Doublebarred finch

Taeniopygia bichenovii

SUBFAMILY

Poephilinae

TAXONOMY

Fringilla bichenovii Vigors and Horsfield, 1827. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Bicheno finch, owl finch, owl-faced finch, banded finch, ringed finch, black-ringed finch; French: Diamant de Bichenov; German: Ringelastrild; Spanish: Pinzón de Dos Barras.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

3.9-4.3 in (10-11 cm). Sexes alike. Juveniles are a paler version of adults. The double-barred finch is brown with white spots on the upper wings. The underparts and face are cream, with the face surrounded by a black ring. There is another black bar across the lower breast.

DISTRIBUTION

Northern and eastern Australia.

HABITAT

Inhabits dry, open areas including grass plains, open woodland, forest edges, cane fields, inhabited and cultivated areas, and parks and gardens.

BEHAVIOR

Found in small flocks during the breeding season and in larger flocks when not breeding. Roosts communally in specially built nests. The call is a "tat, tat" or a "tiaat, tiaat." The song is a softer version of that of the zebra finch.

Taeniopygia bichenovii

| Resident

Erythrura prasina | Resident

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Feeds among grasses and on the ground where it consumes a variety of seeds and undoubtedly a small quantity of insects. This species drinks in a pigeon-like manner.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Breeds year-round with three to six white eggs laid. Builds an almost spherical nest of dry grass stems or uses old nests of other species.

CONSERVATION STATUS Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Commonly kept and bred in captivity where it is known as the owl finch. ♦

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