Nothing is more temperamental, finicky, or delicate than a bird, especially a finch. Let me rephrase that, the only thing more temperamental, finicky, or delicate than a finch is a husband, but I digress.
They cannot be in a draft, direct sun, or too chilly a environment. Their water needs to be changed daily - at least once. And they require a fresh bath water every morning. They tend to eat the seeds off the top of their feeder and drop the chafe back in, so you need to stir or replenish their seeds daily to prevent them from dying of starvation because they do not know to go deeper than the top seeds to find more to eat.
They need full spectrum light but do best when it is on a timer so they are on a regular schedule. If you do not want them to breed do not provide nest boxes for them. And make sure you have the correct type of seeds, eggs, fruit and vegetable food, alfalfa, and millet for them in fresh supplies.
It doesn't take much to keep them happy and singing.
Well that is until you walk in the room to realize that one of your dear birds is sitting on the bottom of the cage no longer singing, no longer looking merry. Oh, and did I mention that according to the books and the breeder once you realize they are sick, it is most likely too late to save them. Joy!
Long story short, I quickly removed the bird and placed him in a hospital cage where I could provide him with additional heat and watch him closely. In less than 2 hours, my little Cordon Blue that I so dearly loved had gone to the big bird nest in the sky.
I called the breeder to make sure I was doing all I could do to in order to prevent this from happening again. After a long discussion about my care taking practices, which he said were exactly what they needed to be, he suggested the bird may have been stressed from the travel and change in of environment.
"Well if that is the case, how I am supposed to ever purchase a bird and expect it to live?"
"Well one thing will help - a sports drinl."
"Excuse me, like Gatorade/"
"Yes, a little in their drinking water every day will provide additional vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes that will aid a stressed out bird." I thanked him and after asking a few other questions, hung up the phone, and left in search of a bottle of Gatorade, Powerade, or some other sports drink. Who knew?
All the books tell you that finches cannot live alone and will mourn themselves to death. Like all birds, they cannot go any length of time without food and water. They need a large cage with unimpeded flight space. But no one ever mentioned that the would thrive on the official sports drink of FIFA.
Perhaps I would have done better with a Chia pet or better yet a Pet Rock. But neither can sing or chortle or chirp.
As for men, they do better when they have control of the TV remote and thermostat. They require fresh bath water every morning. They tend to eat whatever is in the fridge or on the counter and leave the dishes in the sink. You need to replenish the pantry and fridge daily to prevent them from dying of starvation because they do not know to go deeper than the top shelf to find more to eat.
They need day light and thrive when they are on a regular schedule. They do best when kept on their diet, and you don't vary it by adding super foods like kale, Brussell sprouts, or quinoa. And I guess if you find him sitting on the sofa no longer singing or looking merry, a sports drink cannot hurt.