Nita's Nest - Beginning With Birds Selection Pg.4
If you want a bird that will have little one-on-one interaction with you, a male canary is hard to beat.  Their song is beautiful and they are colorful, active, cheerful birds.  Canaries are relatively easy to care for as well.  The cage needn't be huge, nor are their food requirements complicated.

Finches are also great birds.  Seldom just sitting, they are likely to be hopping to and fro, or better yet, flying back and forth.

Of all the finches, societies are one of my favorite kinds.  As the name implies, they are very sociable.  You can have a cage with a group of societies and generally not one will be plucked or harassed.  They are also very free breeders, and very inexpensive.  $20. to $30. for a pair is about right.  They are not the most brilliantly colored birds, but they do come in chocolate, fawn or cinnamon, and white, as well as pied.

Zebra finches are often touted as the most easily kept and bred finch.  Although very pretty, I will never own another one because of their habit of plucking one another, and their own young as well.  If kept in a very large cage they will be less likely to pluck.

We have a flight cage on our dining room wall that is about 9' long, 3' high, and 18" deep.  The front is taken up almost entirely by 3 windows.  There are natural branches affixed to both back corners, and a variety of nests are hung at the top on both ends.  Bunches of millet get hung periodically, and there are also silk plants hung in several places for privacy.  Occasionally we also include a live spider plant as part of the setup.

We keep a varied collection of finches (and sometimes canaries) in this cage, and it's a joy to watch them fly around and interact.  The types include:  green singers, cordon bleus, spice, silverbills, orange-cheeked waxbills, gouldians, and others.  All these guys get along great and are in very good condition.

When we first put birds into this cage, they have a hard time for several days.  They just don't have the wing muscles to fly well after being in regular cages.  They often can't fly up to the branches.  After a few days, they look like little fighter planes, buzzing and dipping around like they've been doing it for years!

If you opt for finches, do give them as much room as possible.  You will be rewarded by their superb condition.
(left photo)  Mama gouldian  with 2 babies;  (right photo) Red-headed parrot finch
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Anita M. Golden
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