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Why a Finch?
..what's so special about finches anyways?
For me that's an easy question. My parents wouldn't let me have a cat or a dog when I young. My mother always had small birds and my father never had pets. Finches were the first pet I ever had, the first living creature I was responsible for, and after that first egg hatched I was hooked.
But what makes a finch an ideal pet, why are people drawn to them? Larger birds and parrots also come in a variety of colors, many talk, and enjoy being held by humans. Finches on the other hand do not talk, and will naturally flee from human contact.
It's because of this natural fear of humans that finches can make great pets. They do not want to be held, they do not want our undivided attention. They would rather we leave the food and water and then go away. What a great pet for someone who does not have the time or patience to work with a parrot. Your family can be busy running here and there all day long. The finches won't feel neglected. They will enjoy the time to spend with each other with no meddling humans around to interfere while they sing, strut, eat, and do other finch activities.
I'm not saying you need to totally ignore your finch. After all it's your pet, and something you can still enjoy from a slight distance. Who does not enjoy taking a few minutes to simply watch the energetic finches jump from perch to perch and listen to their enchanting beeps, squeaks, and songs. Ok, I'll admit that to some people the finch noises aren't at all pleasant, but we can't all like the same things now can we?
For those who do enjoy the finch sounds, there is a large variety of songs and sounds to choose from. Finches are found in most every area of the world. Many species have been caught and bred in captivity for generations, and now the selection of finches available in many pet stores and bird marts is simply amazing. So many colors, so many species, they all sound and look different.
Many people buy finches because of their color. Parrots are pretty, but no parrot can compare the rich and bold colors of finches like the Gouldian. Finches come in every color of the rainbow. Their varying colors, shades, and patterns create a dazzling array of beauty.
An aspect that draw people to owning a few finches is the fact that many species will breed easily in captivity. Not everyone wants to become a finch breeder, but many people do let their finches raise at least one clutch simply because those babies are so cute. For the most part breeding finches is a very enjoyable experience for the whole family.
Care for your average finch is usually not difficult. Plenty of seeds and fresh water, a warm and draft free location, some sunlight, a large cage or aviary for room to fly, and a location away from the heavy traffic areas of your home and the finch is set. Only with more exotic species will you need to offer a more specialized diet such as live foods, and watch the rooms temperature for species whom need to be at least 80 degrees to be comfortable. Many of the more exotic finches will not found in your local pet store because they are slightly more difficult to care for properly.
On average a finch will live 4-8 years, some longer, some shorter depending on a variety of factors. Unlike many parrot species, you probably won't need to write your pet finches into your will. They are ideal for someone who does not want to spend the next 30 years with a pet. A finch won't care if you get married and have a new family, or move to a new home to enjoy your golden years.
There are homes in which even a finch wouldn't make a good pet. These homes include those with heavy smokers as the smoke will work very quickly at killing your tiny finch; Small children can't keep their hands or fingers out of the bird cage and spend too much time teasing and frightening the finch. Finches do startle easily, especially in a new home, and can go into panic attacks and die. Finches shouldn't be caged with any hookbill species because hookbills tend to bite the limbs of finches while playing. They do not do it intentionally but it happens.
Overall, finches can be a delightful addition to a home. They can teach responsibility and respect for all living creatures..
© lady gouldian finch.com 2016
by Alan Simpson