Zebra finches are small, highly social songbirds of the family Estrildidae, valued by naturalists, researchers, and aviculturalists alike. Studying zebra finches has led to significant advancements in many scientific disciplines, especially neurobiology, including vocal learning, adult neurogenesis, sex steroid signaling and sex dimorphism, and neuronal gene expression. Zebra finches are well adapted to the unpredictable weather and arid climates of Australia, where they live in large colonies and subsist predominantly on the seeds of grasses. They breed readily and opportunistically in the wild and in captivity, and exhibit cooperative parenting strategies. Although domestication has altered some of their social behaviors, much of their natural behavior can be preserved and encouraged through thoughtful aviary design.