Central Australia BirdsCentral Australia Birds — Index Australian Hobby (Falco longipennis) Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla) Red-tailed Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii) Spotted Harrier (Circus assimilis)

The Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata and Taeniopygia castanotis) are one of the most widespread and common Australian grass finches, with two sub-species being recognised:

  • Taeniopygia guttata guttata — found in some coastal areas around Australia, Timor and the Lesser Sunda Islands.
  • Taeniopygia guttata castanotis — found across 75% of the mainland Australia.

The Zebra Finches are mainly grey, with a characteristic black ‘tear drop’ eye stripes and ‘zebra like’ black and white barring across the rump and upper tail. They have pale grey throat and upper breast, with fine black barring, and a broad black band on the upper chest. The sides of the belly are chestnut in colour with white spots. The remainder of the belly and the undertail are white.

The male Zebra Finch has the orange chestnut cheek patches, which gives it another common name of Chestnut-eared Finch (Taeniopygia castanotis). Both sexes have red eyes and bill, with their legs and feet being orange-yellow.

After hatching from the egg, it takes between 70 to 80 days for the Zebra Finch to be sexually active, which makes the Zebra Finch known as one of the fastest recorded maturing bird species.

The juvenile finches are similar in plumage to the female, with the exception that they do not have the black and white markings of the head. The eyes are grey-brown and the bill is black.

Common name
Zebra Finch, Chestnut-eared Finch.


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Estrildidae
  • Genus: Taeniopygia
  • Species: Taeniopygia guttata
  • Subspecies: Taeniopygia guttata infrasp. castanotis

Central Australia BirdsCentral Australia Birds — Index Australian Hobby (Falco longipennis) Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla) Red-tailed Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii) Spotted Harrier (Circus assimilis)

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