What Is a Green-Singing Finch?

Susan Grindstaff
Susan Grindstaff

The green-singing finch is a small bird of the finch family, closely related to the canary. These birds are distinctive not only for the quality of their bird-song, but also for their vivid green and yellow coloring. Though native to the African savannah, the green-singing finch is bred and sold in many other parts of the world. These birds can become quite aggressive, especially during mating season, so breeding should probably be undertaken only by those with the necessary skills.

Considered one of the world’s smallest birds, the green-singing finch typically weighs around .71 ounces (20 grams). From the tip of the beak to the end of their tail feathers, the birds measures about 4.75 inches (12 centimeters). Unlike many other types of birds, there is little color difference in the plumage of the males and females, though the depth of color is considered more intense in the males. Both sexes have bright green feathering on their backs and vivid yellow under bellies. The crown, neck, and wings are typically accented with gray.

The lifespan of the green-singing finch is quite long, as they often live in excess of 12 years. In captivity, these birds can sometimes live more than 15 years. Some of the primary health risks these finches face are found in changes in weather and temperature. Excessive dampness may be particularly harmful, as these finches need a fairly dry environment to prosper.

In the wild, the green-singing finch prefers an environment that offers scrub brush and low foliage. They generally make their home at or near a body of water. Their diet consists of seeds from grasses, tress, and shrubs, and when available, they may also feed on small insects and worms. When kept in captivity, the birds should be given feed especially formulated for finches.

During mating season, green-singing finches may become quite aggressive. The male birds often not only become aggressive toward other males, but to the females as well. When breeding in captivity, the mating pairs are usually kept separate from other birds. Once the female has laid her eggs and is nesting, she should be approached carefully. If startled, she may leave the nest and it can be difficult to coax her back onto it.

Eggs typically hatch about two weeks after being laid. The young birds eat the same diet as the adult birds, and are usually self-sufficient within a couple of weeks after hatching. Young birds stay with the nest until another mating season approaches, when they are typically driven away.

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