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How to tell the sex of zebra finches

Updated August 08, 2017

Zebra finches (Poephila guttata) are small birds that are renowned for their beauty. In addition to being beautiful, zebra finches make great pets and are fun birds to watch and listen to. Many families keep zebra finches as a pet since they are social and adapt easily to new environments. All zebra finches should be kept in male/female pairs to ensure their health and happiness. Determining the sex of your zebra finches requires only visual observation of the finches colours and patterns on the chest, eyes, wings and beak.

Look at their cheeks. Male birds have large orange patterns on the cheeks. Females have black streaks directly beneath their eyes. Some describe this black female marking as teardrops.

Look at your zebra finch's breast. Males have a black bar that runs across the breast (like a zebra's black and white stripes) while females are completely white or very light grey.

Examine the area beneath their beaks. Males have a black and white scaled or striped pattern while females are all white.

Look at the colour on the sides of their abdomens. Males have a dark orange-brown colour while females have white or grey.

Note the colour of the zebra finch's beak. While males can be recognised by their deep red-hued beaks, the female zebra finch has one that is light orange.

Things You'll Need

  • Zebra finch
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About the Author

Wendy Rose Gould is a professional journalist who has contributed to "Glamour" magazine and the Huffington Post, among other publications. After internships at the "Indianapolis Business Journal," "Kiwanis International" and "NUVO Newsweekly," she earned BA degrees in journalism and philosophy from Franklin College in 2008. Gould specializes in lifestyle topics.