Creating and maintaining a finch aviary is a hobby that gives people enjoyable hours watching the colourful, sociable birds interact with one another. However, to make sure that the aviary is a peaceful kingdom, an owner must research the types of birds he plans to purchase as well as consider the purpose and size of his aviary.
Before a bird owner decides what types of birds to put in a finch aviary, the enclosure's size must be considered. An overcrowded aviary can cause stress, aggressive behaviour and illness. The owner must also decide if he wants to have an aviary of pet birds or wants to actively breed finches. Finch species can vary in size, but it is usually recommended to have one pair of breeding birds per 3 square feet of space. Length of the aviary is more important than height, because finches fly more horizontally than vertically.
Zebra finches and society finches are the best birds to start with in an aviary. These species are usually easy to care for and breed. They come in a variety of colours that can be an interesting introduction to breeding. Zebra and society finches are inexpensive and readily available at most pet stores. Birds suitable for aviaries that sing are strawberry finches, star finches, cordon bleus and Melba finches. Other species like canaries, parakeets and doves can also be kept successfully in a finch aviary. Any time you introduce a new bird to the flock, be sure to quarantine it in a separate area for a month to prevent the possible transmission of disease.
Sometimes when a new bird is introduced to a finch aviary there can be territorial conflict. One bird may chase one or more birds around the cage, never letting it rest. Give the birds time to adjust and figure out the pecking order. Observe the birds closely to ensure they're not being physically harmed. The addition of extra feeding stations and rearranging perches and other cage accessories may also help. If the fighting does not stop with time or it becomes rough, take the aggressive finch out of the aviary. Reintroduce the bird after a few days. If that does not resolve the problem the aggressive bird may need to be permanently kept in a separate cage or aviary.
If a bird owner wants to breed birds in a finch aviary, the first step is picking out "true pairs." This means making sure it's a male and female couple. This can be difficult if male and female finches species don't have different markings, like society finches. Two males or two females can sometimes behave like a breeding pair. A blood test can determine a bird's sex. The aviary must also be big enough to accommodate the breeding pair and nesting area. If the aviary owner does not want to breed his birds, two males or two females of most finch species will usually get along just fine. If pairs are breeding, removing nesting material or the eggs can prevent reproduction.