Warnings: Dangers to Avoid

Below is a list of things to AVOID5, things which are TOXIC or HARMFUL and may even cause death in finches. Many of these dangerous items are common to households, so beware. This is by no means to be considered a complete list; if a product or item is not listed here, it does not mean that it should be assumed safe.

Fumes to avoid, some items may also be caustic or toxic if ingested:
  • Most cleaning products (e.g. ammonia-containing, febreze, clorox fumes, etc.)
  • Phenols, chlorhexidine, chlorine fumes
  • Most products that produce fumes, fogs, mists
  • Aerosol products (deodorants, cleaning agents)
  • Combustion exhaust (carbon monoxide)
  • Drain cleaners/openers/decloggers
  • Perfumes
  • Pine oil disinfectants
  • Heat lamps, irons, ironing board covers, drip pans, teflon coated cookware: when overheated, these release polytetrafluoroethylene gas
  • Tobacco products or cigarette smoke
  • Suede/leather protectant
  • Natural gas line leaks
  • Kerosene fumes
  • Combustible space heaters
  • Dichlorvos (DDVP, Vapona) is an organophosphate impregnated in insect repellant strips: its pesticide vapors are toxic to finches, especially at higher ambient temperatures
Mite Protector
  • Moth bolls
  • Naphthalene and para-dichlorobenzene
  • Para-chlormetazymol (an ingredient in mite protectors)
  • Scented candles
  • Air fresheners (plug-ins and sprays)
  • Furniture polish
  • Paint/varnish removers
  • Formaldehyde
  • Heated cooking bags (Durkee, Reynold's)


Especially harmful if ingested, some items may also be caustic or produce harmful fumes:
  • Toxic plants (including parsley)
  • Metal polish
  • Avocado
  • Chocolate
  • Moldy grains/seeds
  • Mercury
  • Arsenic
  • Crude oil
Cuttlebone
  • Selenium
  • Nitrates, fertilizers
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Mold (produces mycotoxins)
  • Bacteria (produce endotoxins)
  • Certain blue-green algae (produce hepatotoxins)
  • Lead (found in solder, lead-based paints [varnishes & lacquers], lead-free paints with leaded drying agents, hardware cloth, galvanized wire, linoleum, plaster, seeds for planting [coated with lead arsenate])
  • Shampoo
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Preservatives
  • Pesticides
  • Vitamins (especially A, D3) and minerals (including salt) if overdosed
  • Grit if over-consumed
  • Wood glue


May be problematic: Kittens
  • Dogs, cats, rodents, snakes, birds of prey, free-ranging birds, hooked-bills, cockroaches, opossums, etc.
  • Extreme cold or heat, temperature fluctuations
  • Branches found outside unless you're sure they're pesticide-free, scrubbed clean, free of fungus, easy-to-clean, and nontoxic
  • Pine, cedar
  • Synthetic fibers
  • Rope perches
  • Rodenticides
  • Corncob or walnut shell bedding
  • Cuttlebone
  • Charcoal


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