Zebra Finch Natural History
This is a small species which can reach lengths of up to 10cm.
Habitat and Distribution
Naturally this species occurs in Australia, Indonesia and Timor, however it has also been successful introduced in to Brazil and the United States of America. In these areas it is most commonly found around grassland and farm land.
The average lifespan of these birds if 5 to 10 years, however they have been recorded in captivity as living for just over 14 years.
The majority of their diet is made up of grass seeds and millet sprays.
Groups and Breeding
These birds will pair up at the start of the breeding season and will even produce their nest together. During the building stages the male will often let the female rest in the nest while he sits on top of it. However once she starts to lay eggs the males will generally share the nest with their female during the night. A female will generally lay 2 to 7 eggs which will incubate for around 16 days.
Even though these birds are still occasionally caught for the pet trade, most captive birds have been bred specifically for this purpose. Due to this and their high wild numbers they are not considered to be threatened in the wild.
Females do not have the ability to sing, however males will experiment with sounds during their early development, taking inspiration from their fathers, other nearby males and various sounds in their environment. Through this they will make up their own song, which will be individual to that bird.
The Zebra Finch During Your Day Out in Kent
Our zebra finch can be seen in the tropical house. They share this exhibit with many other species such as lorikeets (red winged, goeldis, yellow backed chattering and rainbow), Edwards’s pheasants, eclectus parrots and mouse birds.