Mutations in the zebra finch


This article is based solely on the phenotype (visual traits) of each mutation.
To identify the genotype (genetic characteristics) of your zebra finch, it will be necessary to take into account that it can carry certain mutations without being a mutant.
Being a carrier (/) of a mutation means that it is partially present (genetically speaking). From a visual point of view the partially carried mutation will not be seen or only by some clues present in the appearance of the bird.
In this case, it will be necessary to have a trained eye to determine the genotype. Sometimes verification couplings will be necessary.
Your zebra finch can also have several mutations, the possible combinations are numerous.

Grey (GR)

The gray zebrafinch is not a mutation, it is the original (wild) type.

male gray zebra finch female gray zebra finch

1. Gender-related mutations

The female can never be a split, so she is either mutant or non-mutant.
The male can be a split of the mutation.

Brown (Br)

male brown zebra finch Female brown zebra finch

Pale back

Zebra finch Pale back male Zebra finch Female pale back

Mask, old type

Zebra finch Mask old type male Zebra finch Female old type mask

Mask, new type

Zebra finch Male new type mask Zebra Finch Female New Type Mask

2. Dominant mutations

Neither male nor female can be a split, it only takes one mutant to obtain 50% of young mutants.

Black face (BF)

Zebra finch Black face male Black-faced zebra finch female


Male Gray Crested Zebra Finch Female Gray Crested Zebra Finch

Gray cheeks

Male Zebra Finch Gray Cheeks Zebra Finch Female Gray Cheeks


Zebra finch Pastel gray male Female Pastel gray zebra finch

Clear cheeks

Zebra finch Light cheeks gray male

3. Free recessive mutations

Both male and female can carry the mutation. The trait must be present twice to be visible in both male and female.

Yellow beak

Zebra finch Yellow gray beak male Female Zebra Finch Yellow Gray Beak


White zebra finch


Zebra finch Eumo gray male Zebra finch Eumo gray female


Zebra finch charcoal gray male Zebra finch charcoal gray female


Zebra finch Isabelle male Zebra Finch Isabelle female

Black cheeks

Zebra Finch Black cheeks gray male Zebra Finch Black Cheeks Gray Female


Zebra finch Gray panache male Zebra finch Gray panache female

White breast

Zebra Finch White Breasted Gray Male Zebra Finch Gray White Breast Female

Black chest

Zebra finch Black chest gray male Zebra Finch Black Breast Gray Female

Orange breast

Zebra Finch orange breast gray male Zebra Finch Gray orange breast female


zebra finch topaz gray male Zebra finch Agate female

4. Some combinations of mutations

Male black face, orange chest, black chest

Zebra finch Black face or black face orange breast black breast male

Male black face, black cheeks

Zebra finch Black face black cheeks male

Male mask black cheeks

Zebra Finch Male Black Cheek Mask

Pastel male pale back

Pastel zebra finch pale back gray male

Female brown cheeks

Zebra Finch Female Brown Cheeks

5. Uncommon mutation

The george

zebra finch the george

Thanks to Bart Houben, Loïc Leducq and Florian Haar, owners of the photos, who granted their publication.

Tony Lombard, amateur breeder.
Article published in 2018, updated in 2022.

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dominant Mutation mutant split genotype phenotype sex-related recessive