This Australian finch is one of the most striking members of the bird world. Three
different colour head combinations can be found naturally, with the black head form
the most common, then red and yellow (orange). Mutations are still relatively uncommon in New Zealand and only the white breasted are available in any number. Gouldians are fairly easy to obtain and will breed well if kept in a draft free aviary or breeding cage. They can be kept with other finches in a mixed aviary.
$100-$120 per pair.
This African finch is a very popular little bird; it is a good breeder, fairly easy care, easy to sex and eye catching in the aviary. It is recommended as the first exotic finch for novice breeders and it's often available. The Fire Finch is excellent for a mixed aviary. Fires prefer to nest in the lower half of the aviary in a suitable box, basket, or they will build their own nest.
$100-$120 per pair.
This finch comes from the grassy woodlands of central Africa where it is often found
on the outskirts of villages. There are different forms but only the red cheeked variety
is found in New Zealand. The Cordon Bleu is a very attractive, popular finch which suits a
mixed finch aviary. Easy to sex and breed as long as the diet is right with a good finch seed mix with plenty of live food especially maggots, softfood and seeding grasses.
$40-$60 per pair.
The Goldfinch is frequently seen in the countryside, feasting on flowers and grasses, but not often kept in aviaries though it is possible to get aviary bred birds. Canary breeders sometimes like to cross their birds with Goldfinches to produce 'mules'. Goldfinches are quite sociable, but better mixed with larger birds like Canaries or other British finches, rather than the smaller exotic finches.
$250-$300 per pair.
Found throughout much of central and southern Africa. The Little Green Singer lives up to its name with a beautiful song although its colouring is more yellow than green. The male is a delight
to have in an aviary. It is best to keep one pair per aviary. The female is identified by her necklace of yellow spots which the young also have. Singers often breed over the winter months and like to use hessian, mosses and white cotton wool in their beautiful little nests.
$300-$350 per pair.
The Parson Finch or Blackthroated Grassfinch have black beaks - whereas Longtails, that look very similar otherwise, have red beaks. This Australian finch is found in open savannah. Parsons are now in very short supply in NZ, they mate for life and it is difficult to introduce a new partner - they do better if choosing their own mate. Parsons are best kept as single pairs. The hen is prone to egg binding, esp. when young.
$275-$350 per pair.
This finch comes from Cape York, Australia. Fairly rare now and hard to find. Keep just 1 pair or
more than 3 as they can get quite competitive at breeding time when the male can
chase the hen around the aviary. Feed requirements: good finch mix with some hulled oats and crushed sunflower. They need green seeding grasses and will enjoy live-food and some fruit as well as soft food when raising young. Do not mix with Red Faced Parrot Finches as they will interbreed.
So rare we have no price guide! The St Helena comes from the grasslands of central and southern Africa. The St Helena builds a complicated nest with a cocks nest on top, probably to confuse predators. This used to be a popular finch in New Zealand but now is very difficult to obtain. There are still some fawn mutation birds around but its very rare to see the original brown form. The male and female are quite similar and they have quite a strong pair bond.
THIS is what Members of the NZFBA are aiming for...eggs in nests. It takes a lot of work to make sure finches are happy and healthy, and eggs are a sign things are going the right way. Successfully getting hatchlings to fledging stage, and then growing them into good adult birds is the best reward a finch breeder can have! Our aim as a Club is to keep our remaining finch species breeding well and support viable breeding populations. HELP SAVE OUR FINCHES!
A well managed and maintained mixed aviary can be a truly beautiful sight in the garden.
So delightful! Such beautiful songs!
If you're new to finch keeping start with the more robust birds, like Zebbies or Bengalese, and get them breeding - you'll learn a lot along the way. Once they're doing well then try something a little more demanding. Other members will be happy to support you with advice on how to breed and maintain them successfully so you get the most enjoyment out of it.
$130-$150 per pair.
The Plumhead (or Cherry Finch) is a native of eastern Australia where it is usually
found in flocks close to water, in reed-beds and in grasslands. This finch was nearly
lost to New Zealand but has since made a comeback. Plumheads like to forage on the aviary floor and mix well with other species. Plumheads particularly like seeding grasses and live food.
$300-$350 per pair. This striking bird comes from the wooded areas of northernmost South
America. The Siskin is in limited supply and is a finch for more experienced breeders. It can be a poor parent and needs extra attention, and extra heat for chicks to be successfully raised. Needs a good finch mix with added canary, niger and sunflower seed, green food especially flowering puha. At breeding time they require softfood and live food.
$90 per pair. Male has a lovely 'Tui' sheen - female intricate and beautiful browns.
The Jacarini or Blue Black Grassquit comes from the grasslands of South America.
Jacarini are not often seen in New Zealand aviaries, partly because they tend to be
quite secretive, hiding in any shrubbery - they like a well planted aviary. Feed requirements: good quality finch mix with the addition of plenty of live food. Jacarini must have a good supply of small mealworms or maggots to breed successfully.
$100-$130 per pair. Also known as Cutthroats due to their neck colour. Ribbon Finches are easy to sex, and breed well in aviaries or in cages using relatively large nest boxes. The hatchlings can be sexed as soon as they exit the nest, due to the throat markings. They breed best if fed a lot of live food (maggots/mealworms) in addition to the normal seed mixes and soft foods all finches should receive. They are robust birds suitable for beginners and often available.
$20-$30 per pair.
Redpoll species can be found throughout most of North America and Europe. They were introduced into NZ by the early settlers but didnt colonise the country as successfully as
some of the other introduced finches. They have often been kept in aviaries to catch
mosquitoes and insects that would otherwise trouble the other aviary occupants. The
male redpoll in the wild shows a striking red bib and cap but loses this on the average
A domesticated form of the wild canary, they originate from the Macaronesian Islands of Azores, Madeira and Canary Islands. There are hundreds of breeds of canary in the world that can be listed under three distinct canary types. Over the centuries, canaries have been bred to be great singers, others have been bred to have certain markings and shapes, and many have been bred to have a certain color. There are specialist clubs for Canary breeders that focus on specific breeds.
$150 per pair.
This boldly coloured finch comes from the forest margins of New Caledonia. It is a
very popular finch and is easy to obtain. Red faced parrot finches are
excellent for mixed finch collections as they are striking birds, easy care, good
breeders and non aggressive so can be kept as a colony also. As they can be very
difficult to sex this is sometimes a good option. They must not be kept with other
parrot finch varieties as they will interbreed.
$90-$100 per pair.
Cubans are lively inquisitive little finches from Cuba. They have a melodious call, and are easy to breed and easy to sex. Unfortunately, their downside is that they can be aggressive to their own species so it is best to keep only one pair per aviary. Youngsters should be removed from their parents soon after weaning. They mix well with 'non yellow and black' birds! Fast and smart with attitude - definitely pays to have a safety entrance if you keep these little finches.
$250-$300 per pair.
This tiny finch comes from the grasslands of central Africa. The Orange breast is a delightful finch, non aggressive, easy to sex, easy to keep and excellent in a mixed finch aviary. They have become hard to find due to their very short breeding life - hens are as rare as hens teeth almost and can be prone to egg binding. Orange breasts are very happy to be kept as a colony or as a single pair and prefer a well planted aviary.
$180-$220 per pair.
Like several other Australian finches Star Finches tend to be winter breeders, when food is more
plentiful. The Red Faced Star Finch is the normal form of this finch, but it is now almost non existent in NZ aviaries! The yellow mutation is more readily available, but not common. The sexes are very similar with the head colour slightly more extensive in the male. Stars can be kept as single pairs or in a colony situation and they are fine in a mixed finch situation.
$50 per pair.
This is a bird very much at home in the paddy fields of its native Java and Bali but its
a very adaptable finch. The Java finch is quite a large bird and shouldnt be kept with
the smaller finches. Its fairly hardy and easy to keep and can be housed in a cage or
aviary - best kept in flocks/groups. Javas come in quite a number of different mutations including white, fawn and pied.