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Finch Song

Do Pet Finches Sing?

If you want a singing bird, the Canary has no rivals in the pet finch world. Having said that, all other finches are very vocal, with a variety of whistles and calls. Some sound unmusical, a bit like the chirruping chatter of House sparrows, but some of them sing pleasantly too, and are seldom intrusively loud. The Zebra finch, for example, has a quiet, trilling, conversational song. The Java sparrow and Double-barred finch are enthusiastic, if monotonous, songsters too; and the Bengalese finch has a squeakiy, twittering song that endears it to its keepers.

Zebra Finches and Canaries are not the only songsters
Zebra Finch males improve their songs by listening to other birds

After a few minutes in the presence of the birds at a pet shop or aviary, you will soon get an impression of the type of ‘music’ you are about to introduce to your household. Finches have quiet voices, but in flocks they can create quite a noise, so it’s always a good idea to spend time in their company before committing to buying, just to get a measure of what’s in store.

Zebra Finch Song

Cock Zebra finches are wired to produce the basic song framework, but need a teacher to fill in the details. A bird left without other Zebras – or any other music tutor – will never get beyond the basics.

Zebra Finch song
Zebra Finch males improve their songs by listening to other birds

A chick’s father is the usual teacher, and once they have fleshed out their song they start to add little trills and whistles seemingly of their own inspiration, although many of their improvisations will be based on external sounds they have heard. Zebras fostered by other finches will still sound unmistakably like Zebra finches, but will pick up snippets of song from their foster parent.

Some finch owners sing to their birds or play them music to inspire them. As with the Canary, this is a time-honoured way of getting your pet bird to peak performance (see Song Training in the Canary section of this guide).

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Rick, 23 March 2020

Star finches have a beautiful song, well it is more of a cheap, but all the same sounds fantastic.