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Fruits and Vegetables

Fruit and veg should be provided on a daily basis and should make up 50% of your bird’s diets. Any left over veg should be removed from their cage at the end of the day, as they rot quickly.

Finches aren’t really fussy eaters and should enjoy any vegetable you feed them. They like bright colors, so a mix of colorful fruit and veg will go down well with them. You need to make sure that the food you are giving your finches is good for them and won’t upset their stomachs. Always wash the food before serving it up to your finches.

Java sparrow food
Food fit for a Java Sparrow

Suitable Fruit and Vegetables For Finches

  • apple (avoid the pips: they contain small amounts of cyanide)
  • banana
  • beetroot
  • bell peppers (all colours)
  • blueberries
  • broccoli (the sprouting varieties are best)
  • butternut squash (and any other squash)
  • cabbage (savoy, kale)
  • carrot
  • celery (leafy ends – the sticks themselves are too watery and will fill the bird without adding much nutrition)
  • corn on the cob
  • courgette (zucchini)
  • fennel bulb (especially the feathery green parts)
  • greens – try dandelion, chickweed, nasturtium, spinach, parsley, spring greens, mustard cress; but only in small quantities – an excess of greens can hinder calcium absorption
  • mango
  • melon
  • papaya
  • peach and nectarine
  • pear (not the pips – for the same reason as apples, above!)
  • peas – fresh from the pod
  • pumpkin (and any other squash)
  • raspberries
  • strawberries
  • sweet potato
  • tomato (ripe – never green)

Unsuitable Foods for Finches

Never feed your birds the following:

  • acorns
  • alcohol of any kind
  • aubergine (egg plant) – the stem and unripe parts are toxic, and finches don’t tend to be very interested in the flesh if there are other vegetables on offer
  • avocado – this is both fatty and toxic
  • beans – no uncooked bean is suitable
  • broad beans (fava beans)
  • caffeine
  • chocolate or any other sweets and confectionary aimed at sweet-toothed humans
  • citrus fruits – these are fine in very small amounts, but too much can cause digestive problems and loose droppings
  • elderberries
  • fruit stones, pits and pips – most of these are mildly toxic (or, in the case of peach stones, lethal)
  • garlic – opinion is split on whether the garlic and onion family is okay for finches, and wherever there is doubt, it’s easier to simply avoid
  • lettuce – not toxic, but of very low nutritional value, so there’s no point having your birds filling up on it. It can also turn droppings watery if eaten in bulk.
  • mushrooms of any kind
  • nettle
  • onion – see garlic, above
  • peanuts
  • potato – these are mildly toxic when raw
  • rhubarb – the leaves are toxic
  • sweet pea
  • tobacco

Dried Fruit and Veg for Finches

Finches, much like us humans, enjoy dried food. It is best not to spoil them with these foods, but the occasional treat will go down well with them. Pre Packaged dried fruit will be fine, as long as it’s without preservatives or colorings (sulfur is one to look out for as it is commonly used to color things like dried apricots). Another advantage of dried food is that it has a much longer shelf life than fresh foods. FInches also seem to enjoy the dried texture of it too, and some like to place bits of it in water and eat it when it is partially rehydrated. Dry food can be a good middle ground if you have a seed-crazy bird that doesn’t want to eat fresh foods.

Canary feeding
Dry food and fresh food each have their place in your pet finch's diet

Preparing Fresh Food for Finches

Hard vegetables and fruits, for example, carrots, will need to be finely chopped or grated before being served up to your birds. If you are serving them sprigs of greens separately, for example, dandelion, leave them whole and tie them together in a bunch so that the finches can snip them with their beaks.

make sure to serve fresh food away from the seed feeding stations, as any fresh foods that land in the dry food will encourage rotting. If you have an aviary, fresh food can be served from the floor as in the wild finches search the ground for fruits and seeds.

Customer Images


Lynne, 18 April 2024

I have an elderberries bush which is fruiting really well this year, I noticed a lot of silver eye finches feasting on the ripe berries yesterday. This site says not to feed them to finches. Please tell me I haven't handed the bird. I will pull the plant out of I have to.

Matt, 14 July 2021

Lionardo Di Vinci used to buy them to free them from their cages. I'd do the same but it would only make the traders keep selling them...oh, along with you lot. I'm here because we have one in the warehouse and trying to figure how to get him out. I know they're cute but....

Myhomegrocers, 24 March 2021

Good article. Will follow your article. Thank you. indian grocery store dallas tx

Rev, 20 May 2020

May be the strawberries.i dkn how ever our Canary's and Finches love our chop.ive heard if you put a strawberry in salt water bugs/ small worm like creatures crawls out.try it may be that's what your birds are seeing that we caint.just a thought

Joe, 17 April 2020

Just started with 2 Zebra finches which bred 5 females and one male which I went to separate and gave them all different partners as I did not want the young ones to breed among themselves as they from 1 set off parents.And now have got me Goudinian Finches which colours are adorable would like any advice to make them Extremely Happy