If you want a true songbird in your house, the Canary remains unrivaled. This being said, it only takes a few minutes inside a pet shop for one to realise that all finches are in fact very vocal, with a wide array of whistles, songs and calls. Some of these songs are unmusical, such as the general chatter and chirruping of house sparrows, but some of them can sound pleasing. The Zebra Finch, for example, has a quiet yet trilling and conversational song. The close relatives of the Zebra finch, the Java sparrow and the Bengalese finch, share this uplifting little song too.
You will have to hear the songs for yourself to get a true idea of what they sound like. Individual finches actually have quiet voices, though when in a flock the combined songs of them all can be rather loud and intrusive.
Zebra Finch Song
Cock Zebra Finches are naturally wired to know the basics of their song, though like any true musical artist, they need a tutor to get beyond the basics.
Zebra Finch males improve their songs by listening to other birds
In the wild, a chicks father takes up this role of teacher. Each bird has a somewhat unique song, as once they have grasped the idea of it, they will start adding their own little whistles and little trills to fully flesh it out. Many of these improvisations will be based on outside sounds that they hear. Zebras fostered by other zebras will always have that unmistakable finch sound.
Some Finch owners choose to sing to their birds in order to inspire them. This takes a lot of time and commitment, but is one of the best ways of getting your bird to peak musical performance (see Song Training in the Canary section of this guide for more information on this).