Zebra Finch

Wild Status:

Least Concern

Scientific Name:

Taeniopygia guttata

Distribution:

Zebra Finches are found across the Australian mainland, with the exception of Cape York Peninsula and some coastal areas. They are also found in Timor and the Lesser Sunda Islands, (Indonesia).

Description:

Australian zebra finches are small, colourful birds having mostly grey plumage with a white underside. Both sexes have black and white striped tails and facial markings. Males have a brown and white spotted pattern below the wing, orange cheek patches and a black-striped chin. Their beak is red.

​They are the most common and widespread of Australia's grass finches. There are no known threats to their population numbers at present. 

Feeding and habits:

The diet of the zebra finch is primarily made up of seeds. They use their short, sharp beaks to remove the seeds from their husks. During the breeding season, insects are eaten by the chicks to add extra protein to their diet.

Zebra Finches are most commonly found in the drier areas of Australia where they live all year round in social flocks of up to 100 or more birds. They can be found in a variety of habitats, mainly dry, wooded grasslands, bordering watercourses.

Breeding and Life Expectancy:

Lifespan: 3 -5 years in the wild, 7 to 10 years in captivity.

Zebra finches pair for life and breeding can take place at any time of year, usually after heavy rains. They build a nest of grasses with a side entrance in a bush or hole in a building and then line it with wool or other soft material. Incubation of the eggs is shared by both parents.

More Interesting Facts:

  • The female Zebra Finch does not sing.

  • The male Zebra Finch does a courtship dance accompanied by his beautiful song at breeding time.   

  • A zebra finch’s song is unique and passed from father to son.

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