. Finches - Non Australian
Softbills are listed
separately. Click on "Softbills"
web page. Australian
covered are: Crimson Chat, White fronted Chat,
Fairy Wrens, Scarlet Honeyeater, Banded Lapwing,
Masked Lapwing, Silvereye, Spotted Pardalote, and Red
Wattlebird. Plus foreign Softbills: Bulbul,
Pekin Robin, Skylark and Silver eared Mesia.
Weavers & Whydahs are listed
separately on the "Weavers
& Whydahs" web page.
Give us a try and list your birds for
sale on the "Birds for Sale" web pages
To place an advertisement, click on "Birds for sale" web page in top
navigation bar then
click on "Place a for sale Advert" web page.
4 lines for 2 months is only $25
Only finches held by private aviculturists will be
listed and for simplicity no hyphens have been used in the common names.
All finches must
Clean fresh water
Adequate supply of
nutritious balanced seed diet
Provision of ripe or
semi-ripe seed heads if applicable
Access to clean fresh
fruit/s and/or vegetables or leafy green vegetables where applicable
Consistent supply of
foods. Sudden change/s of diet should be avoided. The
phasing in or phasing out of foods should be done on a gradual
basis. Sudden changes may cause digestive upsets in the parent
birds and/or the young birds
Good quality source of
calcium and essential minerals such as found in cuttlefish bone or a
quality commercial product
Safe dry aviary devoid
of vermin and pests
A regular cage or
aviary cleaning program
Access to appropriate
levels of sunlight in an aviary situation
Protection from cold
winds or draughts, winter rains and inappropriate bad weather
stressful summer weather such as extreme temperatures
A safe place to build a
nest and have sufficient materials to build a good quality nest.
After the first nest has been built, sufficient nest material must
be made available to reline or rebuild subsequent nests or to
totally build a new nest.
The removal of young
birds once they have become fully independent if there is a threat
of aggression from a parent bird. Allow sufficient aviary or
cage space for the young to be safely housed while they grow to
breeding age or ready to sell
A place where sick, ill
or stressed birds can be housed to maximize the chances of full
recovery and to minimize the risk of transmitting parasites and/or
pathogens to other birds
An owner with the phone number and address of a
local veterinarian and if available the nearest avian veterinarian
A colony is more than two pairs. i.e. three or more
pairs are required to form a successful colony
Time to fully develop and mature before starting to
breed, especially the hens
It is assumed that
all the above items are practised and used in
conjunction with the details outlined on each species web page.
Government Regulations &
By-Laws: Refer to "Government Laws"
These birds generally breed in Spring
and Autumn, with less breeding in the hotter summer months and no
breeding in the winter months.
Nests should be built under the roofed
or sheltered portion of the aviary. In the wild, birds nest in the
open with the nests often subjected to wild variations of temperatures,
rain and wind. Birds in an aviary that are given the chance to
build in an exposed situation may have erratic breeding results.
Heavy rain and a cold wind can easily cause the death of small young
nestlings. The loss of some nests in the wild may not have any
significant effect on the overall population but in the Australian
aviary population we no longer have access to imported stock. The
less common non Australian birds will generally breed more reliably in
an aviary that protects them from the majority of the extreme elements.
Having said that, do not assume that means giving them full protection
that may result in the future generations becoming "soft". A happy
medium has to be take to maximize the rearing of vigorous birds while
maintaining high breeding numbers.
Young that leave the nest prematurely
should not be replaced back into the nest with the other young.
This will generally disrupt the remaining young birds resulting in them
also leaving the nest prematurely. The young that leave
prematurely can be closely monitored to ensure the parents will feed the
bird during the day. Immature birds that may not be able to
survive a cool/cold night can be removed from the aviary, kept in a warm
place and returned early next morning. This does not guarantee the
survival of the immature bird but may improve its chances of survival.
The birds that have been ejected prematurely or decide to "jump" early
should be checked to see if it has any physical defects or acts
"normal". Any birds that show any physical or behavioural
abnormalities should be either killed (euthanized) or clearly identified by a leg
ring and never bred from. The bird in the wild would have close to
no chance of surviving and never breed. The early "jump" from the
nest may be nature's way of saying "don't breed with these early nest
Many animals and birds instinctively know if a
baby is not as good as the others and the removal of some birds within a
colony is designed to maintain the physical and mental health of the
overall species. Any bird not up to standard for good breeding
stock may make an excellent indoor cage bird or pet. They could be
kept as a single bird in a mixed species collection, out of sight of its
own species and not with any species that it may hybridize with, and
still live a happy life.
Many finches use Swamp grass or November
grass to line a nest. Some birds will use these fine soft grasses
in the construction of the nest.
Many birds use feathers to line
the nests. Various types of feathers may be purchased from bird
dealers, avicultural clubs/societies and/or hobby shops. Most of
the feathers sold are white chicken feathers but some places may have
other colours and types of poultry feathers. Pigeon, duck,
pheasant and quail feathers may be avail from processors factories.
Short lengths of teased natural fibre
hessian, soft pampas grass heads and coconut fibre can be offered. Synthetic nest materials should be
Diet: Refer to
web page for additional information.
Similar to Australian finches in the
seed requirements but they generally need more insects in their diet.
An adequate supply of insects is essential during breeding season for
Refer to "Housing
birds" web page for additional
Many of the foreign finch species originate from
hot dry climates. To maximize the chances of successful breeding,
the trend is to have the aviary fully roofed in the southern Australian
States. The aviary floor is generally kept as dry as possible.
Cold draughts must be avoided.
Most Australian finches and many foreign finches are naturally small birds. If they
are placed in an ornamental cage, or a cage that has a wire cage
front that is typically used on canary or budgie cages, care must be
taken to ensure none of the birds are able to get through the wire
cage bars. Initially the young are often smaller than the
parent birds so if the young are bred in, or temporarily housed in,
one of these cages, they will have to be monitored to ensure they do
not escape. Special finch cage fronts can be purchased and
these wire fronts have a closer spacing between the bars and that
prevents the birds getting their head through and makes escapes almost impossible. Mouse proof wire mesh ( 7mm )
or 10mm wire mesh can be used for all or part of the cage front.
- Cages: If you are going to
house small finches in a cage/cabinet (e.g. budgie or canary cage)
check the spacing between the bars. Ensure the cage front bar
spacing does not allow the bird, or their young, to get its head through
and get stuck. Some "budgie" cage fronts may have the bar spaces
too wide for these birds. Special finch cage fronts can be
purchased to ensure a safe, escape proof home for small finches.
Finch cage fronts have the bars closer together.
- Aviary Design:
A basic aviary design for finches or softbills is 3 metres
long, 2 metres wide and about 2.1 metres high (10 x 6.5 x 7 feet), planted aviary, with a fully covered roof but click on "Housing
Birds" web page for more details on the housing of Non Australian Finches.
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References: Refer to references listed on "
Book References " web page.
Waxbills are distributed across Africa, Asia and
The African waxbills are named because the birds red beaks resemble
red sealing wax.
- Australian Aviculture
- A/A Vol 58 No. 1 Jan 2004 Page 8-9
(The "Hinze" cage)
- A/A Vol 55 No. 5 May 2001 Page 116-118 (Breeding
Waxbills in a Birdroom)
- A/A Vol 55 No. 2 Feb 2001 Page 32-35 (Livefood)
- A/A Vol 53 No. 4 Apr 1999 Page 90-91 (Diet)
- A/A Vol 52 No. 8 Aug 1998 Page 176-178 (Nest building)
- A/A Vol 52 No. 5 May 1998 Page 101-106 (Britain)
- A/A Vol 51 No. 11 Nov 1997 Page 243-250 (S. Gelis -
- A/A Vol 48 No. 4 Apr 1994 Page 83-88 (Studbooks)
- A/A Vol 47 No. 6 Jun 1993 Page 125-127 (Indoor flights)
- A/A Vol 46 No. 9 Sept 1992 Page 222-226
- A/A Vol 46 No. 8 Aug 1992 Page 181-187 (Bird feeding
- A/A Vol 46 No. 5 May 1992 Page 117-122 (Back to basics)
- A/A Vol 45 No. 11 Nov 1991 Page 261-266 (Native plants- Pt
- A/A Vol 26 No. 1
Jan 1972 Page 13 (Nest box design)
- Australian Birdkeeper
- ABK Vol 3 Issue 4. Aug-Sept 1990 Page 155-159 (Plantscaping)
- ABK Vol 3 Issue 4. Aug-Sept 1990 Page 166-168 (Aviary
- ABK Vol 1 Issue 1. 1987 Page 13-14 (Mixed Collections)
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