Finches are small birds generally kept for their beauty, song and/or to breed. In addition to canaries, Zebra Finches are the most popular species sold in pet stores and are available in many color varieties. Society Finches and Gouldian Finches (which have particularly beautiful plumage in a rainbow of colors) also are common in the pet trade.
Finches sold in the pet industry originated from many places throughout the world; most species have been bred in captivity for years. The zebra finch is originally from Australia.
Finches are very active but not usually tame. They can be fun to breed to watch parents care for the young birds, which leave the nest in a little over a month. Males may fight when multiple pairs are kept in the same cage unless customers use larger units, referred to as flight cages.
Males almost always have more color or a different color pattern than females, with adult coloration coming in at about six months of age. Only males sing, with songs varying by species but generally sweet and quiet.
Finches normally live from five to 10 years, depending on species.