Profiles

ZEBRA FINCH

(Taeniopygiaguttata)

Family: Finch

Origin: Found in more than 90% of Australia. 

Size: Length is 100mm. 

Description:

The male bird has a grey head with a grey brown back and wings and a white abdomen with fine black and white barring on the chest. They also possess a white rump and a black and white striped tail.  

The flanks are chestnut with white spots and the ear coverts are pale chestnut while the eyes and beak are red.

The female bird has the same coloured head, back and wings as the male, however its chest is a pale buff and there are no ear patches or flank markings. The immature chicks are similar looking to the female but have grey-brown eyes, black beaks and grey legs.

Habitat:

The Zebra Finch is the most widely-distributed and common finch in Australia and lives in a wide variety of open country, but always near water.

At your place:

These birds feel at their safest when surrounded by thick bush or dense shrubs. Being a smaller bird, it can be vulnerable to predators when out in the open so the extra cover will be appreciated. For even better results, try erecting a nest box lined with grass and twigs

A good supply of fresh seed and water will also help entice these birds into your home while a good sized bird bath (a pan of fresh water will do) will also be appreciated.

Eats:

Good quality seed mix such as HARMONY™ Wild Bird is an ideal food to put out to attract these wonderful little birds. Putting out some shell grit or cuttlefish bones will also keep these birds happy.

As these birds prefer to feed from the ground in open areas, coupled with a few trees for shelter from the sun and predators, place your feeders accordingly.

Call:

It calls out with a harsh nasal "tish", followed by a soft repetitive "tet". Once in full voice its characteristic call resembles a toy trumpet.

Personality:

Can sometimes travel in large flocks, usually for safety from other predatory birds, and likes to nest in thick bush, ground hollows or buildings.

The bond between finches is thought to last for life, and both sexes will incubate and feed the young.

Breeding:

Zebra Finch breeding generally takes place from October to April, but this varies depending on the rainfall.

The female alone selects the nest site, but both birds care for the eggs and young. The male gathers almost all the nesting material, with which the female constructs the loose dome-shaped nest. The chicks hatch after only two weeks and leave the nest after a further three weeks.