Finch Lovers Gift GuideWhether it's for a holiday, a birthday, a special occasion, or just an everyday present, below is a list of gift ideas which are sure to delight any finch-aholic.
1. Finch BooksBooks make a great gift to suit any budget. Below are some of my favorites:
The Finch Handbook by Christa Koepff
Great for someone interested in general information covering a variety of finches. You can often find this book for under $5 in new condition, and $0.01 (!) used.
Estrildid Finches of the World by Derek Goodwin
An overall very detailed and beautiful reference book on a wide variety of finches. Can often be found in excellent used condition for under $35.
The Finch: a Breeder's Companion by Russell Kingston
This is a detailed and practical guide for keepers and breeders of a wide variety of finches, and may be one of the best overall guides published to date. A little pricey at about $160 new.
Manual of Avian Medicine by Glenn H. Olsen, DVM, PhD
An excellent overall quick-reference guide covering a wide variety of avian health issues. Typically under $30 for a gently used copy.
2. Finch CagesYou could build a custom cage or aviary, or buy a beautiful and functional enclosure such as:
|Prevue Pet Products F070 Hampton Deluxe Divided Breeder Cage with Stand around $150.|
|Prevue Pet Products F075 Hampton Deluxe Divided Breeder Cage - can be stacked on top of the above cage or used by itself; costs about $120.|
|BirdsComfort HQ Double Flight Bird Cage under $400.|
If looking for a cage on your own, select a rectangular one at least 30" long, ideally longer than it is tall, and with ½" bar spacing.
3. Favorite Cage AccessoriesCage accessories are inexpensive and make great "stocking stuffers:"
4. Great LightingBirds can see UV light and benefit greatly from appropriate artificial lighting when housed indoors. Keeping lights on an automatic timer makes keeping the correct photoperiods so much easier as well.
|FeatherBrite 20 Watt Full-Spectrum Bulb These CFL bulbs fit into standard (wide) sockets, so finding a fixture to accommodate them is easy. They are energy efficient and still manage to produce a better CRI than the vast majority of CFLs on the market, AND they produce some UV light to help indoor birds see better! Under $25.|
|WiOn 50050 Indoor Wi-Fi Outlet, Wireless Switch, Programmable Timer Remembering to turn lights on and off at the correct time is a pain, and may be quite a challenge for those lights which are plugged into outlets hidden behind or under furniture. This timer resolves all of that by connecting to your home's wireless internet and being controlled wirelessly through an app which you can download onto your smart phone or tablet. It even has an automatic setting to turn on at sunrise and off by sunset. Under $35.|
|Leviton LT112-10W Advanced Digital Plug-In Timer with Automatic Daylight Savings Adjustment Don't have wi-fi or not sure how to control devices with an app? No problem; this programmable digital timer can be used to control lighting in a more "traditional" fashion. It also comes with an auto-on at sunrise and auto-off at sunset feature, and automatically adjusts during daylight saving time. About $20.|
5. Food Preparation & Storage Solutions
Ninja Express Chop (NJ110GR)
This is a fantastic and easy-to-operate mini food processor. It chops egg and veggies to the perfect size for finches to eat, AND all of the parts which touch food are dishwasher safe for easy clean up! $20.
Spice Ball Herb Infuser Extra Large
This large steel mesh tea ball is useful for sprouting seeds. $10.
OXO Good Grips POP Big Square 5.5-Quart/5.2 Litre Storage Container
These containers are extremely easy to open and close, have an air-tight seal to keep bird seed and pellet fresh, and are stylish to boot! $20.
6. More Finches of Course!If you ask most finch enthusiasts what is at the top of their wish list, they probably have a list of birds they are hoping to buy. If you don't feel confident enough making the right selection yourself, you can always give them a "voucher" offering to buy a bird or two of their choice for them!
Finch Coupon - printable .pdf file
7. Cleaning AssistanceFinches are messy. Below are a couple of gadgets that should help cut down on the work keeping their area tidy.
iRobot Roomba 770 Vacuum Cleaning Robot for Pets and Allergies
This automated vacuum cleaner has an easier time travelling over obstacles such as rugs than previous models; it auto-docks, is programmable, notifies you when the canister is full, and features a HEPA filter. $450.
This is a stationary vacuum that functions like an electric dustpan with HEPA filtration; sweep seed & feathers near it, and it will do the rest. $120.
8. Gift Certificates to Online Bird StoresWhen it doubt, a gift card to your finch-enthusiast's favorite online bird store ought to be well received. Not sure what store to use? A couple of favorites include:
9. The Entire Setup - A "Finch Starter Kit!"Maybe you're thinking about getting a pair of finches as a unique gift for someone who doesn't already own any. In that case, here is a good check list of items to buy to complete a finch "starter kit:"
- Two compatible finches (Zebra Finches and Society Finches make great "introductory" finches); finches can usually be found from a local breeder (look at classifieds in your newspaper or online) or from a local pet shop (make sure the source you choose is reputable and only sells healthy birds)
- An appropriate cage (at least 30" long, ideally longer than it is tall, simple design, ½" or smaller bar spacing)
- Seed and water dishes if your cage didn't already come with them
- Finch food (finches love seed, but will also need to be fed pellets and fresh foods such as boiled egg and veggies to round out their diet)
- Cuttle bone or boiled & chopped eggshell for calcium
- Safe, natural perches
- A good introductory book about finches
You can probably put the whole kit above together for under $100 if you budget about $20 for the finches.