From their stunning plumage to their charming behaviors, each species of bird carries its own distinct flair. There are so many types of birds out there, some are wild and some can be pets. Finches can be both.

Let’s learn a bit about some of the delightful finch varieties plus some fun facts about this species.

Two Zebra Finches sitting on a small branch with blurred background

Pet Finches

In the scientific world, finches are called Fringillidae, and there are well over 200 varieties. Although all 200+ varieties are delightful little birds with diversity as wide as the ocean, we will only be talking about 10 of the types of finches (I’m sure you don’t have time to read about 200+ types 😊).

The most common types of finches that people keep as pets in the United States are the Zebra and Canary varieties. But the Society finch and Owl finch are also quite popular. It will obviously depend on what your local pet stores or breeders have and, of course, your preference.

I’d say finches for pets are along the lines of parakeets for pets. If you want to learn more about parakeets you can read Parakeets – Ultimate Guide For The Smallest Parrots. They are suitable for those wanting a pet bird but are not ready to take on the commitment of a parrot. And if you want to learn about parrots you can read 10 Types of Parrots People Keep As Pets (with Pictures)

It is said that finches do best with a cage buddy, so you’d likely want two of them. They need a large cage or aviary to really thrive.

Their captive lifespan can be as many as 10-15 years, so it is still quite a commitment though. Keep that in mind if you are considering a finch for a pet. Those living out in wildlife do not fare so well.

If you don’t want to have a captive finch, you can also put feeders out to attract wild finches.

You can learn more about finches’ behavior, hear some finch sounds, and find out about bird conservation here.

10 Types of Finches

1. Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

Dressed in nature’s finest black and white stripes, the Zebra Finch is a true fashion icon. These social butterflies thrive in large flocks, serenading us with their melodious chirping. Their remarkable adaptability has made them a popular choice among birdkeepers worldwide.

Zebra Finch sitting on a branch with all off white background

2. Gouldian Finch (Erythrura gouldiae)

Prepare to be mesmerized by the Gouldian Finch’s dazzling colors! With vibrant red, green, and yellow plumage, it’s a living masterpiece. These Australian natives value their privacy, often nesting in tree hollows away from prying eyes. Only the male sings!

Gouldian Finch sitting on a tree with blurred background

3. Society Finch (Lonchura domestic)

Hailing from East Asia, the Society Finch exudes elegance in its soft, muted colors. Known for their docile nature, they coexist peacefully with other finch species and can even mimic some human speech! There are different color varieties of this type of finch as well.

Society Finch sitting on a plant, view is of back of finch

4. American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)

The American Goldfinch is a vibrant ambassador of North America’s avian diversity. Their brilliant yellow plumage and cheerful songs have earned them the nickname “wild canary.” As true seasonal fashionistas, their feathers shift to a subdued olive during winter. These are the only finches that molt twice a year.

American Goldfinch sitting on a branch with blurred background

5. Java Sparrow (Lonchura oryzivora)

Despite its name, the Java Sparrow is indeed a finch with a unique beak designed to crack open rice grains. Native to Java, Bali, and the surrounding islands, these little charmers are highly social and thrive in large aviaries. It is not the common sparrow you see in North America.

Two Java Sparrows sitton on a cage

6. Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus)

Adorned in rosy-red and plum purple shades, the Purple Finch is a sight to behold. Native to North America, they are often spotted among coniferous forests. Males sing elaborate songs to impress potential mates, showcasing their vocal prowess. It is very crafty at crushing seeds and extracting nectar out of flowers.

Purple Finch sittin on a branch with blurred background

7. Long-tailed Finch (Poephila acuticauda)

Known for its strikingly long tail feathers, the Long-tailed Finch boasts a charming blend of white, black, and orange plumage. Found in the grasslands of Australia, these finches are skilled foragers with an affection for grass seeds.

Long tailed Finch looking sweetly at the camera

8. Spice Finch (Lonchura punctulata)

The Spice Finch, native to Southeast Asia, brings a delightful splash of color to our lives. Their delightful chirps and friendly demeanor make them an excellent choice for bird lovers of all ages.

Spice Finch sitton on wire cage

9. Yellow-fronted Canary (Serinus mozambicus)

A sunbeam in bird form, the Yellow-fronted Canary flaunts its bright yellow belly. Native to Africa, they are highly admired for their vocal talents, often breaking into a cheerful chorus at dawn and dusk.

Yellow Fronted Canary finch with a piece of fruit in its mouth

10. Chestnut Munia (Lonchura atricapilla)

Dressed in warm hues of chestnut and black, the Chestnut Munia is a joy to behold. Also known as the Black-headed Munia, they are popular residents of Southeast Asia and are often found in reed beds and marshy areas.

Chesnut Munia finch sitting on a small branch with blurred green backgound

Fun Facts About Finches

1. Feathery Medley

 Finches, part of the Fringillidae family, boast an impressive repertoire of over 150 diverse species, each with its own distinct characteristics. From the magical woodlands to the barren deserts, these feathered wonders have conquered habitats worldwide.

Prepare to be dazzled by their unique and greatly varied plumage! With a palette ranging from sunny yellows to deep scarlets, finches are artistry on full display.

2. Family Importance

In the Finch world, both parents share in the process of raising the young. It’s a precious system for sure. They both take turns incubating the eggs and then, later, feeding the new babies.

The whole family cares for the young birds until they are old enough and strong enough to take on the world.

3. Social Butterflies

These charismatic beings are socialites to the core! Gathering in lively flocks, called a charm (sweet, isn’t it?) they exchange stories and social interactions through a symphony of chirps and melodies, creating a harmonious chorus that echoes through the woods.

These sociable birds thrive on forming tight-knit flocks, allowing them to communicate, share food sources, and provide safety in numbers. Witnessing a bustling group of finches engaging in animated chatter is a delightful experience.

4. The Love Ballet

When romance is in the air (only during a certain time of the year), adult male finches don their fanciest feathers for a courtship dance that would put any suitor to shame. Twirling, swooping, and singing their hearts out, they strive to win the affection of their potential partners. It’s better than watching a movie.

5. Avian Architecture

Meet the feathered architects! Female finches channel their inner artists as they craft intricately woven nests from twigs, grass, and other unconventional materials, ensuring their offspring’s comfort and safety. The nests are very shallow and shaped like a cup, made of twigs, hair, feathers, and whatever the mama bird can find.

6. Egg Array

Finch eggs come in an array of patterns and colors, but did you know that some finches also have the ability to change the color of their eggs? The African Cuckoo finch can change their egg color to mimic other finch eggs to trick them into raising their young.

7. Feathery Mimics

Move over, mockingbirds! Some finches are exceptional mimics, mirroring the songs of other birds or even imitating human-made sounds, leaving us in delightful awe.

Finches are the true maestros of the bird orchestra and are excellent singers! Each species boasts its unique song and calls, ranging from cheerful melodies to intricate tunes.

8. Urban Fashionistas

Unfazed by cityscapes, these adaptable birds have mastered urban living, gracing our parks and gardens with their lively presence.

Finches are exceptional navigators, and their brilliant plumage is not just for show. Their vibrant colors play a crucial role in communication, helping them signal dominance, attract mates, and even communicate warnings to other members of the flock.

9. Foodie Finches

Finches are clever foragers, using their specialized beaks to extract seeds from various plants. Some species are skilled at manipulating flowers to extract nectar, while others are adept at capturing insects to supplement their diet.

You can feed adult finches dried mealworms, and they love them! Plus they are really good for them. But young finches can’t digest their rigid bodies so do not feed young finches these. They also really enjoy millet.

10. Adorable In Name

While the birds themselves are adorable, so is the name of a flock of finches. They are called a “charm.” Quite charming if I do say so myself.


To sum it up, finches are simply amazing! Their vibrant colors, beautiful songs, and quirky behaviors show us how incredible nature can be. It’s amazing how many colors and varieties they come in, and this is just one species of bird!

Leah Betts

A happy wife, mother, teacher, writer, hobby farmer, lover of chickens, and contributor to Pampered Chicken Mama!

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