Is a Finch the Pet for You?

Many pet shops stock Canaries and Zebra finches, and there are many breeders who sell birds too. If you want to buy one of the less common types of pet finch, a breeder is often the only outlet.


Java sparrow pair
A pair of Java Sparrows

If these are the first birds you’ve bought, you need to provide practical and positive answers to the following questions:

  • Why do you want the birds?
  • Unless you are buying a Canary, which will happily live alone, you will need to get more than one bird, as they can only thrive in pairs or flocks. Is that okay?
  • Who will look after the finches and clean their cage?
  • Have you kept pet birds before; and if not, do you know what you’re doing? Even if you have read up on the subject, it’s still a good idea to speak to experts and other owners, either face to face or in online forums
  • Is there a suitable location for the cage, away from direct sunlight, draughts and steamy kitchens, and out of reach of pets and well-meaning but clumsy children?
  • If the birds are to be kept outside, do you have a way of heating the aviary? Pet finches are not very robust in cold weather.
  • Is everyone at home happy with the thought of pet birds? Even if it’s you who will be looking after the birds, there will still be an added dimension of noise in the house, and lovely though the sound of Canary song and finch twittering might be to your ears, you need to make sure everyone else is prepared for it.

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