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Home > Birds > Can Canaries and Finches Live Together? What You Need to Know!

Can Canaries and Finches Live Together? What You Need to Know!

Finch and canary on a tree branch

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Has it always been your dream to have a big beautiful aviary full of a wide array of bird species? If so, you’re probably wondering if all bird species will get together well enough to share an aviary. Truthfully, not all small bird species will cohabitate peacefully, so you need to research before putting two species together in your aviary.

Canaries and Finches are two of the most popular small bird species. They often interact with one another in the wild, though they don’t usually live or socialize together. The same can be said about canaries and finches in captivity. They can live together, but there are some things you need to know before you introduce the two species. Keep reading to learn more.


What Are Canaries?

Canaries are charming little birds full of personality. They make fantastic companion birds thanks to their cheerful disposition, but they don’t like being held as much as other bird species. Canaries have a soft and pleasant melodious song and

Canaries are loners and don’t mind living in a cage alone. They can be territorial over small spaces but can coexist in an aviary environment with other similarly sized birds.

What Are Finches?

There are several hundred different species of finches, but some of the most popular include the Zebra Finch, Gouldian Finch, and Spice Finch. They are small companion birds with an independent attitude. Finches are great for bird owners who want a feathered pet but don’t want to handle it too much. They don’t bond with people like other bird species, but they are tameable.

Finches are very friendly with one another and should be kept in pairs or groups larger than six. If a finch is deprived of feathered companions, it can become lonely and even sick. They are happiest when they’re part of a flock.

Can Canaries and Finches Live Together?

So, can the independent canary and sociable finch live together harmoniously? Yes, so long as the finches you keep are peaceful.

Canaries and finches are related to one another as they’re both part of the order of birds called passerines. Canaries are actually part of the finch family. Both species have been kept as pets for hundreds of years and make fantastic companions for people who aren’t particularly drawn to the handling other birds, like parrots, need.

Canaries and finches have a lot in common. They both eat a variety of produce, pellets, and occasional protein sources like cooked eggs. They’re similar in size and exhibit many of the same behaviors.

Image By: TheOtherKev, Pixabay

What Types of Finches Get Along Best With Canaries?

The biggest difference between the two species is temperament, which can vary between each breed. While canaries are typically docile birds, certain types of finches can be aggressive or domineering. Pairing this type of finch with a canary can lead to bullying or attacks.

Your best option is to pair your canary with these passive finch species:
  • Star finches
  • Gouldian finches
  • Bengalese finches
  • Pin-tailed parrotfinches
  • Owl finches
Domineering finch species that can get along with canaries:
  • Zebra finches
  • Green singing finches
  • European goldfinches
  • Aurora finches
  • Shaft-tail finches
Finch species that cannot live with canaries:
  • Diamond firetail finches
  • Crimson finches
  • Cut-throat finches
  • Melba finches
  • Saffron finches


The 8 Tips for Housing Canaries and Finches Harmoniously

If you’ve decided to pair a passive finch species with canaries in your aviary, you should still take steps to ensure the two species live together harmoniously.

1. Provide Plenty of Space

The best way to keep both bird species happy is to ensure they have plenty of space. Both canaries and finches are active and excitable, so they need a big aviary to stay happy and healthy. There should be enough space for the birds in your flock to spread their wings and still be able to keep out of each other’s way. They need room to flap and hop around without feeling overcrowded by things in their cage.

The bigger the cage, the better.

Yellow canary in a cage
Image By: rafarabassa92, Pixabay

2. Invest in Multiple Feeding Stations

Though canaries and finches eat a similar diet, you can’t expect them all to feed from the same bowl. Having multiple food and water stations will reduce any squabbling and ensure your birds don’t feel they need to be protective of their resources.

3. Monitor Daily

Take 10 or 15 minutes to closely monitor your birds in their environment daily. Watch closely to see if any are becoming problematic by constantly chasing others or starting scuffles.

This daily check-in allows you to adjust your cage set-up to promote a more peaceful living arrangement and keep a close eye on bullying birds.

4. Remove Problem Birds

Having a “cooling down” cage on hand is not a bad idea so you can house any aggressors (or their victims). During your daily monitoring, you may notice one bird bullying another. If this is the case, remove the problematic bird for a few days. Removing the bully bird can shift the power dynamic in your aviary and may make it less likely to bully again when it is returned to its cage.

5. Don’t Overcrowd Your Aviary

Regardless of how well your birds get along, overcrowding your aviary will result in bullying and territorial behavior. A less populated aviary will encourage a more peaceful coexistence and make your and your birds’ lives much easier and more enjoyable.

group of Zebra finches sitting on a perch in a cage.
Image By: Chokniti Studio, Shutterstock

6. Introduce New Birds in Pairs

You might think that introducing new birds to your flock one by one is best, but it’s actually better for all the birds involved if you introduce them in pairs. This will reduce the chances that your new flock mate will be bullied.

Your flock should have a balanced number of birds in each species. Avoid having just one bird of a particular species, as they’ll do better in pairs.

7. Use a New or Rearranged Aviary

If possible, it’s best to introduce your canaries and finches to a new aviary when they’re meeting for the first time. If you don’t plan on buying a new aviary for your birds, rearrange the feeding stations, perches, and toys before introducing them. This will help prevent territorial behavior.

8. Provide Cover

If there is room in your aviary, provide a leafy cover for your more timid birds to hide behind. We recommend using greens or branches for cover so long as they’re safe for your bird to eat.

You can use toys as cover, but do not overcrowd your cage too much. Remember, your birds need a lot of space to move around and stay out of each other’s way.

yellow canary sitting on the twig in the cage
Image By: Mysikrysa, Shutterstock



Canaries and finches can be kept in the same aviary together and live very happy and fulfilling lives. The key is ensuring your birds are content is to adopt the right species of finch so it will be more likely to be compatible with your canaries. Remember, certain finches can be aggressive and territorial, and the last thing you want is a bully bird wreaking havoc in your otherwise happy flock.

Featured Image Credit: Jumpstory

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