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Finches Mating

This is what all that male dancing and singing has been about, yet there are still some formalities involved. First, the cock bird will have to wait for the hen’s body language to invite him to mate. In many species, the hen will sit in a “mating position”, lifting and vibrating her tail. The male will then proceed to mount her and impregnate her with a “cloacal kiss”, in which the all purpose vents of the two birds will make brief contact. His wings will flap in order to push himself against her, and after a few seconds the whole thing will be over.

Strawberry Finch
This Strawberry Finch has a gift for his mate

Zebra finches, Bengalese finches, Canaries and many others will simply mate on a perch or on the ground, but a few - such as the Gouldian finch, Diamond firetail, Cut-throat and Strawberry Finch - will seek out the privacy of a nest box for copulation. They will usually mate several times while they continue putting the nest together.

Finch Mating Problems

It’s very rare for a healthy, non-hybrid finch to be infertile, and a mating pair will nearly always produce a clutch of anything from two to eight eggs. Problems may occur in mixed aviaries or bird houses, however. It is rare, but sometimes a cock bird may want to pair off with another male, or will woo a female of a different species. Neither scenario is going to end in younglings.

Java Sparrow pair
Nesting Java Sparrows

Breeding Cages

With indoor birds, you will have the best chances of successful chick-rearing if you provide them with a custom-made breeding cage, with a nest box attached. These will be available through pet suppliers. In a birdhouse or aviary you will need a separate enclosed nesting area as part of the setup.

A breeding cage should measure at least 24 x 12 x 12inches. It will also need to be equipped with standard finch accessories - at least two perches, a mineral block, a cuttlefish bone, and plenty of food and water. The cage will also need two doors - one for access (for your hand) and the other for allowing the birds passage to and from the nesting box.

Once the chicks have weaned, you will need to move them to a larger cage, or a seperate section of the aviary. This section should also be supplied with plenty of food, water and perching space.

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