Over half of all known birds are within the order Passeriformes, which are identified by having one backward and three forward facing toes - the perfect perching foot structure. Zebra finches are found throughout Australia as well as being a favorite among avian keepers and breeders because they are extremely colorful, relatively easy to take care of, and to breed.
Zebra finches have been the subject of much study relative to how songbirds learn to sing. This research has revealed interesting relationships involving mimicry vs natural "programming" in the brain as well as the effect of song on choosing a mate. Researchers have learned that songbirds do require auditory exposure to learn their songs and when deprived of that exposure, the sound produced may be similar but degraded in tone and quality or absent all together. Females judge a male's song when determining with whom to mate - the more robust the song, the more likely to be chosen…a kind of natural selection process ensuring the best singers produce more progeny.
Zebra finches love to fly and need a minimum of 20 inches of horizontal space to accommodate this natural behavior. They appreciate as big a flight zone, as you can give them. Although very social with their own species, in fact, needing this social interaction, finches do not like to interact very much with humans. They should be kept in pairs, at least, and thrive in larger groups. The average cost of a Zebra Finch is $20-$100, depending on coloration.