Animal Stories - Zebra Finch


Animal-World Information about: Zebra Finch

    Zebra Finches are great birds for a beginner or any bird enthusiast! These attractive little creatures are hardy, inexpensive, active, and one of the easiest birds to keep and breed. They are long-lived, with a life span in captivity of about 12 years.
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amina - 2015-08-20
hello, I have 21 zebra finches in an aviary. One fully white baby has what we think is sore eyes. And one male has cut his leg and dirt and food has gone on it, do you think this started and infection? as two other males are limbing, I am not sure if the first male has spread the infection or if they have just hurt their legs somehow. thanks.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2015-08-21
    I would pull the injured birds, and put them in 'hospital' cage setups until they are better. That way you will can observe the flock to be certain disease is not spreading, and the sick birds can recuperate.
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Tara - 2014-01-29
I have two finches, one is all white, with a very light tan pattern on the tail, and dark tear lines on it's face. The other is spotted dark tan and white, with no tear lines. I have not had them very long, no eggs. How can I tell if they are male or female? Neither one has orange cheeks.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-01-30
    If neither one has orange cheeks, than your Zebra Finches are both female.  Zebra Finches are very easy to sex - males have orange cheeks and the females don't. See the descriptions of the male and female above... under the 'description' section.
  • Diogo Ferreira - 2014-09-23
    Hi, That's not always the case, there are mutations where the female can have cheeks. Females can also have dark red beaks, colorful chests and chest stripes as the males. The only way to distinguish male from female are brown feathers on the side with the white spots.
  • Clarice Brough - 2014-09-26
    There are a number of mutations like the Fawn Cheek Zebra and the Black Cheek Zebra, but even so the orange cheeks are still a stubborn indication of a male. You can learn all about mutations on the eFinch website.
  • stephanie - 2015-01-07
    I just was given a pair of finches. I believe that they are zebra finches, one looks like the male with red patches on its cheeks, and the other is mostly white, but only has a spot on one cheek. I wonder if this one is a male or female?
  • Clarice Brough - 2015-01-07
    Male Zebra Finches have a red patch on the cheek, females don't. But in mutations, like the albino, the male may also not have a red patch. So I'm guessing you have at least one male:)
  • Melanie - 2015-08-08
    I am now confused because in one comment you say that the males have stubborn red cheeks no matter what and in the last comment you state that in mutations the males may not have colored cheeks at all? We just got three zebra finch babies from a family member so I am on this site to get good information on their care and personalities. I just want to be sure on what the actual answer is for the mutation breeds. I do have a question of my own and that is if the babies beaks are just now turning from black to orange can you know the age of the babies? I was not informed of that information today when I got them. Thank You for your site and your advice :)
  • Clarice Brough - 2015-08-21
    I understand the confusion. Almost all male Zebra Finches will have red cheeks that are available in the general market. It is only those who are dedicated Zebra Finch breeders, producing very unique mutations, that will describe a coloration that develops differently. See the eFinch website for information about these unique birds. They can probably best answer your questions about the genetics that produced these birds also.
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Mia Saunders - 2015-05-10
One morning I went to change my birds water to find my male sitting in the nesting box. I thought that they had another egg however they hadn't. The next day my mum and brother found him flying about however he could not land on the pirch I handeled him however he could not grip anything. What shall I do? What is wrong with him

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  • Clarice Brough - 2015-05-10
    It sounds like he may have been injured. You can set up a hospital type cage for him and see if he starts getting better. Put him in a small cage without a perch, then put him along with his food and water on the bottom. Add a heat lamp and put a towel across the top and on 3 sides of the cage to help keep it warm.
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Jessica N - 2015-02-18
I have 2 zebra finches, and the cage fell down yesterday morning when my mom's cat knocked it over. One of the two finches got stuck between the bars during the fall, which i had to bend the bars to get her out of it. The other finch is fine but the one that got stuck cant even fly up to the lowest perch(FWI the perch is 3 inches off of the ground) I dont know if her wing is broken, but I have put a heat lamp over the cage and gave her some boiled eggs. I woke up this morning and shes just fine. But she still cant fly. Should I be looking for any symptoms? And how do I know if her wing is totally broken?

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  • Jessica N - 2015-02-19
    Thank you so much! The thing is, is that my parents say that since the bird is so small it really doesn't make much sense to take her to a vet. This makes me really sad, and I'm doing everything I can to keep her comfortable so yeah... Thank you so much for the advice though! Plus she's getting a lot better, and is starting to communicate to her partner. But still no flying yet. But thanks again. :)
  • Clarice Brough - 2015-02-19
    It's best to take the bird to an avian vet, they can do x-rays and may be able to set and splint the wing.  Some say to tape both wings to the body and let the bird heal for 3-4 weeks, but the problem with that is a brokent wing can set incorrectly. Also, once a wing has been broken it's never as good as it was, and sometimes the bird won't be able to fly, but they can still live a good life.
  • Clarice Brough - 2015-02-21
    Well I wish her the very best, sounds like she is improving... good luck to you both!
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andy - 2015-01-27
I have two pairs of finches and one pair has laid a egg the other pair the male is pecking the feathers out from his female can any one help thanks

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  • Clarice Brough - 2015-01-30
    Separate the female from the male to give her feathers a chance to grow back. Then be sure you have a well setup breeding area. It's important to have two nest boxes for each pair, located high up and away from the other pair.
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mary wolson - 2014-11-28
I have 2 zebra finch that have babies and i have 2 society finch in the same cage do they inter bred one of the zebra finch is fling out of the nest and pecking the others what should i do?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-12-02
    No they are two separate species, so they won't interbreed. The Society Finches should be move out as they are not as tough as the Zebra Finches, and the Zebra's are extremely territorial. Also, provide two nesting boxes for the pair, see more about breeding them on this page under, Breeding.
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Sandra Jordan - 2014-11-19
what things can you use for nesting material

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-11-21
    You can find both string and cotton nesting materials at a pet shop.
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Colin - 2014-07-18
A male Zebra finch has started to feed in my back garden, is it likely to survive in the wild.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-07-22
    It could, finches are very adaptable. However, if the weather is extremely cold (freezing) in your area during the winter, it may not.
  • ALICE - 2014-07-23
    MY MALE ZEBRA FINCH GOT OUT THE WINDOW AND I AM HEART BROKEN BECAUSE I AM AFRAID IT WILL NOT SURVIVE IN THE WILD.
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abdul rafhay - 2014-02-25
I have a pure white pair of finches. The female laid 3 eggs and began to incubate but stopped incubating after a week. The pair sits outside the nest rather than either of them sitting on the eggs. What is the problem with them? What should I do?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-02-25
    There's a few reasons why zebra finches won't sit on eggs. The first is because they are 'duds', and the parents will know if they are. Another is if you actually have two females, where one is laying eggs and the other 'acting' male, and in this case the eggs will be infertile. And another reason is simply that some times the parents don’t even know enough to sit on the eggs yet, so they won’t. Usually that happens with the first clutch or two, then they begin to get better. But not always, there are occasions where the parents never get the hang of it, so in that case the eggs have to be incubated by the keeper.
  • Lydia Ottinger - 2014-04-08
    I have a male and female zebra finch, they laid 5 eggs, they have been good about sitting on them but today they both were out for awhile, is that normal?
  • Melissa Reid - 2014-08-20
    My zebra finches incubated 4 eggs for 10 days, stopped for 3, (mated again 2 days after they stopped incubating), and today, 4 days after they stopped, they've started incubation again. Two are dark, two are yellow. Maybe she'll lay more? Or maybe incubation will resume? I don't know how long eggs can go unattended before they die.
  • Clarice Brough - 2014-08-20
    The incubation of Zebra Finches is actually more complicated than one would think. Usually the parents handle all the aspects of egg laying and hatching, but they don't always handle it well. Here's a site on Eggs by the Finch Information Center  that talks about the process and many of the challenges that can come up:
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missy b - 2006-08-06
my mom has two of these sweet little birds, that she takes outside and hangs in a tree every day. The birds love it and other birds have even come to visit them. One day when she brought them in at the end of the day we noticed that the male bird was missing! We were very upset and looked every where for him, not expecting to find him. The next morning while sitting on the deck we hear the little bird calling for his mate, and sure enough there he was sitting in a tree looking very sad. She brought his cage outside and he flew over to it and she carried them back in the house! We never did find out how he got out, or where he spent the night! We all wish that little LB, "little bird", could talk!

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  • tercia cronje - 2014-08-10
    I note your post was in 2006 already but so sadly reminds me of what happened to my little zebra finch as I hanged them on the tree and a Jan Fiskaal got hold of her through the bars of the cage. So please be very carefull when you hang your little birds on trees outside
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