Black Breasted Zebra Finches




© 1977 Poule d'eau Publishing


This is perhaps my favorite Zebra variety, for I cannot tell you how many years I stared at pictures of Black Breasted Zebras out of European collections and wondered when the day would come that I would have this variety in my aviary. It was the very first new mutation I imported out of Germany in 1982. The Black Breasted Zebra is one of only two known mutations of zebra finches in which the size, shape and pattern of the various features is altered.

The perfect Male Black Breast has a large breast bar and cheek patchs which are 2 to 3 times the normal size extending to the back of the head. The chestnut flanking is quite unique with elongate white markings, rather than circular dots. The rump and tail coverts are rich cream, with the tail coverts lacking the standard black and white markings of a regular Zebra Finch. Black Breast are beautiful and very different, and I treasure them.
Female Black Breast are similar to normal females but the lack the distinctive tear-drop and they have distinctive pale colored cheeks, breast and rump.

The Black Breasted mutation is recessive. Fortunately the Black Breasted gene can be easily detectable in the split condition. Normal Zebras which carry the gene for Black Breast show subtle but obvious features that label them as carriers. Look at these feathers, the one on the far left is of a normal Zebra Finch, the middle feather is from a bird that is carrying the Black Breasted gene, and the feather on the far right is from a full Black Breasted Zebra Birds which are carrying the Black Breasted gene show an "hour-glass" appearance to the dots on the tail coverts. This is variable, some show it, some don't.

I am currently breeding Black Breasted Zebras in a wide variety of colors and combination listed below, and I acquired some really huge Black Breasted Zebras from Germany in January of this year. The photo above is of a German Black Breasted Grey.

Varieties Of Black Breasted Zebras