The Behavior of Finches

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Finches have a warning call that signals danger to the flock.
Finches have a warning call that signals danger to the flock. (Image: gouldian finch image by Mike Price from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Finches are intelligent social birds that demonstrate a full range of behaviors. They can be fierce when they feel confronted in any sense, and sometimes their behavior can become violently destructive.

Characteristics

While mating and breeding, finches develop a change in personal demeanor and vocalization. They become more aggressive as they expand on their store of vocalizations to gain attention from the opposite sex.

Development

Young finches learn to exhibit fearful behavior as they grow older. Weaning begins as soon as the parents prepare to begin mating again. Typically, the parents express aggressive responses to the juveniles.

Problems

Feather plucking and aggression are commonly seen in finches in relation to stress created from breeding or territorial disputes. Parents will often pluck babies when they want to initiate weaning and may pluck their mate to provide nesting materials.

Solutions

Remove chicks from the nest only if it is an apparent life-threatening situation. Provide adequate nesting materials to finches who begin to pluck their respective mates, and separate finches into their own cage spaces if they continuously fight for any other reason.

Taming

Employ hand-raising and taming techniques to reduce and prevent aggressive tendencies. They may also be useful in preventing depression that results in self-destructive plucking activities.

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