General requirements of the standard


In this article, you will find all the selection criteria to look for in an exhibition zebrafinch.

Size :
From the tip of the beak to the end of the tail of the zebrafinch : 11.5 cm.

Type :
Impression of strength - Short, stocky waist - Round head - Tight neck - Relatively broad and round chest.
The head, neck, back and tail should form a single line with minimal indentation in the nape and at the intersection of the tail at the height of the rump.
The curve formed by the rounding of the chest and the belly line should be regular from the throat to the anal region.
The back line cannot be crushed and the ventral line cannot be dropped.
All parts of the body should be in harmony with each other.

Head :
Well-rounded seen from all angles - Relatively wide front view - Must be in perfect harmony with the beak and body - Eyes placed approximately in the center of the head, very lively and dark in color unless the standard of the specified variety does not give it otherwise.


Beak :
Short, relatively heavy and conical - Well established in relation to the rest of the head - Mandibles overlapping perfectly and of the same length. Crossed or too long mandibles are to be penalized.
The bill cannot be scaly or spotted.
In males, it is coral red while in females it is orange red unless the standard of the variety specified describes it otherwise.

Standard zebra finch

Poise :
On the perch, half-seated without the belly feathers touching the perch, the paws slightly bent.
Upper body slightly straightened, tail roughly in line with back line. A drooping tail will always be penalized. Wings tight to the body, touching the root of the tail without crossing or straightening. A calm attitude is required in a compliant cage, the bird being as little as possible in the bottom of the cage and also not hanging on the bars.

Paws :
Orange-red in colour unless the standard of the variety specified otherwise describes it.
The legs, fingers and nails must be well-formed, not damaged or spotted and without scales.

Condition :
In perfect health, without deformities or other infirmities.
The plumage very smooth, undamaged and complete. Sick, deformed or crippled birds have no place at exhibitions.

Colour :
The colour can never be dull.
See description of the colour standard for the different varieties.

Drawings :
All designs should be sharp and even as well as symmetrical.
In addition, they must meet the "colour standard requirements".

Thanks to Elvis Bouchez for his publication agreement (the author is deceased).

Marcel Duvivier, former selection breeder and judge.
Article published in 2020.

head beak Type standard Drawing Color Competition poise