South East Queensland Zebra 
Finch Society Inc.

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HISTORY:       Originally called Normal Blue. In the mid 1960s Mr W. (Bill) Pilmer of Dee Why West in Sydney was asked to look at some unusual Zebras in the aviaries of a Narrabeen breeder. The birds were a lighter grey body colour, with normal cheek patches and side flanks but all black markings replaced with dark grey. Birds were obtained and passed on to Mr Bruce Read who developed the mutation and named it Normal Blue. In Sydney these birds were not accepted on the show bench and subsequently seemed to disappear. However, in 1978, Mr Geoff Roberts of Glenbrook produced 3 cock birds from the offspring of birds traced back to Mr Bruce Read. The variety was then re-established.

In 1995 the Federation of Zebra Finch Societies Australia changed the name to SLATE



  • Slate x Slate = Slate cocks and hens
  • Slate x Grey = Grey/slate cocks and hens *
  • Grey/slate x Slate = Slate & Grey/slate cocks and hens *
  • Grey/slate x Grey = Grey & Grey/slate cocks and hens **
  • Grey/slate x Grey/slate = Grey, Slate & Grey/slate cocks and hens **

* The reverse matings will give the same results.

** This mating is not recommended as it is visually impossible to detect which Greys are pure.




  • General colour too light                                 
  • Wing feathers edged ginger &/or white        
  • Tail coverts lighter than breast bar                
  • Minimum wing ‘mealing’


  • General colour too light
  • Faint breast bar 
  • Minimum wing ‘mealing’




GENERAL:   Slates are the result of combining the 'recessive dilute' factor with Grey; this 'RD' factor can be transferred onto other colours, ie. Fawn (Beige) & CFW. Generally Slates carry good type, having been bred through good Greys. Some Slates are very dark and can be mistaken for poorly coloured Greys but most are in fact lighter than the standard.




  • Eyes  -  Dark     
  • Beak  -  Red
  • Feet & Legs  -  Orange 
  • Head, neck & wings  -  Slate  
  • Under parts  -  White to buff near vent
  • Tear Drop  -  Dark grey    
  • Face Area  -  White
  • Breast Bar  -  Dark grey
  • Cheek Lobes  -  Orange-brown
  • Throat & Upper Breast  -  Slate, with dark grey lines
  • Side Flanks  -  Reddish-brown, with white spots
  • Tail Coverts  -  Slate, with white bars
  • Tail  -  1 shade lighter than coverts
  • Rump  -  white



  • Beak  -  Red
  • Under parts  -  White to buff near vent
  • Face Area  -  White