What do you feed a baby finch

Wild Baby Finch Diet | Pets on Mom.com

By Victoria Marinucci | Updated September 26, 2017

North America serves as home for more than 20 species of finches. These small songbirds inhabit cities, woods, mountains and deserts. With such a large finch population throughout the country, you may have a nest of wild baby finches near your house or wild finch fledglings visiting your bird feeder. You can positively impact a wild baby finch's health by understanding her diet and providing nutritious food at your feeder.

Hatching and Nestling Diet

Much like a human baby, a wild baby finch requires a certain diet of foods and frequent feedings from his parents in order to stay healthy. The first week of a finch's life is the hatching stage, and it is followed by the nestling stage, which can last two weeks. During both stages, it is crucial that his mother keeps him warm and nourished by feeding him at 1 1/2- to 20-minute intervals, according to an article published in "The Condor. " Finches generally feed their babies a variety of regurgitated seeds, such as the sunflower seeds and dandelion seeds that house finches mainly feed their young. Brambling and American goldfinch feed their babies small insects, including aphids and gnats; the diet of those finches consists mainly of insects.

Fledgling Diet

Two to four weeks after hatching, the wild baby finch becomes a fledgling. During this stage, the finch's wing muscles have developed and her flight feathers have grown in. The wild baby finch ventures from the nest, though she is still dependent on her mother and father for care. She still relies on her parents to bring the seeds and insects she received in the nest. The fledgling period lasts one to two weeks.

Juvenile Diet

After the fledgling period, the baby finch graduates to the juvenile stage and begins eating on his own. He gradually learns to eat an adult diet. Though his diet still contains seeds and insects, it also includes plants, such as thistles and nettles that adult goldfinches eat and wild berries and nectar that mature house finches eat. He will remain a juvenile until he becomes a fully fledged adult at 3 to 4 months old.

Bird Feeder Food

Even though a wild baby finch should not be directly handled or fed, you can help her diet by attracting finch parents and fledglings to your bird feeder. Because the parents and their babies eat seeds and insects, you can place wild bird seed containing whole sunflower seeds, sunflower kernels and millet as well as insects such as meal worms or wax worms in your bird feeder. Wild bird seed is available at pet stores, garden stores and most supermarkets, and pet stores sell insects. You also can offer unconventional food such as breads, most fruits and suet. Changing bird seed frequently ensures the food is fresh. Damp or old food may cause illness in birds.


If you find an orphaned wild baby finch, you should not care for or feed him, but you can help him. The first task to establish whether the finch is a fledgling or a nestling. "In order to determine whether the bird is a nestling or a fledgling allow the baby bird to perch on your finger. If it is able to grip your finger firmly than it is a fledgling," states the website Wild Bird Watching. If he is a fledgling, he should be left alone. His parents will continue to feed him as he learns to fly. A nestling, however, should be returned to his nest. If you cannot find the nest, your area's wildlife rehabilitator can properly care for the wild baby finch.


Some foods are dangerous to a baby and an adult finch's health. Among the foods to avoid are those containing caffeine, including coffee beans and chocolate. A finch cannot metabolize caffeine, resulting in dehydration and seizures. Also, vegetable oils can destroy feathers' insulating qualities needed for warmth. Lastly, stale and moldy food, which can cause respiratory infections, should be avoided.


  • Wild Bird Watching: Baby Birds--Should I Help?
  • "The Auk;" A Study of the House Finch; W. H. Bergtold, M.D.; January 1913
  • Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment: American Goldfinch (Carduelis Tristis)
  • RSPB, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds: What Food To Provide--Bird Seed Mixtures
  • "The Condor;" Observations On Nesting Behavior Of The House Finch; Fred G. Evenden; March-April 1957

Photo Credits

Writer Bio

Victoria Marinucci has been writing since 2002. Her articles have appeared in Pennsylvania newspapers as the "Bucks County Courier Times," and "The Intelligencer." She has also had numerous articles published on the news site, phillyBurbs. Marinucci earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Penn State University.

How to Care for House Finch Babies

By Nadelee Biondi | Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Cage or box

  • Flannel or fleece fabric

  • Paper towels

  • Heat lamp or heating pad

  • Thermometer

  • Pre-made baby finch food

  • Pedialyte

  • Eye dropper or medication syringe

  • Bugs (crickets or mealworms)

  • Nest (can be a commercial finch nest)

  • Food and water bowls that attach to the cage bars

House finches are active but nervous birds. Their antics are fun to watch; however, unlike a parrot that can be held, a finch is not the right bird to have if the owner wants one that's loveable and playful. Finches don't enjoy cuddling -- although they're playful among themselves -- and holding them causes these birds stress. They make nests in pockets placed in the cage, and this is where finches will raise their young. Occasionally, when a parent dies or is unable to care for the baby, human intervention is needed. Though the babies are fragile, it is possible to raise them by hand until they can be introduced to other finches.

Find a box or cage that will protect the baby finch and give easy access to feed and care for it. Ensure the baby cannot escape before it's old enough to be placed in a cage with older finches.

Make a nest in the corner of the cage or box. It can be made of fleece or flannel fabric, and should have sides high enough so the baby cannot roll out of it. Cover the area for the baby finch with a folded paper towel.

Place the cage with the baby finch where the heat can be regulated. The baby must not get too hot or too cold. The temperature should be regulated between 88 and 92 degrees F. A heat lamp above the cage works well, as does a heating pad under it.

Put a thermometer in the cage between the nest and the wall of the cage. It will need to be continuously watched and the heat adjusted, until a steady temperature is finally achieved.

Purchase a ready-made seed mixture from a pet-supply or feed-supply store and a bottle of Pedialyte.

Set up a schedule for feeding the baby finch around the clock at timed intervals. Watch the crop in the baby's neck, as this tells when the baby's hungry; if it is flat, or puffed out, the baby finch is hungry and needs to be fed.

Mix the ready-made seed with the Pedialyte so that it's watery.

Feed the baby finch by filling an eyedropper with the ready-made seed mix. A syringe used to give human babies medicine will also work. Give the baby a little at a time, allowing the baby to take the food at its own pace. Baby finches do not breathe when they are feeding. Feed the baby small amounts at a time, allowing it to breathe in between. Do not overfeed the baby, as this could cause death.

Change the paper towel in the baby finch's nest before placing the baby back in it. The baby will probably fall fast asleep.

Mash up small bugs, occasionally mixing them with the seed mixture and sufficient quantities of water after the first two weeks of just feeding the seed mixture. Keep feeding the baby finch at regular intervals. Bugs provide perfect protein to keep the growing bird healthy. It's also okay at this point to start giving the baby water, small drops at a time, separate from the food -- although it's also okay to continue with Pedialyte.

Replace the homemade bird nest in the box with an actual finch nest, purchased from a pet store, in a cage. The baby finch is strong enough at this stage when it can stick its head out of the nest to let the caregiver know it's hungry. No matter what kind of directions a person is given for raising a baby bird, however, the chances of it surviving are slim if it is newly hatched. Remember though that even if it does not survive, it was held by your loving hands that tried.

Provide crushed birdseed in a bowl that attaches to the inside of the cage, along with a water container. At three weeks, the baby is large and agile enough to jump from the opening of the nest to the bowls and is now actively feeding and watering itself. It's okay to leave the baby in this cage for its lifetime.

Put the baby finch at five weeks of age into a cage with other finches. It is now old enough to be accepted and not picked on by the others. Keep its cage as it was for the time being, in case there are problems and it needs to be moved back into its first cage. It's okay to introduce another finch to the baby in the baby's cage as well.

  • Keep the baby finch's bedding clean at all times, replacing the paper towel as often as needed. Keep sudden noises to a minimum, as baby birds startle easily. Keep the cage and the baby in an area not accessible by children or other pets.


  • Do not overheat or underheat the baby finch, and do not force or over feed it -- as all of these conditions can cause the death of the baby finch.


  • AnimalAmigo.com: Caring for Baby Finches
  • AskDeb.com: What do You Feed a Baby Bird: Doug Brinlee
  • Birds n Ways: How to Handfeed Finches: Kristine Spencer
  • Bird Guys: How to Care for Finches
  • Animal-World: All About Finches
  • Beautiful Song Birds: Guide to Finch Care

Photo Credits

Writer Bio

Nadelee Biondi has been writing professionally since 2004. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, she began contributing to "Sunset" and "Better Homes and Gardens." Biondi is also pursuing a Master of Arts in English literature.

What to do if you find a chick? — Bel.ru

Biologist Olga Kuvykina warns against the main mistakes that citizens make when picking up chicks that have fallen out of the nest.

Every summer I receive letters asking me to help feed the chicks. They begin the same way: “The chicks have fallen out of the nest! There are cats, people, cars around, so I took them home. But what to do now? Sometimes they literally blackmail me, they press on pity, that if I don’t take the bird, it will die. These unfortunate rescuers write in social networks how kind they are, and how callous everyone around is. But callousness should not be confused with realism and understanding of the situation.

Different countries have different attitudes towards birds. Costa Rica, for example, lives in ecotourism, so drinking bowls with sugar water for hummingbirds hang in the courtyards of hotels, and groups of birdwatchers - bird watchers - roam the forests from morning to night, hugging huge cameras.

In the Netherlands, birds are not offended, and herons sit on the hoods of cars, and songbirds let them at arm's length.

In Cyprus and Italy snacks made from warblers, goldfinches and other small songbirds have become fashionable. Millions of birds fall into the net every year and end up in the stomachs of gourmets. The number of songbirds is falling. Barbarism, the new Middle Ages, senseless cruelty.

In Laos, they eat everything that moves because they are hungry, so not only birds, but also frogs and beetles get it.

Russians fall into two extremes: from complete indifference, when they do not notice even such bright and large beauties in the yard as bullfinches and jays, to strong pity and kindness, and this kindness kills.

The babies of most of our birds leave the nests, not yet able to fly normally. Having scattered around the area, they are more likely to survive than sitting in one nest in front of predators. Such teenage flyers are called fledglings. They sit in the bushes, squeak and wait for their parents. Parents look after them, feed them, teach them to get food and recognize enemies. Adult tits rarely fall into the clutches of predators, but naive fledglings that themselves jump into their mouths easily. Therefore, broods of small birds are numerous and are calculated on the fact that out of six, say, two will survive. The most courageous, smart and maneuverable.

The first few days of departure from the nest are the most dangerous. Thrush chicks sit in the grass, where they are strangled by dogs - both stray and owner. Dogs hunt for ducklings and other waterfowl - just today I had to say something to the owner of a husky and pit bull, who set his pets on the moorhens in the pond.

Moorhens (they are confused with ducks, but they are relatives of cranes), grebes, swans and ducks of various species are our native wild fauna that require protection, while dogs are an invasive species that must be controlled.

If desired, the dog can be trained not to chase birds and cats. The running of dogs after other animals in many countries is fraught with the dogs themselves - in the reserves they have the right to shoot them, otherwise deer and other animals driven by dogs die from wounds and stress.

Jays, crows, geese and some other birds are no more stupid than dogs. They suffer greatly when they eat their babies. When a White Swiss Shepherd came to me, I quickly weaned it from running after hedgehogs and other animals. The dog turned out to be very smart, he understood my every word.

Another problem for waterfowl is the “cultivation” of water areas. Along the banks of the reservoirs, grass is mowed and concrete embankments are made. The ducklings are unable to get out of the water to rest on land and die. In Moscow, mass death of ducklings was noted after the transformation of parks into a concrete jungle. People who care save the birds - they make floating wooden rafts for them. A lot of rafts are needed, as more aggressive swans and shelducks take them away from mallards. An ideal place for ducks, as well as for nightingales and bluethroats nesting on the ground, in the bushes near the water, is a pond near which they never mow and set fire to the grass, do not mow the bushes and, of course, leave the banks as nature created them ! By the way, in several parks of the capital nightingales almost disappeared after "cultivation".

Titmouses, robins and blackbirds jumping in the bushes, and even such exotic things as corncrake chicks that look like black chickens, of course, attract the attention of compassionate citizens. They take the "orphans" home. And in vain! The only possible help for fledglings is to put them higher in dense bushes and leave, taking cats and dogs with them. No need to stomp around the chicks for a long time, attracting the attention of crows. The rest is what I would call the “feed your conscience” metaphor.

Fledglings are brought home and fed with bread, meat, cat food, milk. Fledglings of insectivorous birds with the most delicate intestines! Of course, they die from poisoning. It happens that people go to the necessary forums and publics in VK, for example, maybirds.ru, determine the type of bird and find out that you can only feed fledglings with insects. They buy crickets at the pet store and still feed the birds. But the question arises - why? Fosterlings will not survive in the forest without rehabilitation. They will die. Fed up, released from the balcony and rejoice? The next day there will be nothing left of the chicks. If you take them to the forest and launch them into a flock of nomadic songbirds, then there is a chance.

To increase the survival rate from 10 to 90, you need to leave the birds at home for life or organize rehabilitation for them - build a large aviary in the country with grass, bushes and insects, and teach your feathered friends to get food on their own. It is advisable to feed a flock of tits and other wild birds nearby so that the fledglings can communicate with them. You can contact the wildlife centers. There are few of them in Russia, and mostly they are private - people save animals with their own money and on their own. It's hard. That is, it is unlikely that you will be happy to accept a thrush chick, but the chicks of birds of prey are usually welcome. Predators are listed in the Red Book. They are large and easier to handle.

When in front of you is not a fledgling, but a chick, that is, a half-naked creature, then the question is why did it fall? Usually the weak, sick fall out, they are not residents anyway. But healthy ones can also fall into a hurricane. You can try to find a nest, bring a ladder and put the chicks back. It's a myth that their parents won't accept them. Birds have a weak sense of smell.

The chick is wounded, the wing hangs, the leg is broken, but you stubbornly take it out of the dog's mouth? Surgery of small birds in the Russian Federation is not developed. Such a chick is a suicide bomber in most cases.

In Europe, wild animals are often euthanized if they realize that they cannot be helped - for example, woodpeckers with broken beaks, chicks with numerous fractures, foxes that have been hit by cars. You can not watch how a living being slowly dies in agony. The state veterinary police arrives and does everything necessary. The decision is made by specialists: ordinary citizens are freed from this ethical torment. Minor fractures in owls and other birds of prey are treatable, but long-term rehabilitation in an aviary is needed.

Are you ready to feed/treat your chick? Do you want to give it to someone as soon as possible, relieve yourself of the burden of responsibility, although you found the bird? It will be more honest to pass by if it is a common species like a thrush. Rare birds, of course, are better to pick up. An owl can always be attached to some living corner, but not a thrush - a noisy and grumpy bird.

Robins, redstarts, great tits, titmouse, crows, gray flycatchers, pied flycatchers, green woodpeckers nest in my yard every year. This year, a couple of black woodpeckers came - outlandish, huge birds. And all this under the noses of the cats that were thrown to me, and I cured them, sterilized and vaccinated them. Wagtail parents rush at cats when they pass by chicks.

Living nearby cats and birds is quite possible under certain conditions. You can't mow all the grass. You can not cut all the bushes. Goldfinches and bullfinches eat the seeds of dandelions, burdocks and vesicles. Fledglings hide in tall grass. Insects live in dense forbs, with which birds feed their babies.

Burning and mowing kill caterpillars and other insects. Including, by the way, rare and beautiful butterflies. So, the caterpillar of the wine hawk moth - it is pink in color - feeds on willow-tea, and they also like to mow it. Caterpillars of bright butterflies-urticaria and peacock's eye eat mainly nettles. We mowed all the nettles - goodbye, cute butterflies.

Cats must wear bright, wide collars that are visible to birds. On the trunks of trees where the birds made a nest, you can attach a plastic "collar", then no one will climb the tree.

By the way, crows and jays willingly eat ducklings and songbird chicks, but these feathered bandits are so smart and interesting that I can't call them "harmful". Once I made friends with a fledgling of a crow - I treated him to a little pieces of meat, and he saw me off, flew after me. His parents all summer scolded the chick for such trust in a person, and in the fall they flew away with him somewhere far away. I treat the jay with walnuts, acorns, slices of white bread. Bullfinches, tits and squirrels - nuts and seeds. Anything salty, fried, and moldy is poison to birds.

Orioles and titmouse sing in the yard in the mornings, nightingales and redstarts sing at night. I don't like listening to the radio, I prefer silence and birdsong.

A characteristic sign of the onset of a warm, stable spring is the return of swifts from Africa home. They are often confused with swallows, although, unlike swallows, these birds fly at the speed of fighters, almost do not get sick and emit a loud, shrill “Vzii-iiii!”.

Swifts, oddly enough, do not have fledglings. Chicks fly out of the nest when they are already adapted to adulthood. Hitting the walls of houses, sometimes swifts fall to the ground and lie there for some time, stunned. The paws are short, the wings are long - you can’t take off from the ground. You need to take the swift in your hands, climb the hill, lift the bird up, and it will fly away by itself.

Quite often too curious chicks fall out of their nests under the roofs and lie on the pavement. If it is not possible to plant the birds back, then you can become their foster parents for a month or two. Swifts do everything in flight, even drink on the fly. Parents do not need to teach them any special skills. So manual swifts can and should be released immediately. They will join the flock and fly to Africa in August.

Feeding a haircut is not so easy - every two hours you have to stuff him with the abdomens of frozen banana crickets and drink water from a pipette. Crickets with delivery are easily ordered via the Internet. I recommend reading about all the intricacies of feeding a shear on the portal “Give the sky to a bird!”.

It's funny that one day it was a predator - a cat - who helped save a swift. I often walked with a brilliant black cat who understood me as a person. He followed me around everywhere. He did not offend birds, but sometimes he caught mice. The cat led me to the house where the chick fell out - the cat knew about it, but I didn’t. He sat down next to me and meowed. Around the haircut were people who tried to feed him bread. I took a naked swift home. When he grew up and took off from my palm clearly upwards, like a rocket, it was a little sad - I became attached to him . ..

P . S .: This is what Olga wrote after reading the publication on the Bel.Ru news agency portal about the destruction of swallow nests during the overhaul: But in Russia, swallows have always been loved and welcomed.

These are completely helpless chicks, and even wounded. They are suicide bombers. It remains only to bury them.

For the future, it is necessary either to make repairs in the autumn, or in the spring to knock down the nests of swallows with long poles, which have just begun to build them. Then the birds will fly away to another place.

You can make special artificial nests for swallows where they won't bother anyone. Schemes of different nesting sites are on the website of the Russian Bird Conservation Union.

Amazing Strawberry Finch Facts for Kids

Strawberry Finch Interesting Facts

What kind of animal is the strawberry finch?

The strawberry chaffinch is a species of wax bird in the Estrildidae family.

What animal class does the strawberry finch belong to?

Strawberry finches belong to the class of birds, which includes all birds.

How many strawberry finches are there in the world?

World population of strawberry finches has not been determined.

Where does the strawberry finch live?

Strawberry finches mainly live in tropical flat plains with crops or tall grass, preferably with a nearby water source.

What is the habitat of the strawberry finch?

The natural habitat and distribution of the strawberry finch extends throughout South and Southeast Asia from Pakistan to the Malay Peninsula and adjacent islands. The nominal subspecies (Amandava amandava amandava) is found in Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the Burmese form (Amandava amandava flavidiventris) is also common in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and China, and the Javanese form (Amandava amandava punicea) in Cambodia .

Who do strawberry finches live with?

Outside of the breeding season, strawberry finches live in small flocks, but they can also be seen in the wild living in large flocks of 100 birds. Pairs of males and females stay together during the breeding season.

How long does a strawberry finch live?

Waxwings or finches are known to live for four years in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

Before mating, males try to attract female finches with a flashy display of their bright red plumage, accompanied by a courtship dance that includes bowing, singing and jumping. Breeding pairs build nests and stay together throughout the breeding season.

The breeding season varies by region, but usually starts in the second half of the rainy season and continues into the following dry months. Female strawberry finches lay a clutch of four to six eggs. The egg-laying is incubated by both parents during the day and by the female of the breeding pair during the night. The eggs are incubated for 11-14 days. After hatching, young birds fledge in about 20 days. Both members of the breeding pair participate in feeding their young.

What is their conservation status?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, strawberry finches are of least concern.

Interesting facts about the strawberry finch

What does the strawberry finch look like?

Every year, both males and females molt, acquiring excellent breeding plumage. During the breeding season, males wear a crown and back of dark red feathers with white streaks under their eyes. The chest, underside and sides of the head are covered with scarlet feathers. The tail is round and black. The underbelly and wing feathers are mostly dark red or black with white spots on the flanks, tail feathers and wings. In contrast, the molting of females during the breeding season gives them a bright yellow-orange color on their breasts and underbelly. The beak of both males and females is red.

When the breeding season ends, males acquire a modest plumage coloration, as do females; there are black streaks under their eyes, and their underbelly can range from creamy yellow to creamy brown. The tail, wings, crown and back become dark brown with fewer white spots. Young finches are a dull greyish brown.

How cute are they?

Strawberry finches, with their dark red plumage and white spots, are charmingly cute.

How do they communicate?

Although strawberry finches are not particularly loud, they are quite loud. Male birds have long location calls, but females have softer, shorter, and less frequently used calls. Both members of the breeding pair use vocalizations during ritual displays prior to mating. The piercing cry is typical of finches exhibiting aggressive behavior. These birds also make the typical high-pitched calls during times of potential threat to the young. While in the nests, the young learn songs from their father.

How big is a strawberry finch?

Strawberry finches are 3 to 4 inches (7.6 to 10.2 cm) long with an average wingspan of 19.3 inches (49 cm). These finches are smaller than the typical house sparrow.

How fast can a strawberry finch fly?

Strawberry finches are known to fly with a fast wing beat.

How much does a strawberry finch weigh?

Strawberry finches weigh 0.2 to 0.3 ounces (7.2-9.5 g).

What are their male and female species names?

Male and female strawberry finches do not have separate names.

What would you name a baby strawberry finch?

A strawberry finch chick can be called a fledgling or fledgling once it has learned to fly.

What do they eat?

The diet of these finches is very varied. They eat an omnivorous diet consisting mainly of grass seeds, but also termites, ant larvae, mosquito larvae, caterpillars, and centipedes. They also feed on fruits when available.

Are they dangerous?

Strawberry finch is an absolutely harmless bird.

Will they make good pets?

Strawberry finches can make excellent house birds with proper care and attention. They can be kept in a cage, but they live best in large aviaries, where there are other types of birds. Aviaries or cages should be well ventilated and have enough space to allow birds to make small flights.

Kidadl Recommendation: All pets should only be purchased from reputable suppliers. It is recommended that as. to a potential pet owner, you do your own research before deciding on your favorite pet. Being a pet owner is... very useful, but it also requires commitment, time and money. Make sure the pet you choose meets the requirements. the laws of your state and/or country. You should never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please make sure that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, is not on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Materials such as tall grass, coconut fiber or charred wood can be given to birds to build nests. Birds kept in a cage or aviary have a varied diet and can be fed green leafy vegetables, fruits, or finches mixtures of millet and herbs. In addition, fruit fly larvae, small mealworms, waxworms, cuttlefish and semolina can be included in their menu. A pair of these birds can cost anywhere from $80 to $100.

Did you know...

Introduced populations of strawberry finches exist in Hawaii, Singapore, Puerto Rico, Portugal, Malaysia, Egypt, Fiji, Brunei and southern Spain.

Collecting strawberry finches is called grouping. During this time, they create and maintain bonds through social preening or grooming.

As part of his pre-mating ritual, the male finch of a breeding pair holds a feather or grass stalk in his mouth, holds the feathers upright, and bows his head deeply to his mating partner.

What is the range of the strawberry finch?

Strawberry finches' natural range extends from the Indus Valley in Pakistan to the Brahmaputra plains in eastern India and the Malay Peninsula.

Learn more