A Zebra Finch is one of the smaller finches at about 4 inches (10cm) in size. Greyish-blue on head and neck, turning to duller greyish-brown back and wings, and black tail with white diagonal bands. Bluish-grey chest with black wavy markings, lower chest black, belly almost white. Sides orangish-red with white round marks, white ‘moustache’, black band under eye marks front edge of orange ear spots. Eyes and beak red, legs brownish. Female grey on top with almost-white ear mark, and grey on throat, neck, chest and sides. Immatures have dark beaks.
Zebra Finch is found in Australia, except coastal waters of New South Wales and Victoria.
Open woods and grassy areas, arid interiors near water, in large flocks year round.
Mixed millet, canary seed and green-food.
Don’t breed females until 9 to 10 months old. Separate cocks and hens during winter, preferably indoors in unheated, frost-free area.
The Zebra Finch is adaptable, social, vivacious, hardy and easily tamed. Male has bright, vigorous trumpeting song. Good for all types of aviaries and large cages. Prolific breeders in outdoor aviaries, but limit to three, per season to avoid egg binding and weak young. Remove all nesting materials (grass, plant fibers, feathers, wool), as soon as the nest is completed, to prevent further construction. The free nest is bottle-shaped, with an entrance tunnel. Likes to use all types of nest boxes. Lays 4 to 5 eggs, incubation, 13 to 16 days by both partners, fledging 20 to 22 days. Independent 3 weeks after it has flown out. Hang nest boxes near roof of cage or aviary to prevent birds from making another nest on top of it.
STATUS IN WILD
Not listed as endangered.