Originally from the arid areas of Central Australia, these small songbirds get their name from the zebra-like stripes across their neck, chest and along their tail. They can also be found in Indonesia and East Timor. Their habitat is broad and they can live in grasslands, forests, plains and even human-disturbed areas.
Did you know...
That zebra finches are the most studied birds in the world. In 2010 there was over 1,500 published studies using zebra finches as the subject.
Zebra finches are the fastest growing bird in the world! From hatching to maturity it takes zebra finches only 70-80 days to fully mature. That is only 2 and a half months. Compare this to one of the slowest growing birds: the wandering albatross which can take up to 10 years to reach maturity.
Every male zebra finch has his own unique song. As a fledgling they learn their song from other adult finches which they slowly customize over time by adding in sounds they hear in their environment. The crazy part is that zebra finches could be using the same part of their brain that is responsible for learning how to talk in humans!
Zebra finch chicks have strange, shiny mouth markings that help with their survival. Scientists believe that these markings act as built-in beacons for parents, helping mothers and fathers find and feed their chick inside dark nests.