Feeding Nature
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finches

What do Finches Eat?

Finches are small to medium size colorful birds.   Finches have forked like tails, pointed wings and rounded heads.  Their bodies are elongated. As with most other bird species the male finches are brightly colour while the females are much less colourful.

Finches are found globally except in Australia and New Zealand, they were however introduced into these two countries a few years ago. Finches usually live in family groups and their nests are built close to each other. There are a wide variety of finch species and each one is adapted to their own habit they live in. There are more than 228 different species of finches divided into 3 main groups.

Estrildidae

These finches are found in the old world tropics and Australia.  This group also includes the bunting family.

Passerellidae

These finches are mostly found in America and are a part of the American sparrow family.

Darwin’s Finches

These finches are found in the Galapagos Island and are also part of the Tanager Family.  They are quite different to the other species of finches as they feed on seeds, berries and insects.  These species beaks are well adapted to eat the fruits of the Cactus Plant and they will even suck the blood from iguanas.

What do Finches Eat

Finches are mainly seedeaters but their diets also contain fruits, berries, insects and nectar from various flowers. They have short triangular bills which are adapted to feed on all kinds of seeds.  Here is a quick look at the main foods these birds enjoy eating:

Seeds

Finches’ main diets consist of a variety of different seeds.  These seeds include Nyjer Seeds, Black Sunflower Seeds, Mixed Bird Seeds.  Their favorite is however the Nyjer Seeds as these seeds are very high in oils and fats that is needed in the birds diet.  Sunflower Seeds are also very high in oils and other much needed nutrients to sustain the health of these little birds.  They can crack these seeds open with their short triangular beaks that are specially adapted for feeding on seeds.

Fruits and Berries

Finches mainly feed on seeds but they also feed on fruits and berries like apples, nectarines, blackberries and raspberries.  These berries are very high in vitamins to assist with much needed nutrients these birds need to stay healthy.  Darwin’s finches also feed on Cactus plant’s fruit as their beaks are adapted to easily get access to these fruits.

Insects

Not all finches feed on insects.  The Darwin’s Finches however have adapted beaks which enables them to feed on insects like grasshoppers, crickets, sow bugs and termites.  Darwin’s finches are larger than the other species of finches and they evolved to fit in with their environment.  These finches do not have access to enough seeds to sustain them which is why they also eat insects to add to their nutritional needs.

Nectar

Darwin’s finches have also adapted to eat nectar from flowers and pollen.  As already mentioned these finches had to adapt their feeding habits due to the habitat they live in.  Their favorite nectar and flowers are those of the Cactus Plant.  They also eat the pollen of the Cactus Plant.  Eating flowers and pollen they also do their part in helping to spread the pollen and seeds of the Cactus Plant and this also helps to spread the seeds and pollen for further plant growth.

How to Feed Finches

Finches must be fed on a daily basis.  They must always have fresh clean water available.  They need to be fed a balanced diet daily.  Their diet must include seeds that are high in oils and nutrients.  They must also be fed fruits, berries and vegetables daily.  Finches make very good pets and garden birds.  If you wish to attract them to your garden make sure there are seeds available.  A bird feeder with bird mix seeds can be placed in a tree and clean fresh water.  If you have fruit trees and trees with berries they will also be attracted.

What do Finches Eat in the Wild

Finches are very adaptable to the availability of foods.  In the wild they feed on Nyjer Seeds, Black Sunflower Seeds and Dandelion Seeds.   Their favorite seeds are Nyjer Seeds, which is rich in oils.  If seeds are not readily available they will also feed on all kinds of fruits, vegetables, grasses and even insects.  Finches will also eat flower pollen and nectar.

What do Finches Eat in Captivity

Finches are very good pets and they are easily drawn to gardens where there are all kinds of seeds, fruits and vegetables.  They should always have access to clean water, and their diets have to be strictly controlled.  They should be fed oily seeds, fruits and vegetables daily.  Seeds such as bird mix seeds, sunflower seeds and Nyjer seeds can make up quite a good diet.  Fruits and berries such as apples, nectarines, blackberries and raspberries contain most of their nutritional dietary needs.

Avoid fruits and vegetables like avocado, potatoes, acorns, onions and sweet peas.  These fruits and vegetables are toxic to finches and they will get very sick or even die if they are fed these foods.

What do Baby Finches Eat

In the wild baby finches are fed adequately by their parents and the survival rate is quite high.  Baby finches in captivity are not always successfully raised as they have specific nutritional needs.  When the chicks are born they can be fed a mix of water and infant electrolyte feeding.

As they grow the portions have to be adapted. Baby finches grow feathers and their beaks are strong enough a diet of softened seeds can be introduced and they can also be introduced to fresh water.  As they grow into young birds they can be fed a well balanced diet of seeds, fruits and vegetables.

How Much do Finches Eat

Finches have a pecking order in which they feed in the wild.  Finches higher in rank will feed first and then the lower ranked birds. In captivity finches will consume about 2 teaspoons of seeds, fruit and vegetable per day.  Finches in captivity can also be fed a powdered food which is high in nutrition they need for a healthy lifestyle.

How Often do Finches Eat

Finches eat and drink water every day.  In the wild they will feed on available foods and drink fresh water every day.  In captivity they must be fed daily.

What is a Finches Favorite Food

Finches favorite food is Nyjer seeds and black sunflower seeds as these seeds are very high in needed oils to sustain their bodies and be healthy.

Do Finches Eat Bugs?

Bugs are not in general their favorite food, as they are mainly seedeaters. They are however well adapted to their habitat and they will feed on bugs to sustain themselves.  Darwin’s finches are especially likely to eat bugs because their natural habitat does not consist of a lot of seeds.  These finches will feed on all kinds of bugs.

Do Finches Eat Sunflower Seeds?

Sunflower seeds are one of finches’ most favorite foods.  Black sunflower seeds are very high in fats and oils that are essential in the dietary nutrition of these small and colourful birds.

Do Finches Make Good Pets?

These colourful and bussy little birds are very good pets and will give you hours of pleasure and entertainment.  They should however not be kept alone as they are colonial birds.  They will be at their happiest if they are kept in a cage where they can still fly with a few good friends.

What Foods are Toxic to Finches

Finches should never be fed fruits and vegetables like avocados, potatoes, alcoholic drinks, tobacco and acorns.  Cleaning sprays and aerosols should also not be used close to fiches as the fumes can seriously harm them and even kill them.