NFSS | National Finch & Softbill Society 501(3)(C)
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Finch & Softbill Save


Census Program

Please remember to participate in our census each year!

All are invited and welcome to participate regardless of whether or not they are an NFSS member!

Three Census forms (Finch/Softbill/Dove and Quail) are located at /fss/8257-2/.

The Census is opens January 26 and closed April 30th this year.


Definition and Purpose:

The National Finch and Softbill Society originally established the FinchSave program in 1988. Although, through the years, the program requirements have changed due to trends, the definition and purpose of the program have not. Our long-term goal now of the Finch and Softbill Save program is to establish a count of breeders of finches, softbills and quail dedicated to producing and maintaining a viable captive-bred population.

Our short-term goal now is to establish real time data for each specie existing with our participating aviculturalists and hobbiest from prior years and comparing how the hobby is thriving.

In the past, required to manage the program of studbook was overwhelming for both the user and the volunteer administrator. Data was not transferable nor exportable. Printing multiple pages in the Journal was not feasible to continue. The Finch and Softbill Save program originally invested months of time to develop an on-line data base application which would allow users to enter their studbook information electronically. However the system required a high level of programming skills and the system was not widely used by our membership. The data base was not exportable when the website was closed. As breeders and hobbiest use social media more and more to communicate, buy/sell, desktop stud bookeeping became more reasonable to purchase.


Our current system will include the following features:

  • Participants tally statistics for each specie – cocks/hens/unknown sex/non breeding/ offspring;
  • We can view and capture collectively and provide a snapshot of the state of aviculture for each. This data can assist us in our direction and efforts;
  • Help support genetic diversity is available in our hobby;
  • Breeders/hobbyist/aviculturists of rare species can easily network independently on social media for exchange or purchase bloodlines and collectively expand their flocks;
  • No sacrificing of participant’s private information. We only ask for an email or membership number to verify data to correct errors.
  • NFSS band sales are registered to each breeder to also ensure members obtain genetic diversity. Because the system is not restrictive, some of the roles and rules are now relaxed. Below are changes as we progress.

Program Guidelines:

  • Participants are encouraged to close band their offspring with appropriate sized bands (as possible);
  • Participants can use family bands, open numbered bands are now acceptable at the breeder’s discretion when closed banding is not possible or ill-advised;
  • Participants are also encouraged to track their data yearly in time to ensure all data in their studbook is up-to-date;
  • There is no limit requirements on visits to our annual census between January 26th through April 30th for 2020;
  • There are no passwords required;
  • Anyone member/non member can participate

Species Captain Roles:

Traditionally, we had Species Captains who were responsible for gathering information from participants, getting birds into participants’ hands, monitoring bloodlines, communicating with participants and assisting participants with any problems that they may have. Expert ADVICE CAN BE FOUND ON NFSS Facebook social media and other specie groups.

FSS Program does not exclude mutations, nor does it discourage aviculturists from working with them. The goal is of conservation is to preserve the species in captivity as it exists in the wild, and as such, data regarding mutations also should belong as well. While the goal of mutation breeding is different from conservation breeding, this is not to say that the information gleaned as is not valuable in its own right. Aviculturists are always encouraged to pursue their interests.


Multi-Tier Program:

In the past, FSS has operated as a multi-tier program. This no longer continued. This tier system asked participants to choose between closed banding of all offspring with a registered band or split banding of all such offspring. We are not capturing band information in the Census. In this manner, FSS can continue with its strong support and encouragement for closed banding practice, without taking away a breeder’s ability to make choices in his/her bird room based on their situation.

Should offspring be banded with other manufactured bands other than those sold by NFSS we now offer cross band registration.

The following are sources to purchase open, split and closed numbered bands from us or other manufacturers are listed below:

  • National Finch & Softbill Society (NFSS) Bands (registered breeder closed bands and E-Z family bands)
  • American Federation of Aviculture (AFA)
  • Red Bird Products
  • Avian ID

If members know of other sources that can be listed, please contact us!

Annual Data Validation:

The whole premise behind the Finch and Softbill Save Program is to establish captive-bred populations of bird species in the hobby. It is through the information analyzed in the annual reports that we can profile the species entered. It allows us to track increases or decreases, the diversity of reported species. This process also allows sharing of information about species and bird-keeping practices. The benefits of the program are free; we ask only that you ensure your information is current when providing your counts.


The FSS Program takes into account participants’ privacy concerns. One can choose to be completely anonymous – allowing the program to use your data for analysis purposes only. Those who want to share their information independently with the other participants can choose to do so though social media. A messaging service is provided in social media allowing participants to contact each other privately at their own discretion.

What YOU can do to make the program more successful?

We encourage all FSS participants to recruit fellow hobbyists, groups and clubs to join the program. Share the Census link in your groups and clubs. Link: /fss/8257-2/

Contribute. Contribute. Contribute. If you have a few minutes to participate please do. It’s once a year. Keep your data up-to-date and validate it in time for the annual report. Taking the time to be actively involved in the program is of benefit to us all.

If you have questions about our Census contact our Finchsave Director:

Currently, the following groups exist within NFSS Facebook
Classified site
Facebook Chat Groups

If you have questions about our Census contact our Finchsave Director: