Description: The double-barred finch (Taeniopygia bichenovii), or Owl Finch, is an estrildid finch found in dry savannah, tropical (lowland) dry grassland and shrubland habitats in northern and eastern Australia. They are sometimes referred to as Bicheno's finch; and also as owl finch, owing to the dark ring of feathers around their faces. The name of the species commemorates James Ebenezer Bicheno, a colonial secretary of Van Diemen's Land appointed in September 1842. The Owl finch needs generous housing, and does best in a larger space. An aviary is great, one that’s full of branches and safe foliage. They will get along with most other Australian and Old World finches, as well as canaries, but they don’t like to be crowded.
Song/Call: Click to hear the Owl Finch
Size: Approximately 4.33"
Life Span: Up to 10 years
Sexing: Monomorphic (visually difficult to sex). DNA testing is available to ensure desired gender.
If there is not a gender option listed for this bird on our website, that particular species is 'monomorphic', which means we’re unable to determine gender without DNA testing. DNA testing is an additional $99 per bird to be tested. If you want us to do our best without DNA testing, just make a note in the comment section of your order letting us know your preference. Please note that if no DNA testing is ordered, we are unable to guarantee a preferred gender but will do our best. See our FAQs for more info.
Temperament: Social, friendly, active, peaceful. Owl finches are also active little birds and curious, too. They will come check anything new added to their aviary or flight cage.
Breeding: These gregarious seed-eating birds build their nests in grass, a bush or low tree, and lay four eggs. Owl finches are generally good parents, but some can be a little too carefree with their sitting habits, or can toss the occasional baby out of the nest. It’s convenient to have other similarly sized finches nesting at the same time, such as zebra and society finches, who will generally willingly foster the eggs or babies. Owls that are good parents will also foster other species as well.
Diet: Classic Finch Seed, Millet, Dried Egg Food, Mineral Grit, live food (mealworms), greens