The Best Types of Finches To Have as Pets

There are numerous types of finches in the world. Indeed, there are hundreds of different types, each with their unique personality quirks and characteristics. However, despite the vast number of finches in this world, only a few select types are eligible to be adopted and keep as pets.

Wild finches are illegal to keep as a pet, so you'll have to choose from the successfully domesticated ones. For example, the small yellow bird that you might associate with finches - that bird is the American Goldfinch and is illegal to keep as a pet, thanks to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

If you're looking at the small pet birds and best types of finches to keep as pets, here are the top seven you need to know!

Best Type of Finch as a Pet: Gouldian Finch

This bird is magnificent and beautiful. It's a bird with an orange beak. Gouldian finches have lots of coloration, including purple chests, yellow bellies, and green on the back. They are striking to look at and, once they settle in, they're perfect little pets.

Gouldian finches grow to be five inches tall. They tend to be relatively light, as well. They're also relatively passive, so if you're trying to raise multiple finches in the same cage, this is a breed you can consider. It's also worth noting that you should know about bird hygiene and overall care before deciding to bring a pet home.

Star Finch

The Star finch is another striking bird. With a green chest, olive back, and a red face, these birds are beautiful. Plus, the addition of the white spots along the throat and body help make this bird very unique and distinctive.

These birds are a little on the small side for finches. They grow to approximately 4 inches in length and, commensurate with their weight, tend to be a bit less bulky. Like Gouldian finches, these little birds are calm, quiet, and very peaceful!

Strawberry Finch

Another striking bird, the Strawberry finch is aptly named for its red and black coat. It also has numerous white spots on its body to give it a nice, distinct appearance.

Like the Star finch, these birds grow to be approximately 4 inches in length. They are very light, weighing less than a quarter of an ounce even when fully mature!

It's worth noting that this type of finch has one of the best songs of all the types of birds. It sounds a little like a flute and can be quite mesmerizing!

Zebra Finch: The Most Popular of the Types of Finches

The most popular finch gets that designation for a reason - it's a very resilient pet to have. Growing to approximately 4 inches once fully mature, this finch has a beautiful appearance that isn't overwhelming. It gets its name from its zebra appearance on its tail. However, for the most part, the bird looks brown, with a bright white belly, and with chestnut patches on the cheeks and wings.

As a word of caution, these finches can be territorial. Therefore, please be careful when having other birds in the same vicinity. With that said, they are very social and active, so as their owner, you'll have lots of fun playing with this type of finch!

Society Finch

The Society finch has a very subtle but astute looking appearance. With white bellies, and having a brown backside, there's nothing particularly striking about this bird. One might even look at it and think it's a type of sparrow!

However, the Society finch is one of the better ones to keep as a pet because of how resistant and social it is. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more enjoyable finch to have. To illustrate just how social these popular birds are, consider that they will often act as foster parents. That is, they'll raise chicks from other species along with their own! It's hard to find another bird that would be willing to do that.

These finches are relatively small, becoming about 4 inches tall when fully grown. 

Owl Finch: One of the More Interesting Types of Finches

The owl finch is appropriately named. It genuinely looks like an owl! As such, it has a white face, brown body, and a white chest. Arguably the most striking thing about these birds is the double black line that crosses the bottom of the face and goes along its chest. There's no other bird out there that looks quite like it!

Like many other finches on this list, this one grows to be about four inches in length. It is worth noting that, while these birds make excellent pets, they are a little rarer. As such, they are pricier to buy, so expect to pay closer to $100 for one of these beautiful birds.

Plum-Headed Finch

Lastly, we have the plum-headed finch, which is a close relative of the Star finch. The only real difference is that the Plum-headed finch is a little less striking in terms of appearance. As the name implies, they have a beautiful plum head, while the rest of the body is brown with white spots. While they might not look as striking, they do look lovely nonetheless.

In terms of temperament and care, these finches are similar to the Star ones, with the only real difference being that the Plum-headed finch is less timid.

There Are Many Types of Finches That Make Wonderful Pets

While there might be many types of finches globally, the seven above make the best pets. If you're in the market for a finch, please consider one of those. They have the best temperament and traits that you'd want for your new avian friend!

If you've already decided on which type of finch to get, you may be wondering about what to name your new flying friend. Check out the best pet names for your new bird here!

What does a finch look like?

The term "finch" loosely describes hundreds of different birds. Therefore, each bird looks different. However, all finches tend to be smaller, are colorful, and have a pronounced beak.

What does a sparrow look like?

Finches have large, thick beaks, whereas sparrows have smaller, more conical bills. Sparrows are about 5-6 inches long, have rounded tails, and have broad wings compared to their bodies.

How much are finches?

Finches are relatively inexpensive birds. Most of the time, you'll have to spend approximately $10 to $100 for one. Depending on your local adoption places, you might even be able to get one for free.

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Written by Leo Roux


looking for zebra or society finches in the Jackson area.

Dianne Stefanick on May 09, 2021

Hi there is there any one out there selling a breeding pair of gouldlian finches I’m in Tiverton Devon

Mr Lee hawkins on Feb 14, 2021

Hi there is there any one out there selling a breeding pair of gouldlian finches I’m in Tiverton Devon

Mr Lee hawkins on Feb 14, 2021

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