19th of September 2014 – Species Spotlight Zebra Finch

This week we focus on one of our smallest inhabitants

 

Zebra Finch

Taeniopygia guttata

Finches mixed

Commonly held by private avicultursists, Zebra Finches are one of our smallest and most active inhabitants of the park.  They are found throughout most of Australia & also in Indonesia.  Feral populations have established around the world including in the U.S & Brazil.  As they are so adaptable it is little wonder they are of least concern.

Being domesticated has led to many colour variations in the Zebra, which can be seen in our large group. White & grey colour morphs are the domestic forms of the bird.  Males can be distinguished by the orange patch on the cheek that is absent in females. Only males sing and every male has a different song.

The diet of Zebra Finches is predominantly seed although fruit is also taken.

Nests are built out of almost anything that is available – we provide the left overs from keeper hair cuts! A finely woven cup nest is built and the female will lay up to 8 eggs in a clutch. Incubation is conducted by both parents and last about a fortnight. Both adults attend the chicks who fledge at 3 to 4 weeks. The young can breed from the age of 6 months and may live in captivity for up to 14 years.

We have a large group of Zebras near the Encounter Zone where they are housed with Java Sparrow, Bengalese Finch, Pekin Robin, Canary & Quail. They are fed daily on a special finch seed mix as well as fruit and live food.

 

I’m away this week so no news as such other than we now have a webcam running live on the penguin chick. It can be found on the penguin section of the website, or via the following link

https://www.birdland.co.uk/penguins/

 

I’ll get you up to date next week

 

Thanks

 

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