How Long Do Zebra Finches Live?

Zebra Finches are little, brightly colored birds that are immensely popular among those who keep birds as pets. These little finches are well-known for their ability to perform beautiful and complicated tunes. When kept in groups (no fewer than two), they are reasonably easy to care for and will not require as much care from their owners as a small parrot would. But what about its longevity?

How long do zebra finches live?

Zebra finches live for around two to five years in the wild, while they may survive for up to ten years in captivity if sufficient safety and care is provided. 

Zebra finches have been kept in captivity for more than a century and are the most popular finches. The male finch can sing, and as a result, they are highly popular among bird lovers. 

Below, we’ll go a bit more into the lifespan of zebra finches, how their lifespan compares to that of other finches, and what you’ll do to help them have happier, healthier lives as well.

Zebra Finches 

The scientific name for the Zebra Finch is Taeniopygia guttata. Zebra finches are considered the most popular bird due to their availability and affordability. Zebra finches reproduce quickly and are an excellent beginner’s bird since they are simple to care for and require just a little amount of effort.

Although the zebra finch is small, it is not the smallest bird. Its name comes from the zebra-like stripes that run along its neck, chest, and its black and white striped tail. The “regular” colored male (the most usually occurring color) is gray with a black teardrop drop at its eye, bright red rouge spots on its cheeks, or a bright red beak when it reaches maturity. The female has a more subdued colouration, with its beak being a softer orange than the male. Zebra finches may be found in various colors and patterns, including pied, beige, cream, white, or other variations.

The following are the prominent characteristics of the Zebra Finch:

  • Size: 4 inches (approximately 10 centimetres)
  • Weight: between 15 and 30 grams
  • Life expectancy: 4 to 9 years
  • Physical characteristics: tiny body, grey in hue, teardrop black imprint above the eye, patterns black and white like Zebra, orange beaks of small size.
  • Best suited for: arid places, grasslands, natural ecosystems, dry regions, and the interiors of forests.

How Can You Assist Your Zebra Finches in Living Long and Healthy Lives?

You can do the following things to keep your zebra finches living much longer than expected:

  • One of the essential things you can do to keep the zebra finches healthy and strong is to keep them away from a scaly face condition that may be caused by mites, which is one of the most common problems they encounter.
  • This medical disease has the potential to impair their entire respiratory system much more quickly than you may expect, which is why it must be handled as soon as possible. Zebra finches, in particular, are particularly susceptible to air-sac mite infections, which result in the scaly facial disorders that are associated with them.
  • If you ever suspect that your finches are having difficulties breathing, it is best to schedule an emergency vet consultation as soon as possible. They’ll require medical attention right away if they’re going to live.
  • You will also make sure that the diet and nutrition of your zebra finches are optimally controlled.
  • Finches are foraging birds that are always on the lookout for seeds, wildflowers, berries, pinecones, and other pieces of food that they may pick up off the forest floor with their beaks. It’s not a bad thing to feed them on the cage floor so that they can emulate their natural behaviour.
  • Ensure that you provide them with a high-quality diet that contains all of the nutrition they require (which is typically based on whole grains and vegetables) and that you’re mixing in a teaspoon or two of finch seed every day; ensure that they get everything they need.
  • Pellet foods, millet sprays, and some scrambled eggs occasionally can assist in supplementing the nutrients your finch receives regularly.

Behaviour of Zebra Finches

The Zebra Finch is not suitable for most people who want to handle or pick their bird all the time. But remember, with patience and time, you can instil confidence to the point where a finch will land on your finger. Besides that, these birds are best observed from a distance. To train them, you can enter the cage multiple times a day with your fingers and provide them small treats each time. You could get awarded if they land on your finger at the appropriate time.

Despite being quite busy, these birds like flying around their cages, travelling from perch to perch, and amusing themselves by engaging in lengthy inter-avian talks. Zebra Finches are best maintained in pairs, which is why many finch owners have numerous pairs of finches living in the same cage.

When treated in this manner, they do not regularly require much connection with their human partners. They will be satisfied in their demand for direct attention if you simply speak to them while you are present. Even if you are not around, quietly playing music will keep them entertained.

How healthy are Zebra Finches?

They are somewhat resilient birds, but they are susceptible to health problems. So, keep a good eye on them and provide them with the best diet and housing possible.

Do Zebra Finches Have Longer or Shorter Lives Than Other Finches?

Generally speaking, zebra finches do not have much longer or shorter lives than other types of finches; yet, when it comes to the average lifespan, they fall somewhere in the middle of their group.

  • Asian Rosie Finches, on the other hand, are known to survive for just five years on average.
  • Bengal finches live an average of four to eight years in captivity, with Cassin’s finches living up to seven years in captivity (middle). Going by their lifespan in captivity, Gouldian finches (together with Laysan finches) are likely to live to be six years old, with Nihoa finches more frequently than not living to be 11 years old at the old age of eleven.
  • Purple finches may have the broadest variety of “average lifespans” in the world of finches, with some surviving on average for barely two years and others living for just as long as 11 years. Purple finches have a wide range of “average lifespans” in the world of finches. You want to ensure that you provide them with a high-quality meal that has all of the nutrition they require, often based on whole grains and vegetables.
  • Society finches do not exist in the wild but are a hybrid of two bird species that were initially produced centuries ago in China and India. They are often one of the milder finch varieties, and because they have been raised domestically for centuries, they may be trained to accept food from the palm.

When found in their natural environment, most finches can live for up to five years. Caged species typically survive for 5 to 9 years; however, they can live for up to 12 years in exceptional circumstances, with one known example of a caged purple finch living for 14.5 years.

Rick Matthews

Hello, I am Rick Matthews, I have helped raise 100's of pets in my life living with my Father who while we did not live on a farm, raised all sorts of animals to sell them to families. We had so many different pets we all quickly became experts intending to them and helping them stay healthy. Back then we did not have the internet to look up thing on how to take care of their kids. As my kids got older, they wanted pets and of course, I did not want to have as many as we did when I was a child, but wanted to share my experiences. Many of these articles are written to help educate families on what to expect when looking to get a new pet for their children.

If you are interested in getting a new pet finch for your family here are some other articles you may enjoy.