copyright megan spiers

Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia guttata)

copyright megan spiers
Brisk by Megan Spiers 2011
Oil on canvas board, size 20 cm x 15 cm
SOLD – private collection, darling point, sydney


One morning near Orange, New South Wales, a noisy crowd of Zebra Finches gathered in several trees bordering a railway line. Each bird had its plumage puffed out to ward off the midwinter chill. The grey and orange flock looked like so many blossoms on the rustling branches.

Zebra Finches are gregarious, forming a lifelong bond between pairs.

In this painting, the male is identified by his orange cheek patch and white-spotted orange flanks. The female lacks such vivid colouring but is distinguished by her red-orange bill. Juveniles have black bills.

artist’s process

  • I developed this composition to emphasise the birds but also the weather
  • loose brushstrokes of raw umber and burnt umber imply the wintry breeze

    copyright megan spiers
    On show at “Feather & Ochre” exhibition, Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney November 2011

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