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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly About Finches


Strolling the yard
The attributes listed in this thread are the experiences of each individual and your experiences may differ with your individual bird.

I currently own two zebra finches named Mini and Bini. I have owned each for about a year, not that much but enough to get to know them. :) They live in a flight cage indoors.

The Good:
  • They are great fun to watch. If given a flight cage (which I highly recommend) they zip back and forth all day long! Except for when it is naptime, then they sit really close together and fluff themselves up into what we somehow came to call "finch pancakes." They also love to be preened by each other. If we give them nesting material, they happily collect it and put it into their nest (however, we do not do it often due to occasional aggression, mentioned below in The Bad). If I give them a foraging toy stuffed with nesting material, they won't leave it alone until they take all of the material out. :rolleyes: They are very curious, so it does not take long for them to check out a new toy/perch/hidey house in their cage. In fact, though ours aren't tame, they sometimes come up right next to us if we imitate their beeps well enough. They may or may not be interested in my dad's beard. :laugh:
  • Their calls are not nearly as shrill as my budgies', and budgies are considered pretty quiet! I think that's why we say that they beep/meep rather than scream. Also, though their beeps are pretty much constant, most of them are very gentle. They usually beep their loudest when something/someone provokes them to, for example a car alarm outside.
  • They are not as messy as my budgies mainly because they do not shred toys or veggie kabobs.
  • They do not stress if you do not play/spend time with them. In fact, they wouldn't notice at all. Definitely a pro for people who are gone for many hours at a time due to work/school.
  • They are inexpensive to keep in comparison to other birds.
The Bad:
  • Aggression. Introducing my boys was a very long process. When I got Bini, they were in separate cages. We allowed them to just see each other for about a week. Then we put them in the same cage. We thought they were doing fine, but after a week I realized that Mini plucked up almost all of Bini's lovely spotted feathers under the wings. :( Because of that we split the cage with mesh; that was their setup for another couple of months. Perhaps we would have them live in completely separate cages because of that, but we could tell that they still liked each other a lot. Once, I took one of them (in a travel cage) out of the room where the other one was, and they started beeping for each other like crazy! So we decided to once again try putting them together sometime earlier this spring. At first, I did catch Mini pluck Bini and chase him a few times, but it wasn't something he did regularly and eventually he stopped. Now, I only see Mini aggressively chase Bini when I give them too much nesting material at once. I don't know why, but he gets mad if Bini tries to help him. So lately I have been giving them material a little at a time.
  • I personally do not mind this, but they are not tame at all, like many other finches. Note that I never tried to tame them.
  • Again, this isn't bad for me, but they are not very happy living alone. Mini was alone for 2 months-ish before we got Bini; all he would do is "sing" all day (really just a special combination of beeps) in hopes of hearing a reply. We felt sorry for him. I do not think he "sings" as much now that he has Bini.
The Ugly:
  • They poop EVERYWHERE (in the cage)! Including the nest, the food bowls, and water bowls! :dead:

Here are some recent pics of them being sleepy (and together :heart:):