Beautiful Firetail | Chestnut-breasted Mannikin | Crimson Finch | Diamond Firetail| Double-barred Finch | European Greenfinch | European Goldfinch | Gouldian Finch | Painted Finch | Scaly-breasted Munia | Zebra Finch |

Worldwide Finches encompass a huge number of species that have common name grouping including weaver birds and their relatives. The most common finches belong to the families Fringillidae and Estrildidae.

What makes a finch a finch… ? The “true finches” are small to medium-sized passerine birds in the family Fringillidae.

The term passerine, groups the bird in the order Passeriformes. The word being derived from the Latin passer – sparrow and formis – shaped, which is said to include more than half of all bird species. The passerine group of birds, sometimes known as perching birds or songbirds, are distinguished from other orders of birds by the arrangement of their toes (three of which point forward and one pointing to the back). This configuration of toes facilitate perching.

There are many other families of birds that are commonly called “finches”. These groups include: the estrildid finches (family Estrildidae); some species of the Old World Bunting (family Emberizidae) and the New World Sparrow (family Passerellidae); the Darwin’s finches of the Galapagos islands (family Thraupidae).1

There are close to 1,000 species of Finches. Some of the most common Fringillidae (known as the true finches of which there are approximately 150 species) are bullfinches, canaries, chaffinches, goldfinches, greenfinches and siskin.

From the family Estrildidae (there are approximately 125 species) that include waxbills, nuns, parrot finches.


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Superfamily: Passeroidea
  • Family: Fringillidae
  • Subfamilies:
    • Fringillinae
    • Carduelinae
    • Euphoniinae

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Superfamily: Passeroidea
  • Family: Estrildidae

Footnote & References

  1. Finch, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finch (last visited Sept. 13, 2021).
  2. Estrildidae, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estrildidae (last visited Sept. 13, 2021).
  3. Australian Finches, Australia’s Wonderful Birds, https://www.australiaswonderfulbirds.com.au/finches
  4. Fringillidae, ScienceDirect, https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/fringillidae