Finches, like canaries and parakeets, are small birds that are also popular pets. Often housed in large flight cages called aviaries, finches are energetic and fun to watch. Available in dozens of species from all over the world, some species of finch are more expensive, depending on the availability or rarity of the birds, their subspecies and mutations.
Subspecies and Mutations
When breeding and purchasing finches, it is important to know the difference between subspecies and mutations, as these two factors often affect the price of a finch. Subspecies are birds of the same genus with its own naturally occurring species, while a mutation is a variation in color or size within one genus and species. Caused by breeding specific genetic traits to produce different color combinations, mutations are invented rather than naturally occurring, making them rare and generally more expensive
One of the most expensive breed of finches is the Gouldian finch, also called the Rainbow finch. Highly mutated by breeders, the Gouldian finch is a brilliantly colored bird native to Australia, identified by blocks of differing colors on the head, breast and back. Ranging between $100 and $300 per bird, the price of a Gouldian finch depends upon its mutation. For example, blue-backed and silver-backed Gouldians are more expensive than green-backed Gouldians, as green is the natural and more common color of the back.
Cuban Melodious Finch
At about $ 350 per breeding pair, the Cuban Melodious is another expensive type of finch. Native to Cuba and other Caribbean islands, the Melodious finch, tiaris canora, is a type of canary, also known as a grass quit. Identified by a black face, gray body, olive-green wings and deep yellow throat, the males are more colorful than the females, which are mostly gray with a muted yellow throat. With no subspecies or mutations, the Cuban’s higher price depends on rarity and availability.
Another expensive breed of finches is the parrot finch. Native to the island of New Caledonia off the coast of Australia, the parrot finch has a number of subspecies that vary in price, such as the Forbes parrot finch. Ranging from $350 to $400 per breeding pair, the Forbes tops the list of expensive subspecies, identified by a vibrant royal blue head and body with green and red-tipped wings. Other expensive subspecies of parrot finches include the pin-tailed parrot and the sea-green parrot.