Zebra Finch

 

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Range: Australia

Habitat: Dense forests to open grasslands.

Natural Diet: Seeds and green sprouts.

Diet at Rain Forest: Prepared seed diet, supplemented with calcium from cuttlebone and egg shell.

Size: 4"

Keepers Notes: The Zebra finch has long been maintained by bird keepers as a pet.  This wonderful creature lives in very large flocks in its native range.  Being a semi-desert dweller the Zebra Finch can survive better than most birds with a small water supply, but possessing a high metabolism, the Zebra Finch must have a steady supply of food.

Populations of zebra finches are present over much of their former range with heavy populations of wild birds found in coastal areas.  These dense populations may be found near water sources in times of drought.

As is the case with most grass finch species the primary diet of wild birds is a host of grass seeds in various forms of ripeness.  This species is also known to eat small insects such as termites and their related kin.  The Zebra finch can be quite "chatty" in the wild with a wide range of vocalizations that help the birds communicate with each other on a host of issues including territoriality and helping to find mates. 

In the wild the Zebra finch is not very picky about where it will build its nest.  Given the choice these birds prefer to nest in thorny bushes which helps provide some releif from predators gaining access to the fledglings.  It has been observed on more than once occasion that zebra finches will "rob" the building material of other near by nest builders to construct their own nests.   The actual distance from the ground appears to have little if any bearing on the birds decision to build as nests have been found literally at ground level as well as nearly 30 feet in the air. 

Status in Wild: Stable in majority of its natural range

 

 Zebra finches are often kept in zoos with other species of social finches.  This photo taken at Rainforest Adventures shows Zebra finches with Java Rice finches as well as Society finches. 

 

 

 

 

RainForest Adventures zoo, Smoky Mountains, Tennessee near Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge TN