One family of finches is known as waxbills. Waxbills are the most common type of finches found in aviaries. This family is widely distributed across Africa, Asia and Australia. There are three types of waxbills: African waxbills (named because the red color of their bills resembles sealing wax); nuns or mannikins (found mainly in Asia and parts of north Africa – more subdued plumage); and Australian grass finches.
Finches are described as being little seed-eating birds and there are many different types found throughout the world. They are neat, quiet and easy to care for. It is strongly suggested to get a pair of finches rather than a single bird as they are bird-oriented rather than people-oriented. In some species it is very easy to differentiate between the sexes; others, need to be medically sexed.
Finches are the perfect pet for the modern life style as they are easy to care for and do not require attention from their owner. They are unlikely to become finger tame or really interact with their owner. I would compare owning finches with having a fish tank in that enjoyment comes from observing rather than actively interacting. Finches come in a variety of colors, patterns and personalities. There also is a large range in price as some species can be very expensive. Some finches have pleasant little songs. Finches are perfect for the large, decorative aviary, and silk flowers may be attached to enhance the cage. Finches are not destructive and can be easily housed. I also suggest a large cage so that your finches have room to fly. It seems cruel not to allow finches the space to truly enjoy themselves. A "bathing" container should also be included as most finches love to bathe and it is good for them. Some people like to have a large aviary and combine several species of finches together. Extreme care should be taken though as not all finches will get along.
Some of the easier finches to keep are the zebra finch and the Bengalese or Society finch. They nest easily and are fascinating to watch. There are so many different types of finches available that I suggest you do your homework and decide upon the finches that you like the best. Some are easy to raise; others are more difficult. Overall, if you want to enjoy having birds, but do not want the responsibility of bird-interaction, the finch is for you. They are delightful little birds and amazing to watch. Most finch owners do breed their pets and I can attest to how wonderful it is to watch your finches raise their young. Caution: not all finches are easy to breed. Again, thoroughly investigate the finches to determine which are best for you.
This print is from my first painting of finches. I was drawn to their beautiful color and almost oriental feeling. These finches belong to the waxbill family and do best in a large flight aviary. Lavender finches are not as available as some of the other finches.
This Australian finch very popular and easy to obtain. They are expensive; but, their natural coloring is truly amazing, and breeders have developed a rainbow of Lady Gould mutations. I was very lucky in that my first pair proved to be great breeders and even better parents. I have since learned that not all Lady Gould’s are capable of raising their young. Many breeders keep pairs of society finches which are natural parent birds and give them the Lady Goudian eggs to raise. So, if you are acquiring a pair of Lady Goudians, make sure that the birds were parent-raised if you desire to breed them. In my case, "Pappa Gould" is now with a breeder and still breeding away … even after 5 years. My breeder friends tell me that he is with his 3rd female. Think he should be called Cassanova. I might add that at one time my female Lady Gould became sick and could not feed her babies. I ended up successfully handfeeding the chicks and had three beautiful hand-tamed Goulds. They were wonderful birds and very special as they were people-oriented finches. Even grown, they enjoyed perching on my fingers and would come to me wherever I approached the cage.
If you’ve noticed, I always paint the finches in pairs and think of them that way. These birds were my first Red-Headed Parrot finches. One is the rarer Pied Red-Headed Parrot finch. Both of these birds turned out to females so I traded the Pied back to the breeder for a male Red-Headed Parrot finch. The pied was such a magnificent bird that I felt she belonged with someone who know more about breeding finches than I. I also might add that every time she molted, the yellow areas grew until she was completely yellow with the red head area. She became a very rare, extremely beautiful bird. She was shown at the national bird show in New York and won first place in her division. Unfortunately, the breeder was unable to breed her and she passed away recently. Evidently, pieds can be harder to breed. Red-Headed Parrot finches are very hyper-active and among the highest priced finches.