Bird of the Month

Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

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It’s Spring at the Bloedel Conservatory and the birds are in the process of building their nests! See our Youtube video showing a Zebra Finch busy putting on the final touches to her new abode: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYx7AqeT5ns

These adorable little finches love to eat often throughout the day and can usually be spotted at the feeding station in the Arid area of the Conservatory. Typically, they have ‘fawn’ spots on their wings, zebra stripes across their chests and the males have unmistakable orange cheeks. There are many colour mutations including ‘Chestnut’, ‘Black faced’, ‘Penguin’ and ‘Isabel’. Click here to see the markings and colourations of different varieties on this interactive chart: http://zebrafinch.info/colours/

Zebra finches eat seeds and are just over 3.5 inches (8.8 cm) in length and weigh only half an ounce (15 gms). They are native to Australia and are very good singers. In fact, an interesting study at McGill University studied the complexity of the song of male Zebra finches. This research found that the birds with the most intricate songs were also better foragers for food – making them a better ‘catch’ for the ladies because it ensures there will be food for the young! This research found that all birds have a special area of their brains that is responsible for creating songs.

Why not stop by Bloedel for a family outing, listen for the bird songs and see how many nests you can find? We guarantee you will be charmed by all of the birds and their antics!