|Australian Zebra Finch Taeniopygia castanotis
(aka Zebra Finch Taeniopygia guttata)
|Northern Territory, Australia
The Zebra Finch is distributed throughout most of Australia. Some authorities lump this with Timor Zebra Finch T. guttata. It is found mainly in arid areas with scattered trees and shrubs and tends to be near a source of fresh water.
|The male, seen here in photos 1 and 2 has chestnut ear-coverts, an orange bill, a white "tear-drop" bordered black below the eye, chestnut flanks with white spots, a black breast band and a barred tail. The female, seen in photos 1 and 3 lacks the chestnut ear-coverts, the chestnut flanks and the breast band. Juveniles, seen here in photo 4, have a black bill but show the "tear-drop" and the striped tail. Their bills will turn orange after 35 days.|
|They are very sociable birds forming flocks of between 50 and 100 in the non-breeding season and smaller flocks in the breeding season. The breeding season is influenced by rainfall and in central Australia they can breed at any time of the year provided the rains have started. Their response to rain is rapid and within hours they can switch on their breeding system and begin courting and nest-building.|
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