The life expectancy of a zebra finch is seven to 10 years. Males of the species have a chestnut coloring with a bright red beak. The female's beak is always orange.

Zebra finches are excellent parents and are often used as foster parents to raise rare Australian grass finches. The male zebra finch builds the nest. The female lays one egg every other day until the clutch is complete. A female lays an average of four to five eggs. The hen remains on the nest but takes short breaks in which the male babysits the clutch. The eggs will hatch 12 to 18 days after the last egg was laid.