Red Crested Finch Care Tips & Fun Facts

Welcome to our guide on caring for the stunning red crested finch. This charming and vibrant bird is a favorite among bird enthusiasts, and for good reason! In this article, we will provide you with essential tips for caring for your red crested finch, which is also known as a red pileated finch, along with fascinating facts about this unique species.

Whether you are a seasoned bird owner or just getting started, we hope you find this guide informative and helpful in ensuring the health and well-being of your red-crested finch.

Red Crested Finch
Red Crested Finch

Key Takeaways

  • Red-crested finches are unique and fascinating birds that require specific care and attention.
  • Understanding their diet and reproductive behaviors is crucial for their overall health.
  • Maintaining a proper living environment is necessary to prevent potential health concerns.
  • Red-crested finches are viewed symbolically in many cultures and hold spiritual significance for some.
  • By following the care tips outlined in this guide, you can ensure your red-crowned finch thrives in your aviary.

Red Crested Finch Details

The red pileated finch, or red crested finch, also known as the red chested finch, is a beautiful small bird that is easily spotted with its vibrant red plumage and signature crest. They are part of the finch family and are often confused with similar species such as the crimson-crested finchscarlet-crested finchred-crowned finch, and coal-crested finch. However, the red-crested finch can be distinguished by its delicate features and unique coloring.

The red-chested finch is on average 4.5 inches in length and weighs approximately 10 grams. The males sport a strikingly bright red crest, while the female’s crest and body are predominantly gray-brown. The beak of the red-chested finch is short and pointed, allowing easy access to their preferred food sources of seeds, insects, and berries.

Distinct Features

One of the most striking features of the red-crested finch is its crest, which is raised when the bird is excited or alert. Their crest is a defining characteristic of the species, making them stand out from other finches and small birds. The males’ chest is a bright, vibrant red, while the females have a pale red chest with white markings. Both males and females have dark wings with white wing bars and a black tail with white tips. Their song is melodic and enjoyable to listen to, making the red crested finch a popular bird to keep in aviaries.

Comparison with Similar Species

Bird Species Size Coloring Crest
Red Crested Finch 4.5 inches Red chest, Gray-brown body Bright red
Crimson Crested Finch 5 inches Red chest, Brown body Bright red
Scarlet Crested Finch 4.5 inches Scarlet chest, Brown body Bright red
Coal-Crested Finch 5.5 inches Gray-black all over Black crest with white tips

While these species all share similarities, the unique coloring and features of the red pileated finch make it a standout bird in aviaries and gardens. Its vibrant red chest and delicate gray-brown body, paired with the bright red crest, make it a true sight to see.

Female red-crested finches, while not as brightly colored as the males, add a lovely contrast to the aviary with their understated coloring and delicate features. They play an important role in breeding and can lay up to five eggs at a time, which incubate for about two weeks before hatching. Once hatched, the young become fully independent after two to three weeks and start breeding by their second year.

Red Crested Finch Diet and Reproduction

As with all birds, providing a healthy and balanced diet is crucial for the red-crowned finch’s wellbeing. Their preferred food sources include various seeds, fruits, and insects. For a well-rounded diet, consider providing a commercial finch mix along with fresh fruits and vegetables, such as apples, carrots, and leafy greens.

During the breeding season, a protein-rich diet is essential for the female red crested finch to produce healthy eggs. Live insects such as mealworms or crickets can be offered, as can egg food specifically designed for breeding finches.

Nest building for the red pileated finch typically occurs between March and June. The female will construct the nest using grasses and other materials and lay up to five small eggs. The eggs typically hatch in 10–14 days, and the chicks are fed by both parents. Ensure a clean and proper living environment with plenty of nesting materials to promote successful breeding.

In various cultures, red finches are seen as symbols of passion, love, and happiness. In Chinese culture, the red pileated finch is particularly valued for its beautiful plumage and is often depicted in art and literature.

Red Crested Finch Care and Health

Caring for red-crowned finches can be a rewarding experience, but it requires proper attention to their well-being. In this section, we will cover expert care tips and precautions to keep your red-crowned finches healthy and thriving.

Red Crested Finch
Red Crested Finch

Red Crested Finch Care:

  • Provide a spacious and clean living environment for your birds. Replace the bedding regularly to prevent the buildup of bacteria and mold that can cause disease.
  • Ensure that their diet consists of a varied mix of seeds, fruits, and vegetables, and that the food is fresh and free of contaminants.
  • Offer clean water daily.
  • Allow your birds to take frequent baths to maintain their plumage.

Finch Diseases:

Like any bird species, red-crested finches are susceptible to various diseases, including:

Disease Symptoms Treatment
Avian poxvirus Lesions on the beak, mouth, and eyes; decreased appetite and energy No effective treatment is available. Isolate the infected bird to prevent transmission to others.
Aspergillosis Difficulty breathing, discharge from nostrils, decreased appetite, lethargy Antifungal medication. Quarantine the infected bird to prevent transmission to others.
Feather mites Feather damage, itching, scratching Topical treatment. Clean the cage and bedding regularly to reduce the incidence of reinfestation.

Benefits of Keeping Finch Colonies:

Red-crested finches can thrive in groups, and keeping multiple birds can provide several benefits:

  • Social interaction promotes healthy behaviors such as preening and singing.
  • Males display their plumage to attract females, creating a visually appealing aviary.
  • Female finches are known to lay more eggs in a colony setting.

Other Unique Finch Species with Crested Plumage:

There are several other stunning finch species with crested plumage, including:

  • Coal-crested Finch
  • Crested Zebra Finch
  • Warbler-finch
  • Gray Warbler-finch
  • Gray Pileated Finch
  • Green Warbler-finch
  • Black Finch Bird

By following these care tips and precautions, you can help ensure the longevity and well-being of your red pileated finches and explore other fascinating species with crested plumage.


In conclusion, we hope that this article has provided valuable insights into the care and maintenance of the red crested finch. By following the expert tips and advice listed here, you can ensure that your vibrant red finches thrive in your aviary and bring joy to your life.

Remember to keep their living environment clean and hygienic, provide them with a balanced diet, and pay close attention to any signs of illness or distress. By doing so, you can enjoy the fascinating behaviors and unique attributes of these beautiful birds for years to come.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. We hope that you have found it informative and engaging. Feel free to share your thoughts or experiences in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!


Are red finches rare?

Red finches, specifically the red-crested finch, are not considered rare. However, they may not be as commonly seen as other finch species. They are popular among bird enthusiasts due to their vibrant red plumage and distinctive crests.

What is the difference between a red-crested finch and a red-chested finch?

The red crested finch and the red chested finch are actually the same bird, known by different names. The term “red crested finch” refers to its distinctive red crest, while the term “red chested finch” describes its red chest and breast.

What is the breeding season for red-crowned finches?

Red-crested finches typically breed during the spring and early summer months. They will construct nests and lay eggs during this time, with the female responsible for incubating the eggs while the male gathers’ food.

What do red-crested finches eat?

The diet of red pileated finches consists of a variety of seeds, including millet, sunflower seeds, and grass seeds. They may also feed on small insects and berries when they are available.

Do red-crested finches lay eggs?

Yes, red-crested finches are known to lay eggs. After mating, the female will lay a clutch of eggs in a carefully constructed nest. The eggs will be incubated for approximately 12–14 days until they hatch.

Is there any symbolic meaning associated with red finches?

In many cultures, red finches are seen as symbols of good luck, love, and happiness. They are often associated with positive energies and are believed to bring joy and prosperity to those who encounter them.

How can I take care of my red crested finch’s health?

To ensure the well-being of your red pileated finch, provide them with a balanced diet of seeds, fresh water, and occasional fruit or vegetables. Regularly clean their enclosure, provide ample space for flying and perching, and monitor their overall health for any signs of illness.

Are red-crested finches susceptible to any diseases?

Like any bird species, red-crested finches are vulnerable to certain diseases. Common ailments include respiratory infections, mites, and nutritional deficiencies. It is crucial to maintain a clean and hygienic environment for your finches and seek veterinary care if any health concerns arise.

Dr. Asfand Yar is a distinguished ornithologist and wildlife biologist with a Ph.D. in Ornithology and an M.S. in Wildlife Biology. With over two decades of experience, he is a recognized authority in avian research, specializing in bird migration and conservation within the European Economic Area (EEA). Dr. Asfand extensive academic background and fieldwork have resulted in numerous publications, contributing significantly to the ornithological field.