Finches, like most birds, are omnivores that eat a variety of food. Omnivore’s diets include different types of seeds, fruits, nectar, insects, worms, fish, and small rodents. So, what do finches eat?
Finches are primarily seed-eaters, and their diet is based on a variety of plant seeds. Besides seeds, depending on the season and availability, insects, berries, fruits, nectar, veggies, and worms form a significant part of their diet throughout the year. Female finch may also eat her eggs for nutrition.
Wow! I never thought tiny finches could consume that variety of food.
However, like most omnivores, they have evolved to survive on both seeds and insects.
Let us further explore to understand what type of food finches eat in the wild.
Food That Finches Eat In The Wild
In the wild, finches forage for seeds on the ground, grass, plants, pinecones, and weeds. Depending on the geographical location, their food habits may vary.
However, most finches are primarily seed-eaters and, with the food scarcity, may resort to eating insects and worms.
Besides seeds, finches also eat aphids, asparagus beetle, caterpillars, Colorado potato beetles, crickets, cucumber beetles, flea beetles, grasshoppers, Japanese beetle, leafhoppers, leaf miners, Mexican bean beetle, moths, spruce budworm, and many more herbivorous insects and arthropods as part of their food.
Female finches may also eat their infertile eggs for nutrition. Some cases may even eat fertile eggs if the breeding conditions are unfavorable or not optimal.
Alright! Finches in the wild have to work hard for their meal. Therefore, at times, they may eat whatever is available. However, in comparison, captive finches have more options, as pet owners try to provide a well-balanced and varied diet essential for their overall development.
Let us now explore further to learn about food that captive finches get on their platter.
Interesting Further Reading:
- Why Do Finches Puff Up? (What Are The Possible Reasons)
- Can Finches Be Trained? + Are Finches Easy To Train?
Food That Finches Eat-In Captivity
Finches in captivity depend entirely on their pet owners for food. As most pet owners try to provide food with nutritional value, their food includes fresh seeds, vegetables, and fruits, depending on the season and availability.
Let us look at the list of food items that you may serve your pet finches.
There are different types of seeds you can feed your pet finches. Finches are mainly seed eaters and like black oil sunflower seeds, canary seeds, flax seeds, hulled sunflower seeds, knotweed, mustard seeds, nijer, rapeseeds, safflower seeds, suet, thistle seeds in their diet.
However, seeds have low nutritional values, and pet owners need to provide them a well-balanced diet.
You can serve your pet finches fruits. Please make sure the fruits are fresh, organic, and washed before putting in your bird’s platter.
List of fruits you can feed finches:
- Apple (remove the seed)
- Nectarines (remove the pits)
- Peach (remove the pits)
- Pear (remove the seed)
It will be great to add greens in small quantities to your pet finch’s diet. It adds variety and provides the necessary nutrition.
Following is the list of greens that can be fed to your finches:
- Collard greens
- Mustard Cress
- Spring greens
You can serve veggies to your pet finches. Please make sure the fruits are fresh, organic, and washed before they are served.
Following is the list of vegetables that can be fed to your finches:
- Bell peppers
- Sweet potato
- Squash (all types)
- Tomatoes (only ripe)
You may include eggs in your pet finch’s meal once a week. Eggs will provide the necessary vitamins and minerals required for the tiny bird. You can mash the hard-boiled egg, add shells after grinding for more calcium, mix it well and serve your pet bird.
It may be great to add dried fruits like currants, raisins, and sultanas. Unlike fruits and veggies, dried fruits are not easily perishable. Be careful that you buy organic stuff without any preservatives.
Your pet finches will love eating live mealworms. You can find them easily, as commercially they are sold in a semi-dormant state and available throughout the year.
Pet owners can breed mealworms at home to satiate your pet bird’s requirements.
Waxworms are the larva of wax moths. It is a great option to feed young chicks, as they are soft, pulpy, and effortlessly digestible.
They may have low nutritional value but are an option as they are readily available.
Alright! Pet owners have a lot of options to choose from for their pet finches. Most of the food items are readily available throughout the year.
Recommended Further Reading:
- Do Finches Chirp At Night? Or (Are They Silent At Night)
- Do Finches Like Music? + Are Finches Happy When They Sing?
What Do Zebra Finches Eat?
Zebra finches are primarily seed eaters. You can occasionally feed them millet sprays as they relish eating them. They like canary seeds, white seeds, amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, rye, canola seeds, flax seeds, niger seeds, rapeseed, sesame, and sunflower seeds. You can provide peeled apples, bananas, blueberries, melon, papaya, sliced peach, raspberries, and strawberries, among fruits.
What Do House Finches Eat?
House finches feed mainly on weed seeds. Their diet primarily consists of seeds, buds, berries, and fruits. House finches like to eat black sunflower seeds, canary seeds, knotweed, mustard seeds, and thistle seeds.
Among fruits, they like cherries and mulberries. House finches prefer to keep their food habits constant throughout the year. However, if the food source is scarce, they may eat small insects such as aphids to survive.
What Do Goldfinches Eat?
Goldfinches prefer to depend mainly on seeds from plants and trees. They like to eat asters seeds, black sunflower seeds, niger seeds, thistle seeds, alder seeds, birch seeds, dandelion, western red cedar, and elm seeds. However, the seeds of African Yellow Daisy are their favorite.
What Do Finches Eat In Winter?
Finches are predominantly seed eaters. You can provide them a good mix of seeds and millets. Depending on the availability of finch food in your location, you may replenish their feeders with fruits, greens, vegetables, dried fruits, insects, mealworms, and wax worms.
What Fruits And Veggies Do Finches Eat?
Finches eat a variety of fruits and veggies.
Fruits: You can serve finches fresh fruits like peeled apple (remove the seed), banana, blueberries, grapes, mango, melon, nectarines (remove the pits), papaya, peach (remove the pits), plum (remove the pits), sliced pear (remove the seed), raspberries, and strawberries.
Please remove seeds and pits before offering these fruits, as they contain a small amount of cardiac-toxic cyanide compound.
Greens: You may serve them small quantities of chickweed, cilantro, collard greens, dandelion, mustard cress, nasturtium, parsley, spinach, spring greens.
Vegetables: You may serve them beets, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, corn, peas, pumpkin, sweet potato, squash (all types), tomatoes (only ripe), zucchini. Please try to feed them veggies that are organic and fresh.