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Species and Mutations

There are many choices of finches to keep. The difficulty many finch breeders or hobbyists have is choosing which species to keep. There are very few people that will keep only one species of finch and even those people that do, usually pick a species that has different color mutations. There can be problems with maintaining too many different species, however. If you have mixed colonies, not all species will coexist in harmony. This sometimes takes some trial and error and a few plucked birds to figure out. Even if they do coexist, they will often interfere with each others breeding activities. Even mixing multiple pairs of like species can be trouble. Territorial species will sometimes fight to the death in the small area of an aviary. Unless you have unlimited cage space, the more species you add to your collection, the fewer numbers of each you can house and maintain. This can severely limit your ability to develop and sustain a line of birds. Yet, with all these disadvantages, few things are rewarding as having a mixed flight of birds coexist and produce their young in such a setting.

Here are a few of the species and their mutations that I have or have kept and some of my experience with them:

Zebra Finches

Gray Chestnut Flanked White (CFW) Fawns Lightback
Black Cheek Black Breasted Florida Fancy Orange Breasted Penguin Pied Eumo Agate Recessive Silver
Black Face Fawn/Gray Cheek Dominant Silver Crested White Yellow Beak
Timor Zebras
Special Reports Timor x Australian Hybrid Florida Fancy
x Euro Isabel

x Sex-Linked mutation x Recessive mutation x Dominant mutation Special Report

Society Finches and other Mannikins (Genus Lonchura)

Society Finch (Bengalese) White Rumped Mannikin Gray Crown Mannikin
Java Sparrow Chestnut Breasted Mannikin Spice Finch
White Headed Munia Black Headed Munia Moluccan Mannikin
Grand Mannikin Tricolor Munia Pallid Nun
White-Spotted Mannikin Black Throated Munia Five-colored Munia
Black & White Mannikin Pearl-Headed Mannikin Silverbill
Rufous-Backed Mannikin Madagascar Mannikin Magpie Mannikin

x Asian Lonchura African Lonchura

Australian Finches

Owl (Bicheno)
Star Finch Gouldian Finch Masked Grassfinch
Shaftail Finch (Longtail) Painted Firetail Plum Headed Finch Diamond Firetail

Other Finches

Red Headed Finch Cutthroat Finch Chinese Grossbeak

Other Birds Popular with Finch Breeders

Button Quail Diamond Dove Bourke's Parakeet

Mouth Markings

One of the interesting differences between finch species and even their mutations is their mouth markings.
See some of the different species mouth markings!