Zebra Finch Colors
The normal male bird has a gray upper body and wings. The belly is white. The beak and legs are a red-orange color. On each side of the head is a cheek patch. There is a 'tear drop' mark under the eye. This is a brown/tan/fawn color commonly called orange. The flanks/sides of the bird just below the wings, is a chestnut (orange) colored area with white dots. The chest is black and white stripped like a zebra, hence the name zebra finch. A truly beautiful bird!
The female also has a gray upper body and wings with a white belly. The beak and legs are the same red-orange color but not as deep color, lighter. She has a black 'tear drop' mark under the eye. The most noticable differences between males and females are the cheek patches and the chest striping.
There are many color variations. Most of the color variations are simply a change in color of one or more of the parts of the bird, i.e. the body, belly, chest strips, beak, cheeks, etc. On some of the variations the color part seems to be missing. On the ‘Black Breast’ the cheek patches are enlarged.
These individual differences in color can appear singly or combined. For example, Black Cheeked + Light Back or Black Breasted + Fawn or Black Face + Orange Breast.
Dominant: The dominant gene is one that is visible even when on only one of the chromosomes. It is visible in both the split (heterozygous) birds and a full/pure (homozygous) birds. If a bird has a specific dominant gene, it will show that color. If a bird does not show a specific color, it does NOT have that gene.
Recessive: The gene must be present on both of the chromosomes to be visible. If it is on only one chromosome, the color mutation will not be visible. The recessive gene is carried on a non-sex chromosome. For a child to have a recessive color visible, both parents must have the gene. Both parents could be split (not visibly showing the color) and produce a child showing that color.
Sex-linked gene: The gene that is only on the sex chromosomes. Females carry the sex gene. In females, if they have the sex-linked color gene, it will be visible, as they have only one sex chromosome to which the sex-linked gene is on. In males, the sex-linked gene must be on both sex chromosomes. Sex-linked traits are not visible in males if only one sex chromosome carries the gene. Males can be split for sex-linked genes, females cannot. The sex chromosomes in birds are the opposite of that in humans.
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Notes on Sex-linked:
If Father=Gray and Mother=CFW then possible ratios for the chicks will
If Father=Gray/split CFW and Mother=Gray then possible ratios for the
chicks will be:
If Father=Gray/split CFW and Mother=CFW then possible ratios for the
chicks will be:
Notes on Orange Breast
Also split hens show a poorly defined tear drop mark, full OB hens have no tear drop mark. However, black breasted hens also show a similar poorly defined tear drop mark, that’s when you check the tail coverts, BB/split hens show regular markings, OB split hens would have typical tail covert markings.
Notes on Black Breast
Split for black breast birds can be visibly identified. The cheek patch is slightly larger with ragged edges. The white stripes on top of the tail are in more of an hourglass shape than the normal straight stripe.
Notes on Black Faced
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