Owl Finch

The owl finch, also known as the double-barred or Bicheno finch, is characterized by a dark patch around their face. It gives them a barn owl like appearance, gaining them the name ‘owl’ finch. The males and females of the species looks almost the same, whereas the young ones have a more brownish appearance.

Owl Finch

Owl Finch

                                             Owl Finch Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Estrildidae
Genus Taeniopygia
Scientific name Taeniopygia bichenovii
Owl Finches Birds

Owl Finches Birds

                                                         Owl Finch Quick Information
Distribution Northern and Eastern Australia
Habitat Dry savannah grasslands and shrub lands
Subspecies Taeniopygia bichenovii bichenoviiTaeniopygia bichenovii annulosa

 

Color White, black, brown
Size 10cm to 11cm
Weight 7g to12g
Diet Seeds
Life span 5 to 7 years
Egg hatching time  12 days
Clutch size 3 to 6 eggs
Fledging 19 to 26 days
Singing Ability Seen only in males
Temperament Active, Gregarious
IUCN Conservation Status Least Concern

Mutations

The different color mutations of the Bicheno finch include:

  • White rumped
  • Black rumped
  • Chocolate-Self
  • Red-Brown
  • Creamino
  • Black-Brown
  • Dominant and Recessive Pied
  • Fawn Pied
  • Crested Chocolate Pied
  • Dilute Fawn Pied
Owl Finch Pictures

Owl Finch Pictures

Owl Finch Photos

Owl Finch Photos

Owl Finch Pet Care

Being friendly and gregarious, they are a good pet choice, especially for first-time bird owners.

Housing

These active finches are to be kept in spacious cages or large planted aviaries. Soft wood or branches form a good perch option.  As they love building their own nests, a half-opened nest box or wicker nest basket should be placed in the cage, along with some coconut fiber and dry grass for nesting material.

Owl Finch Nest

Owl Finch Nest

Substrate

Paper substrates should be placed at the bottom of the cage and changed on a daily basis.

Temperature

As they cannot bear excessive heat or cold, a cool, shady place is well suited for them. When kept indoors, a temperature of more than 65°F is essential for them. During the cold winter months they are to be kept in a heated shelter.

Owl Finch Male Female

Owl Finch Male Female

Baby Owl Finch

Baby Owl Finch

Owl Finch Eggs

Owl Finch Eggs

Temperament

These sociable, friendly, energetic finches are swift climbers, flying around freely when kept in large cages, whereas small enclosures make them panic. Being curious in nature they go forward to check any new addition to their dwellings. They do well with other species, having a similar temperament and size as theirs; however, they dislike being crowded. The male finches become aggressive with one another in the female’s presence during breeding.

Feeding

They should be provided with a mixed diet of soaked or sprouted seeds, spray millet, carrot tops, broccoli tops, chickweed, spinach, lettuce, egg food, cuttlebone and grit. The birds are also fond of small mealworms. Fresh, clean water is to be kept at the foot of the cage.

Owl Finch Images

Owl Finch Images

Owl Finch Bird Pictures

Owl Finch Bird Pictures

Health Problems

Like all other finches they too may suffer from air-sac mite, scaly face and egg-binding. Overgrown beaks and nails is another common condition that needs to be addressed by a vet or professional groomer.

Other facts

  • The finches were named ‘Bicheno’ after James Ebenezer Bicheno, the colonial secretary of Van Diemen’s Land.
  • The only way to determine the monomorphic species is through their song, which is only seen in the males.
  • Both genders exhibit an amusing meowing call similar to a cat.
  • Though the birds generally make good parents, they are sometimes known to throw baby birds out of the nest.

References:

http://www.finchinfo.com/genetics/owl_bicheno_finch/index.php

http://birdcare.com.au/double_bar_finch.htm

http://beautyofbirds.com/owlfinches.html

http://lafeber.com/pet-birds/species/owl-finch/

http://www.efinch.com/species/owl.htm

http://www.finchinfo.com/birds/finches/species/owl_finch.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-barred_finch

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