Animal-World > Birds > Types of Finches > Society Finch

Society Finch

Bengalese Finch - Japanese Movchen

Family: Estrildidae Fawn Pied Society FinchFawn-Pied Society FinchLonchura domesticaPhoto © Roy Beckham
Latest Reader Comment - See More
I let my son pick out our next pet and he decided on a bird. After 3 long hours of making sure it was the one he wanted .. We came home with this beautiful society... (more)  Sarah

   The word "society" suits these little birds to a tee, as they are very social and like to get into everybody's business! Society Finches make great pets for the beginner. They are one of the easiest birds to care for, very hardy, inexpensive, and are prolific breeders.

   Society Finches are one of the most charming and interesting of all the small Mannikins! They are believed to have been developed in Asia over three hundred years ago by Chinese and Japanese breeders. It is assumed they are a domestic form of the White-backed Munia (Lonchura striata) though their absolute ancestry is uncertain.

For more information about the care of Finches see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Finch

Geographic Distribution
Lonchura domestica
See All Data at Google Maps
Data provided by
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Actiniform
  • Class: Elasmobranchii
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Estrildidae
  • Genus: Lonchura
  • Species: domestica
Society Finch

Report Broken Video
A Society Finch Singing

Ninja singing . The other bengalese, Sushi is seen inside the cage, having some millet.

Scientific name: Lonchura domestica Learn more about the Society "Family", the Estrildidae Finches here: Finch Families

Description:   Society Finches reach a size of 4 1/4" to 4 3/4" (11-12 cm). They have three basic color varieties: chocolate and white, fawn and white, and pure white. Tri-coloreds, crested forms (developed in the 1930's), and solid colors are also seen. No two Society Finches are alike!

Distribution:    Society Finches are totally domestic and large numbers are bred in captivity.

Care and Feeding:    Fresh food and water must be provided daily. A good finch seed mix will provide their everyday preference for millets and canary seed and is readily available at a pet store. In a separate cup supply green foods regularly, such as chickweed and spinach. Other supplements include egg foods, apple and pear. Finch treats of seed with honey, fruits and vegetables are fun for your bird too, as well as nutritious!
   Grit with charcoal is essential to aid in digestion and it contains valuable minerals and trace elements. Grit should be provided in a special cup or sprinkled over the bottom of the cage floor. Provide a cuttlebone because the calcium it provides will give your bird a firm beak, strong eggshells when breeding, and will prevent egg binding. The lime in the cuttlebone also aids in digestion.
   Offer your finch a bath occasionally by providing a bath dish that is 1" deep with a 1/2" of water, or a clip on bath house.
   Their nails may occasionally need to be trimmed, but be careful never to clip into the vein as the bird can quickly bleed to death. Bird nail trimmers and styptic powder to stop the bleeding are available at pet shops.

Housing:    Society Finches do well indoors in a cage. Place the cage where it is well ventilated though free from drafts, and against a wall at eye level. It should have good light but be away from doors and windows where direct exposure to sunlight can make it overly warm.
   Provide two or three good softwood perches about 3/8" to 3/4" in diameter. Tree branches of a similar size also make good perches and will help to wear the claws down naturally. Provide separate dishes for food, water, treats, and grit. Place paper on the cage bottom that can be sprinkled with grit, or use a grit paper.
   Society Finches also do very well an in aviaries or bird rooms. The screening should be 3/8" square mesh. Dishes for food, water, grit and bathing water must be included along with perches and nests. Plants that are not poisonous, such as fruit trees, privet, forsythia, and honeysuckle bushes will make the space more enjoyable for the finches.

Maintenance:    Although finches require very little time, a clean environment as well as fresh food and water daily is a must to prevent disease and illness. The basic cage care includes daily cleaning of the water and food dishes. Every two to three days change the paper on the bottom of the cage and sprinkle it with about 1/8" of fresh grit. Weekly wash and dry the entire cage, including the perches.

Social Behaviors:    Society Finches are very, very social and should be kept in groups (except when breeding a single pair). They are most friendly, have an ideal temperament, and are never aggressive toward other birds.

Handling/Training:    Finches are simply enjoyed for their antics and play rather than training. When you need to handle your finch to examine it or clip it's nails, place your palm on it's back and wrap your fingers around the bird with your thumb and forefinger on either side of it's head.

Activities:   Society Finches are active and very friendly. They are so social and such busy bodies that they can often get in the way of, and disrupt the breeding habits of other more private birds! Keep an eye on your energetic friends in an aviary!

Breeding/Reproduction:    Society Finches are one of the most reliable breeders! They can be bred as individual pairs housed separately or as groups in aviaries. When breeding in groups, you must make sure you have more than three pairs to prevent a pecking order. One drawback to aviary breeding is over eagerness. They will often all crowd into one nest to lay and incubate their eggs. They get in each others way and make it impossible for any one hen to incubate the eggs. They are such dedicated breeders, they will even incubate and rear the young of many other birds.
 &nbsp The sexes are very similar, but the male will display mating behavior by singing a little song to the female. Females are generally quiet unless visually separated from their mate. In this case, the male will call to the female with a single syllable, while the hen's answer will be three or four syllables.
   They like a closed or partially open nest. The size of a nest box should be about 5" or 6" (13 -16 cm). Nesting materials such as grasses and hay will be appreciated, and they will line the nest with feathers and soft materials.
   The female will lay a clutch of 4 to 6 eggs. The female will do most of the sitting on the eggs and they will hatch in 12 to 13 days. Both parents will feed the hatchlings. At this time provide lots of greens, seed and egg food.

Potential Problems:    Society Finches are very hardy birds and almost all illnesses can be traced to improper diet, dirty cages, and drafts. A balanced diet and plenty of exercise will prevent most illnesses. The white coloration of Society Finches can often be albino, with pink eyes, and prone to eye problems. Eye problems of this sort can be prevented by supplying lots of green foods high in carotene. Know your birds and watch for real drastic changes as indications of illness.
   Some signs of illness to be aware of are droppings that are not black and white, feathers that are ruffled, lack of appetite, wheezing, and acting feeble and run down.
   Some of the common illnesses and injuries your finch could contract are broken wings or legs, cuts and open wounds, overgrown beaks and nails, ingrown feathers, feather picking, confinement cramps in the legs from a cage that is too small, weight loss, heat stroke, shock, concussion, egg binding, diarrhea, mites, colds, baldness, scaly legs, sore eyes, tumors, constipation, and diarrhea.
   First you can try and isolate the bird in a hospital cage where you cover all but the front of the cage and add a light bulb or heating pad to keep the interior of the cage at a constant temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove all perches and put food and water dishes on the floor. If you don't see improvements within a few hours, take the bird to an avian veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.

Availability:    Society Finches are readily available in the pet industry in the three basic colorations. With a little more determination, you should be able to find the tri-colors, crested and solid colors as well. Because they are bred so easily in captivity, they are very inexpensive little birds.

Author: Clarice Brough, CAS
Lastest Animal Stories on Society Finch

Sarah - 2016-02-18
I let my son pick out our next pet and he decided on a bird. After 3 long hours of making sure it was the one he wanted .. We came home with this beautiful society finch. My first mistake on this was that I listened to the pet store and they said that the bird would be fine alone. After hours of research :) I came to the answer of that our bird would have a better quality of life with a friend. The pet store was out of his breed and I really wanted to be certain that they would be ok together and not one having a more aggressive trait. The next pet store we went to did have society finches and here was my second mistake. We was really taking a while trying to wait for one to sing. The pet store was assuring us how they was all boys while already bringing us the paperwork to fill out. So as u can tell now where my question is heading :) .. we have our first egg. I am more nervous about my lack of knowledge but delighted to be having babies. Thank goodness for google but feel like I am getting a bit of mixed answers. I am reading to prevent further breeding to take out the nest house my male already had at 2 weeks. However looking at youtube I can't imagine the babies would be big enough for this. Can I remove the male at 2 weeks instead? I am thinking about buying a flight cage with removable dividers and will stand 5 foot tall with also enough room in width so that they may see each other and have a healthy amount of room for flying. Is it ok for males and females to be so close to each other or will this put them in distress as I still dont want them to be completely alone again. (seen a conflicting comment about that) Any words of wisdom on these matters would be greatly appreciated for trying to ensure I provide them with good quality of life!! Thank you so much for your time.

Regina H - 2015-07-16
Trying to find a breeder of Societies, I live in Houston, TX and have been unable to find one. I know they have birds at Petco/Petsmart. But they have several in the same enclosure. I feel like I would have to buy all of them in order not to break up the family. Any suggestions?

Janice - 2015-05-14
Hi, I recently purchased 4 Society finches over the course of 4 months. 2 male and 2 female, purchased at 2 separate pet stores. One of the females laid about 6 eggs from what I could see. I read online most pet store Finches are sterile. Huh! Not true!! Lol! I now have at least 4 babies...sooo cute and exciting!! After this clutch I really don't want them breeding anymore so will be removing all nesting material. My question is, can I keep the babies in the same cage as the parents? I really want to keep all of them, but in the cage. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • Clarice Brough - 2015-05-15
    Yes you can keep them together if your cage/aviary is large enough. In fact, older juveniles will often help the parents with their new siblings.
  • Janice - 2015-05-16
    That's good news! The cage is only 25x21 so too small now. I've been looking online for an aviary approximately 42x21 but they are so expensive that I'm considering trying to build my own. Any advice in that arena or if anyone knows where I purchase a large inexpensive aviary? I live in Connecticut if that helps any?
  • Clarice Brough - 2015-05-18
    I regularly go to bird farms, and they usually have the screening you can use to build an aviary. And in a variety of screen sizes to suit any bird.  They also may have some used aviaries that you can get for less than buying a new one.
Hugh Rausch Jr. - 2014-07-13
I just bought 4 society's yesterday and I am totally in love. They are up this morning and tweeting and socializing. Can tell whether I have males or females but don't really care LOVE THEM!!!!

  • Roberta - 2014-09-03
    females sound like crickets chirping males sing and make more noise.
  • Fatima Shah - 2015-01-23
    males sing. they will fluff up their feathers, stretch their neck and sing a lovely song. females sound like crickets :) i have 5 bengalese, 1 female and 4 males :)
Regina H - 2015-07-16
Trying to find a breeder of Societies, I live in Houston, TX and have been unable to find one. I know they have birds at Petco/Petsmart. But they have several in the same enclosure. I feel like I would have to buy all of them in order not to break up the family. Any suggestions?

Diana - 2013-02-07
Hello everyone. I have two beautiful and healthy society finches for two years now. Unfortunatelly I am developing some kind of allergy and my doctor suspects it is from the birds. I live in Bergen County, NJ. Can you advice me how to find them a new home. I want them to be happy.

  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-02-08
    You could take them to a local pet store and see if they would buy them or take them for free. You could also put an ad in the paper or on Craigslist.
mandy - 2011-10-12
Our bengalese lay one tiny egg a few weeks ago and today we can't see the egg. Can anyone please explain what has happened?

  • Kari Kenidi - 2012-07-20
    Hi Mandy, Maybe she ate it....? I can't think of anything else but would love to know if u find out. Good luck, Kari
  • chris carey - 2012-10-20
    Some times they will break itor throw it out. Or even pick it it to pieces, I have 20 finches in avery.I see a lot of weird things.I had one female.dye and it mate died in about 2hours. The other pasted, I guess some get really attached. Or maybe it was bad they broke it up.
dung tran - 2012-10-03
Hi, I need to get 2 pair of society finches ( 2male , 2 female), in Edmonton, Ab, Canada. Anybody can tell me how to get them by a breeder local, please. thank you