Most bird species around the world are monogamous. It means they have one mate at a time.The remaining have several broods through different partners every season.
Most birds will not have the same mate for life and may change partner every season.
Interestingly, few are loyal and remain soul mates for life. So, are you thinking if zebra finches are part of last category and remain mates for life?
Yes. Zebra finches mate for life. The male zebra finch woos the female to form a pair, which will breed every season. Once zebra finches have broods, they take on their responsibility of protecting, and nurturing their hatchlings. Zebra finches form a strong union that stays together for life.
Wow! Quite astonishing how a pair of finches can stay together for the rest of their life. It may make you wonder what will happen if we separate the pair and keep them with different partners.
Will they create a new alliance or go back to their old mates?
Do Male And Female Finches Live Together?
In the wild, females get attracted to males with a red beak instead of males with an orange beak. Color red correlates to good health, and females will always lookout for a healthy male partner for creating an alliance and for mating.
As per a study conducted by Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen, Germany, females finches are the ones who make the selection of their male partners. The songs of the male finches play an essential role in the mating process. Nevertheless, once they form an alliance it will last throughout their lives.
The male and female finch will share their responsibilities once the eggs hatch. The mother finch will protect the nest from the predators, and the father finch will forage for food in the forest. They breed every season and undertake their rearing responsibilities.
Now that you know, male and female finches pair bond for life. Let us try and understand what happens when a zebra finch loses its mate.
What Happens When Zebra Finches Loses Its Mate?
As we have understood by now that finch pair bonds for life and share their responsibilities. Zebra finches will find it devastating if their bond breaks due to loss of life.
If left alone, the surviving finch can undergo enormous stress that can lead to its death.
In the wild, finches live in flocks, and the group’s calls and energy can uplift the widowed finch’s energy levels.
You may introduce a new finch in captivity but monitor the situation till they develop a bond between them.
At the same time, you may also move the surviving finch with the other pairs in the aviary.
Male will instantly try to create bond with a new female, but it may take time for female to bond with an unknown male partner.
Okay! Let us also look at a situation where the parents and adult broods are part of the same aviary.
Is it possible that the zebra finches may mate with their parents?
Interesting Further Reading:
- Do Finches Sleep At Night? + Are They Diurnal Birds?
- Do Finches Recognize Their Owners? (Do Finches Feel Attached To Their Owners)
- Do Zebra Finches Kill Each Other? + Why Do They Bully?
- Do Finches Eat Insects? + What Do Finches Like To Eat?
Do Zebra Finches Mate With Their Parents?
Based on a DNA study of few bird species, It is unlikely that a son or daughter will mate with their parents. There isn’t enough evidence to conclude about zebra finches and knowing that the zebra finches are monogamous, who remains committed to the same partner throughout their life.
We may assume that zebra finches do not mate with their parents and instead move away to find a soulmate with whom the son/daughter can live the rest of their life.
Okay! It is rather difficult to conclude, but let us assume zebra finches do not mate with their parents. Now, let us find out whether zebra finches mate with their siblings.
Do Zebra Finches Mate With Their Siblings?
In general, mating between close family members almost always leads to inbreeding depression.
As per a study on zebra finches mating preferences, no conclusive evidence was found on the mating selection between siblings and non-kin.
Among zebra finches, if young siblings grow together, they will probably not mate with each other in adulthood.
However, it will be cognitively challenging for the zebra finches to remember about siblings separated and re-introduced at a later stage of development.
Therefore, zebra finches will not discriminate between those siblings and non-kin.
Alright! So, zebra finches will not mate with siblings whom they can identify as family members.
Recommended Further Reading:
- Do Finches Have Good Eyesight? (Do Finches Have Good Vision At Night?)
- Do Finches Feed Their Babies? (How Long Can Babies Live Without Food?)
- Are Finches Affectionate? + Do They Like To Be Handled By Humans?
- Can Finches Die From Cold? + How Do You Keep Finches Warm In Winter?
Points To Remember
Zebra finches are monogamous and mate for life. They share an inseparable bond.
Zebra finches breed and share their duties of protecting and fostering their chicks. They may find it challenging to cope with the loss of its soul mate, which can cause fatal stress to the remaining finch.
As a pet owner, you need to be careful when introducing a new partner, as there can be friction in the beginning. However, once they are receptive, you may keep them together.