zebra finch


: a small Australian waxbill (Taeniopygia guttata synonym Poephila guttata) that is chiefly gray above and white below with a red or orange bill, a black-and-white barred tail, and in the male a black-barred throat and that is often kept as a cage bird

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The team found fewer receptors for mesotocin in key spots of the brain in species that were more territorial (less social) than the zebra finch—and more receptors in species that traveled in flocks. Katherine Harmon Courage, Scientific American, 1 Sep. 2015 In the wild, zebra finches typically live in colonies of between four and twenty birds. Burkhard Bilger, The New Yorker, 27 Mar. 2023 Genes that are switched on when neurons fire tend to be more active in the left half of a courting zebra finch’s brain than the right half. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 3 Oct. 2012 Just last month, fragments of hepatitis-like viruses were found hiding out in the genes of the zebra finch. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 19 Nov. 2010 Another type of finch – the zebra finch – provided a clue. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 3 Oct. 2012 The zebra finch, for example, is an Australian species of bird that learns unique songs passed down from its family. Camille Bromley, The Atlantic, 18 July 2022 Replicating the same categorization task used in past studies, the researchers showed 23 three- to four-month-olds eight images representing one of two categories—dinosaurs or fish—while simultaneously playing a zebra finch song. Rachel Nuwer, Scientific American, 11 Mar. 2021 China has approved 54 wild species for commercial breeding and sale, including American red foxes, Australian zebra finches and African ostriches. Rachel Nuwer, New York Times, 19 Feb. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'zebra finch.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1868, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of zebra finch was in 1868

Dictionary Entries Near zebra finch

Cite this Entry

“Zebra finch.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zebra%20finch. Accessed 30 May. 2023.

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