How to Make a Zebra Finch Nest

Updated February 21, 2017

Zebra finches are native to Australia, Indonesia and Timor Leste, however can be found throughout the world as a favourite aviary bird. Zebra finches are very hardy, good breeders and will thrive in a variety of conditions. The males have rusty cheeks, while both males and females have a black tear line from their eyes, as well as a black and white striped tail -- hence the name. Zebra finches need fully covered nesting boxes to breed, with a single-hole opening.

Sand all the pieces for the nesting box: 4 pieces of 1/4-inch plywood cut to 6-by-6 inches and 2 pieces cut to 6-by-6 1/2 inches.

Drill a 1 1/2 inch hole with a drill and hole saw bit about 1 1/2 inches from the edge of one of the 6-by-6 pieces of plywood to creater the entrance holes of the nest.

Form the 4 pieces of 6-by-6 plywood into a box shape, with the entrance hole piece at the front (hole oriented toward the top of the box) and the two side pieces abutting the edges of the front and back to make the corners.

Secure the pieces together with finishing nails hammered every inch through the edge of the front and back pieces into the ends of the side pieces.

Turn the box over and place one of the 6-by-6 1/2 inch pieces over the box. Secure in place with finishing nails around the perimeter into the ends of the box pieces. Drill two 1/8-inch holes in each corner for drainage, then turn the box back over again.

Secure 2 hinges to one short side of the remaining 6-by-6 1/2 inch pieces with 1/4 inch screws and a drill. Center this piece on top of the box, with the hinges on the opposite side to the entrance hole. Secure the second portion of the hinges to the back of the box to finish the zebra finch nesting box.


Screw two screw hooks into the back of the box, hooks downward, if you are going to hang the nesting box inside a cage. Otherwise screw two screw hooks onto each side of the nesting box for hanging outdoors. If you want to paint the box, do so on the outside only; white is a good colour, as it keeps the internal temperature of the nest cooler. Zebra finches will also breed in gourd bird houses or wicker basket nesting boxes.


Don't varnish. The fumes can stay inside the box and affect the finches.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 pieces 1/4-inch plywood, 6-by-6 inches
  • 2 pieces 1/4-inch plywood, 6-by-6 1/2 inches
  • Sandpaper
  • Drill
  • Hole saw bit, 1 1/2 inch
  • 1/2 inch finishing nails
  • Hammer
  • 2 hinges
  • 1/4 inch screws
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About the Author

B.T. Alo is media director, chief writer and editor for a U.S.-based marketing and consulting firm. He holds a bachelor's degree in business and communications. Alo's interests include business, investments, electronics, personal finance, health, communication, popular trends and travel.