonly
found in the United States, including the house sparrow. As
a group, they are hardy and gregarious songbirds.

Like a Star @ heaven Estrildidae: Included in this group of 139 birds are some the
most popular companion finches, including grass finches,
parrot finches, waxbills, society finches, greenfinches, serins,
firefinches, firetails, quailfinches, gouldian finches, mannikins,
nuns, munias, java sparrows, cordon bleus, cut throats, and
zebra finches. The majority of finches in this group are from a
temperate climate, preferring warm weather. They tend to be
flocking birds and are all seed-eaters.

Like a Star @ heaven Ploceidae: This group has 117 members, including the why-
dahs (also called widowbirds) and weavers (also called bish-
ops). They are found primarily in Africa and India and can be
more aggressive in their response to other birds than some of
the more commonly kept species.

One of the longest domesticated and most popular varieties of finch
is the well-known canary (see Figure 1-1). Canaries come in a variety
of colors, from bright yellow, like the famous Tweety Bird, to brown,
gray, white, and variegated (having either regular or uneven dark
markings). Canaries are delicate birds, originally from the Canary
Islands, and have been a popular pet in Europe since the 16th cen-
tury, perhaps even earlier.

Most people buy a canary for his beautiful song. The males are the
singers of the species, and they’re generally the gender that you’ll
want to keep if you want to hear singing in your home. The females
can make great companions too, but they won’t launch into song
the way a male will.

The canary’s song depends largely on the type of canary that you
choose. Some canaries sing a variety of songs, while others are
trained only to sing in a certain manner — yes, canaries have to
be trained to sing. Many breeders keep an “expert” singer, a canary

Finches:
More Than Just Pretty, Chatty Birdswith a particularly masterful song,
in a cage along side of his young males. The youngsters will learn from this maestro and, hopefully, pick up the essentials of beautiful singing. Don’t worry if you don’t
have a master singer to teach the young males their trade — CDs
and tapes of canary song work just as well (you can buy these at
some pet stores).

Canaries are among the most popular types of finch.

Size differences

Finches can vary in size from about 3 inches in length to about
8 inches in length. Some finches are very tiny, such as the gold-
breasted waxbill, measuring in at under 3 inches. The whydah, who
is only 5 inches in length, has a tail that can reach 15 inches during
breeding season.

Temperament differences

In terms of companion quality, most finches are the same. Some
are more skittish than others, but for the most part, they all make
wonderful companions. Some can be more demanding in terms of
nutritional needs or housing, and others are far easier, such as the
zebra, society, or owl finch.

Finches aren’t aggressive toward children or other pets. The reverse
is far more likely to be true. However, some species of finches are
aggressive toward other species of finches, and all varieties of
finches will have more of a tendency toward aggression during the
breeding season.
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