Insects are readily taken by most captive softbills (finches, canaries and other “non-parrot” species), and are often essential in bringing birds into breeding condition and for the rearing of chicks. Those of us who keep birds such as smaller finches, Peking robins, shama thrushes and leafbirds are often hard put to find suitably-sized insects.
Small crickets can be purchased at many pet stores, and a few tiny individuals are usually to be found in containers of wax worms and butter worms. A breeding colony of earthworms and mealworms is another option, but such may not be practical for the casual or “accidental” breeder.
In other articles, I have urged softbill keepers to investigate the use of Canned Insects, the Zoo Med Bug Napper and other products originally designed for reptile enthusiasts (please see below). I would like to now add Zoo Med Anole Food to my list of suggestions. The dried, laboratory-raised flies that this product contains are ideally sized for even the tiniest of finches and their chicks. Your birds’ acceptance of this new food might be hastened by misting the flies with a bit of water, or by mixing a few small live mealworms among them.
You can read another of my articles on this topic by clicking on the following link: