The Zebra Finch is the most common and familiar finch of Central Australia and ranges over most of the continent, avoiding only the cool moist south and the tropical far north. It also can be found natively in Indonesia and East Timor. The bird has been introduced to Puerto Rico, Portugal, Brazil and the United State.
The ground-dwelling Zebra Finch grows to a size of about 10 cm long and usually eats grass seeds. Zebra Finches inhabit a wide range of grasslands and forests, usually close to water. They are typically found in open steppes with scattered bushes and trees, but have adapted to human disturbances, taking advantage of human-made watering holes and large patches of deforested land. Zebra Finches; including many human-bred variants to the species; are widely kept by genetic researchers, breeding hobbyists and pet owners.