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Differences Between Males and Female Zebra Finches

As is the case with most of our avian friends, the hens and cocks can be differentiated by their colors. This is called sexual dimorphism. Cocks are much more colorful than their female counterparts. This is the result of natural selection over the course of millions of years, hens look for the male with the most striking colors when choosing a mate. Hens have a more dull set of feathers because, amongst several other reasons, this allows them to be more well hidden when sitting on their eggs in the nest.

Zebra Finch hen and cock
A pair of Zebra finches

Cocks sport several markings that are completely absent in hens - Orange cheek patches, thorat stripes, a black bar on the breast and flanks with a chestnut brown color dotted by white spots. Hens have grey feathers in these areas. Cocks also have a bright red beak whereas hens have more of an orange beak. Fledglings have the same coloration as hens, even if they are male, the one key difference is that the fledglings have black beaks which only bloom into their adult colors at around 90 days old or so.

With the large differences in plumage across the domesticated zebra finch variations, the classical male/female distinctions can be less obvious.

Customer Images

I’m hanging around!
Male Zebra Finch


Kerry, 17 July 2023

This with males having red beaks is it possible for female to have a red beak the reason I am asking is because I have 4 baby’s in aviary I have not seen a females with it only ones one of the baby’s with baby’s have red beaks and bengalese have been feeding it as well I been told it’s they are grey cheeked black beaked zebra finches which would be fine if I had any black beaked grey cheeked ones in I do have some grey cheeked ones but not with black beaks I am so confused who the parents are I start to think it one of them then I look round and just one of baby’s is with another set of different ones so confused I been told zebra’s will cross breed with bengalese I am so confused who mum and dad it’s l did have one pass away a couple of months if that was the mum and males have took over and reared it I don’t know

Stewart, 30 March 2023

Which one is the mail and which one is a female?

Karen, 22 May 2020

what sex is a white zebra Finch with a black line across the chest?

Krishna, 20 February 2020

I want to know weather my finches is male or gemale

Nicolene, 21 December 2019

Please can you tell me how do I look at.the zebra.finches what is female and male like their mouths is the male red and the female orange