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Pet Finches and Wild Finches Have Similar Diet.

Pet finches generally eat the same food as wild finches, so if you have a pet finch or want to attract wild finches to your back yard they will eat sunflower seed, greens, fruit and, millet. This article will explain pet finches and common wild backyard finches diet needs.

pet finch bird

Most common finch species that are often kept as pets are: Zebra finch, Society finch, Spice finch, Cordon Bleu, Gold finch, Gouldian finch, Parrot, Java, Orange weaver, and Strawberry.

In nature finches eat mostly seed, and that is their main food, but it is wrong to believe your pet finch will thrive only on seed. While finches eat mainly seed in nature they also like to eat other food to supplement their diet. Fruit and vegetables are important part of the finch diet and recommended for your pet finch.

What will my pet finch eat?

Bird Seed

If you keep pet finches your best option is to get a good balanced Pro Food for Finch seed mix that will benefit your bird the most. These are great as they provide the best nutritional value for your birds

finch food

Best Finch food: 

- niger seed 

- millet seed 

- canary seed

- ground corn

- sunflower seed

These Pro Food for Finch seed mixes are made for most pet finches and will give your finch the most natural diet possible. 

Spray Millet

This is a good supplement for your finches, it will provide a healthy , nutritious addition to your birds. Birds will spend hours eating Spray Millet for Birds as a tasty snack.

finch bird food

 check Spray Millet for Birds here

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are important for you finch diet as a great source of vitamins and minerals. Finches will love all colorful fruits and fresh vegetables, they will snack on them when offered.  I recommend you to find fresh and organic food, pesticides can hurt your birds in the long run, so try to find healthier choices.  

Some of the choices are: Apples, bell peppers, broccoli, butternut, carrots, collard greens, mangoes, mustard greens, papayas, parsley, peaches, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini.

Common Backyard Finches

what do finches eat

Most of the birds from the Finch family are granivorous and eat almost entirely seed, and when they raise young typically don’t feed them insects.  Parents feed the chicks regurgitated seed. The typical Finch food is Sunflower Seed and nyjer seed, and will come to the feeders that offer this Nyjer Seed.  If you install a mesh feeder the birds will readily come and tube feeders with perches are a good choice to. The Finches like to feed in flock, so more than one feeder will encourage them to stick around and will give lots of bird watching experience. 

 Yellow Finch Bird

There is more than one type of wild Finches:

What do Goldfinches eat?

These birds are very sociable and will come to backyard feeders in big flocks of 15 or more. Thistle or Nyjer Seed Bird Food  is the preferred food of Goldfinches. You can provide thistle in special thistle bird feeders that you can buy. It is good to store your thistle seed in a dry and cool area or refrigerator to preserve it for a long time. Try to hang your bird feeder at least 15 feet away from other type of bird feeders. Hang it 4-5 feet above the ground and in a brushy area if possible.

Goldfinch also likes black oil Sunflower Seed, and these type feeders come with lots of perches and space for feeding. The nesting of these birds starts later in season that other species. Their favorite food source is ready at that time. The Goldfinch build the nest from June to August, and will come to bird feeders to get food for raising the chicks.

What do House Finches eat?

Purple Finch Bird

These type of finch is known in the bird world to be a vegetarian. Some other birds change the food source according to the season, but House Finch stays the same as the food is concern.  The natural diet of these birds mainly comes from plant source, but if the food is not provided he will hunt for insects to survive. But House Finch will never starve, as it is easy for him to find food. These birds will come to the bird feeders and like to hang around Nyjer Seed

House Finches, naturaly the typical vegetarians that they are, like to eat grasses, grains, seeds, buds, and fruits. And as most other wild living creatures, House Finches prefer their own favorite seed. House Finch tend to lean towards sunflower seeds, thistle seeds, and will like canary seeds. From the fruits family , they just love mulberries and cherries. So if you plant them in your yard, finches will flock to them in numbers.

To be more specific in attracting them, you can also use black Sunflower Seed inside your bird feeder. Provide a source of fresh water in your yard.

What do Purple Finches eat?

Purple Finch Bird

The purple finch feeds manly on Nyjer Seed Bird Food like other finches, it likes seeds from elms, tulips, maples etc. Sometime it will eat insects like caterpillars, grasshoppers, and other type of insects.

Purple finch uses its strong beak to hold the seed and crushes it, then with its tongue eats the inside. The tongue is also used to east fruits and fruit seed. Part of the purple finch diet is berries, honeysuckle, cherries, apricot, poison ivy and crabapples. When fruit is not available like in winter times you can see them eating low plants seed like ragweed, dandelions and cocklebur.

How to attract finches to your yard?

Many people wonder how to attract finches the easy way, and what do finches eat. One way to attract is to use a platform feeder, if you use this kind of feeder make sure the bottom of the feeder is solid made so the seed cannot fall thru. The better option if to use a tube feeder, that is produced for finches. Usually it is called Nyjer feeder of Finch feeder because it holds Nyer seed. One more type is sock mesh feeder, it is less expensive but squirrels can get to it fast. You can see lots of finches feeding in the same time, 15 on one feeder is normal.

One more way to attract finches is to put a water supply in your yard, you can put it next to a bird feeder. This will attract birds to your yard that normally will never come. If there is no natural water next to your home this is specially true, and will help to invite visitors. Finches use water to maintain their feathers and will come to water often to do this. Drinking is important for birds even lots of the moisture comes from the food source. Some finches like goldfinch stay in one place over winter so you will see them coming your-round.

Almost any kind of bird feeder will attract Finches (hopper, platform, and hanging feeders) they will hang on the feeders in strong wind, eat seed that is on the ground. To help stop spreading diseases make sure feeders are clean and bird droppings are not accumulating.  


Here are a few simple thing about how to attract finches to your feeders:

-Keep food fresh and dry at all times inside the feeder.  Moldy seed is not good and birds will stay away.

-Keep your feeders clean at all times.  To help you do this, research before you  buy feeders and find one that are easy to clean.  It's human       nature that we're more likely to maintain a bird feeder if they're easy for us to clean.

-Make sure the bird food does not get old inside a feeder and is uneaten for more than 3 weeks, you must throw it away if this happens.

The Nyer seed will attract finches the most.

Check Nyjer Seed Bird Food  Here.

Cover and Nesting

If you have time and space plant type of plants that attract finches to nest, these are shrubby edges for goldfinches. Evergreens are also used to build nest by them. If your yard has lower growing shrubs and similar plants finches will come and maybe even nest. Ideal nesting sites for finches are semi-dense trees and shrubs just a few feet of the ground, this is where nest will be located.
I hope you liked this what do finches eat article, and keep feeding the birds

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