Family Waxbills (Estrildidae)

Least Concern

Australian Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia castanotis)


French: Mandarin d’Australie German: Australzebraamadine Spanish: Diamante cebra australiano

Amadina castanotis


, 1837,

interior of New South Wales, Australia


Often considered conspecific with T. guttata (which see). Monotypic.


Most of mainland Australia.

Descriptive notes

10·5 cm; 9·4-15·7 g. Male has top of head and upperparts grey, rump white, very long uppertail-coverts black with white bars, almost covering blackish tail; from loral area a... read more


Twelve call types described; best known are distance contact call, "nyii nyii", "tia... read more


Grassland with scattered trees and shrubs, open sclerophyll woodland and open shrublands, generally... read more

Food and feeding

Half-ripe and ripe seeds of grasses, both native and introduced. Nestling diet almost entirely half-ripe grass seeds, rarely insects, e.g.... read more


Timing varies with latitude, seasonal temperature and rainfall, begins a month or two after onset of rains (and timed to coincide with... read more


Mainly resident, with some seasonal movement; also nomadic, moves about over large region, and... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Widespread and common throughout most of mainland Australia; absent in Cape York Peninsula (N Queensland), scarce or absent in Nullarbor Plain and... read more

Recommended citation

Payne, R. (2018). Australian Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia castanotis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 23 March 2018).