Tuesday, February 22, 2011


In the wild Zebra Finches are hardy little grass finches that occupy grass or brush lands, dry savannas, open areas, pastures and cultivated fields.  In our homes, they steal the hearts of their owners with their cheerful nature and active lifestyle.  But that is not the only reason that Zebra Finches have been one of the most popular cage birds for over one-hundred years.  These attractive little creatures are also hardy, inexpensive, active, and one of the easiest birds to keep and breed.


Zebra Finches are great birds for a beginner or for any bird enthusiast!  They maintain their happy disposition throughout their seven to ten year lifespan with continuous work and song.  They are also one of the most popular varieties seen in pet stores.  Zebra Finches need the company of other finches, so plan on getting a pair, and you will need a decent sized cage so they can fly.

Zebra Finches are available in many different patterns and colors.  Typically, the male Zebra Finch has a gray upper body and wings and a white belly.  Their beak and legs are a red-orange color and there is a cheek patch on each side of its head.  They also have a teardrop mark under the eye that can be brown, tan or fawn, but is commonly called “orange” by Zebra Finch enthusiasts.  The flanks or sides located just below the wings of male Zebra Finches are chestnut-colored (orange) with white dots.  And finally, the male’s chest is black and white striped like a zebra, hence the name Zebra Finch.  The female Zebra Finches also have a gray upper body and wings with a white belly, but their beaks and legs are lighter in color then the males'.  Females also have a black teardrop mark under the eye.  Some different Zebra Finch varieties include the Fawn, Chestnut Flanked White, Lightback, Pied, Black or Orange Breasted and the Black Cheek.

Zebra Finches originate from Australia where they live in dry areas and eat mostly grass seeds.  Seeds are also the basic food for them in captivity.  However, offering your finches fresh foods from your kitchen is also an option.  Different individual birds will have different likes and dislikes.  You can experiment with a variety of food items to see what your particular birds will like to eat.  Try offerings them things like mixed vegetables, sprouts (alfalfa, etc.), hard boiled eggs (mashed), lettuce, spinach, bread crumbs, and corn bread.  Most natural foods can be fed to your birds.  Just stay away from extremes like peppers, cabbage, etc.  Make sure to feed your Zebra Finches only the amount of fresh food that they will consume on a daily basis.  Remove any food that they do not eat before it spoils.  Although Zebra Finches are very hardy and can go for a long period of time without water since they are desert birds (not recommended), eating daily is vital for their survival - so make sure that you always keep their seed bowl filled. 

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