Pets & Animal Pets Birds

Facts on the Bird Finch

    Description

    • The finch is a small to medium-sized bird when compared to other perching birds of the order Passeriformes. Their beaks have been adapted to their seed diets and are usually heavy. Finches range through the full color spectrum. Some species of finches display exotic green and yellow feathers; others are muted reds, browns and oranges. Typically the male is more colorful than the female. They thrive well both in the wilderness and as house pets.

    Types

    • One of the most common types of the bird finch found in North America, the Pine Grosbeak, is among the largest of the finches. This finch has a plump chest, dark wings with two white stripes on each and a large curved bill. The male has a pink-red head; the female's is yellow-green. The Purple Finch is among the smallest forest-dwelling birds and is stout and husky. Its short tail is notched and it has a large conical beak. Males have soft pink-red heads while the heads of the females are tan-brown. The House Finch can be found across most of the United States. These finches are also small in stature. Males are bright red-headed; females have gray-brown heads.

    Breeding

    • In his article "Cage and Aviary Finch Breeding," Dale Laird writes, "Finches are some of the easiest birds in captivity to breed. Finches are some of the hardest birds in captivity to breed. Both statements are true depending upon whom you talk to, the species you are talking about and the personal experience of the aviculturist." Most species of true finches can be bred in captivity if provided the proper care and conditions. Nesting boxes, finch food and other supplies are readily available at an aviary or general pet store.

    Diet

    • All members of the Fringillidae family are seed-eaters. Their anatomies have been adapted to their preferred seeds and geographical locations. They have strong jaws, skulls and beaks. Their gizzards are specialized to handle the rough seed diets. A bird-feeder filled with various seeds and set outdoors will almost surely attract a few members of the finch family. Thistle, black sunflower and grass seeds are known favorites of North American finches.

    Fun Facts

    • Some domesticated finches have been known to talk. Their natural tendency to mimic song makes it possible for some pet finches to learn a word or two. Another interesting fact is that Charles Darwin studied the Galapagos finches and their ability to physically adapt to their environment as part of his research in evolution. Also, a new species of the true finch was discovered in a fossil pulled from a volcano in Hawaii. The species was a giant in comparison to today's Fringillidae and is believed to have become extinct approximately 3,000 years ago.

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