Country wide bid by RSPCA to find homes for 156 zebra finches

Zebra finches looking for new homes

RSPCA inspector Emily Astilberry is helping the owner to rehome 156 zebra finches. - Credit: RSPCA

The RSPCA is searching for homes for 156 zebra finches as their owner's circumstances changed.

All the birds were well looked after and 20 of them are being kept at the charity’s Block Fen Animal Centre in Wimblington.

Zebra finches looking for new homes

Zebra finches are sociable birds and need swings and toys in the aviary to play with. - Credit: RSPCA

Zebra finches that need rehoming

In the wild, zebra finches are found across Australia. The RSPCA is currently trying to find homes for 156 birds after their owner's circumstances changed. - Credit: RSPCA

The rest have been transported to other RSPCA branches and a private establishment in Norfolk has also taken some in.

RSPCA inspector Emily Astilberry is helping the owner rehome the birds.

RSPCA inspector Emily Astilberry holding a caught zebra finch

RSPCA inspector Emily Astilberry holding one of the zebra finches. - Credit: RSPCA

She said: “We can’t always help in these sorts of situations as we have to prioritise rescuing animals from cruelty and neglect but, thankfully, due to some very helpful local centres, we were able to find spaces for them to go to.


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“The birds had a lovely aviary and were all happy and healthy but finding homes for 156 birds is no easy task so we wanted to help out to ensure that these birds were found good new homes.”

Anyone interested in offering these zebra finches a home should contact the RSPCA’s ‘Find A Pet’ website.

Zebra finches that need new homes

Zebra finches need communal aviary housing with outdoor access, lots of perch space at different heights, and space for free flight. - Credit: RSPCA

The zebra finches which are looking for new homes

156 zebra finches are looking for new homes. - Credit: RSPCA

In the wild, they can be found across most of Australia. They’re also a highly sociable bird and monogamous, forming long-term pair bonds.

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When being kept in captivity, the RSPCA says they should be group housed in an equal sex ratio with lots of nest sites and should never live alone.

Communal aviary housing is best with outdoor access, lots of perch space at different heights, and space for free flight.

Zebra finches looking for new homes

The zebra finches were well looked after in an aviary in Newmarket - but the owner's circumstances changed. - Credit: RSPCA

Zebra finches looking for new homes

The birds have now been transported to RSPCA centres and to a private establishment in Norfolk where they will stay until new homes can be found. - Credit: RSPCA

The birds also feed on the ground so they need solid flooring with suitable litter material such as bark chips, wood shavings or sand.

They tent to eat dried grass seeds but in captivity do best with a mixed diet of foreign finch seed mix, some live insects, mealworms and panicum millet sprays, all provided in feeders or on the floor.

Access to water baths and environmental enrichment like toys and swings will also be required.

Rounding up the birds at their original aviary in Newmarket proved to be a challenge – but Emily’s RSPCA colleague, and husband, Dean helped with the task.

RSPCA inspector Emily Astilberry trying to catch the zebra finches

RSPCA inspector Emily Astilberry said it was quite a task catching the birds. - Credit: RSPCA

She said : “Initially rounding the birds up was quite easy but as there were fewer and fewer, they got harder and harder to catch!

“They kept finding little places to hide and we had to spend hours rounding them all up safely.

“Eventually, there was just one bird left who gave us the real run-around. We did find her though, finally, hiding under a rope bridge!”

If you would like to offer these birds a new home, Google “RSPCA find a pet”.

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