Black throated Finch
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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. Black throated finch
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  • An Australian Finch
  • Scientific Name:  Poephila cincta
  • Sub Species:  3....Diggles (Black rumped) = Poephila cincta atropygialis. Chocolate Diggles (Black rumped) = Poephila cincta nigrotecta.  Nominate form = Chocolate Parson's (White rumped) =  Poephila cincta cincta.
  • Origin / Distribution:  East coast of New South Wales & Queensland
  • Habitat In Wild: Open scrub and grasslands as well as farmlands.
  • Status In Wild:  Declining in most areas, probably due to loss of suitable habitat.
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity: Secure. Pure forms of each sub-species may be hard to find.
  • Age To Sexual Maturity: ?
  • Adult plumage: attained by about  4 months of age.  Good healthy birds present well with near perfect plumage.
  • Best breeding years (estimate): 2nd - 5th
  • Lifespan (estimate): About 7 - 8 years
  • Sexing: Monomorphic / Dimorphic
  • Mutations: Yes
  • Availability: Pet shops and bird dealers
  • Temperament: The Black throated finch is usually non-aggressive, good beginners bird, however some birds may be aggressive to smaller finches.  One of the best Australian finches to breed and may breed year round.  Do not mix with Masked or Long tailed finches due to the possibility of hybridization.  Only house one type of Black throated finches per aviary to avoid hybridizing the sub-species.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour All forms (Approx) $90
  • Description Of Adults:
  1. Length: Approx. 100 - 110 mm (or 4 - 4.5 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Approx. 20 gms (or about 2/3 oz)
Aviary Notes:

Read notes on "Finches - Australian" web page and use in conjunction with details outlined on this page.

Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist Breeders Only.

Government Regulations & By-Laws:  Refer to "Government Laws" page.

Housing Requirements:  Click on "Housing birds" web page for general details on the housing of Australian Finches or read on for specific details for this finch.

The Black throated finch can be bred in a colony or in a mixed species collection in a large planted aviary but better success is generally achieved when housed as one pair per aviary.  A single pair can be bred in cabinet or large canary style cage.  Do not house Black throated, Long tailed, or Masked finches together as hybridization may occur.  Fully covered aviary roof is preferable.

If housed in a cabinet or canary style cage, the birds should be given access to an aviary during the non-breeding season to improve their fitness and minimize the rise of becoming overweight.

Diet / Feeding:  Click on "Feeding birds" web page for general details on the nutrition of Australian Finches or read on for specific details for this finch.

The Black throated finch requires a good quality finch seed mix, seeding grasses and green leafy vegetables such as silverbeet, endive and spinach.  Live food is essential at breeding season and beneficial throughout the rest of the year.  Mealworms, small crickets and small locusts are good.  Sprouted or soaked seed if available.

Basic seed mix should include Canary seed, Japanese Millet, and Yellow and Red Panicum.

Nesting:  A basic overview only.

  • Roosting nest: Yes
  • Nesting months: Will bred year round if conditions are suitable.  Spring to early Autumn is preferred.
  • Nesting receptacles:  The Black throated finch will accept a wide variety of nesting options such as short native shrubs or dry brush such as tea tree as well as the  timber nest box, natural hollow log and the wicker commercial nests.
  • Nest:  Both parents build a large dome shaped nest made out of grasses and with a long tunnel entrance.  Nest is lined with feathers and soft fine grasses such as November or Swamp grass.
  • Who incubates the eggs: Hen / cock / both share.

Some pairs of Black throated finch will build a new nest for each clutch while others will reuse the old one after it has been relined.  Adequate nest material must be available throughout the year for the roosting nest/s as well as the nests during breeding season.  Some Black throated finch pairs will rob nest material from other nests if there is inadequate quantity of their preferred nesting material available elsewhere.

In an aviary it is generally safe to leave the young in the same aviary as the parent birds after they become independent.  However, if the young show signs of being disruptive to the parent birds or other species, remove the young to another cage or aviary.  Young birds (when they become fully independent) must be removed when bred in a cage.  The young may try to roost in nests occupied by other nesting pairs.

The Black throated finch will build a nest in the top third of the aviary, i.e. within a metre of the roof.

More details on finch nests and a selection of finch nest photos can be located on the "nests", "finch nests" and "finch nest photos" web pages.  Click on "Up" then "nests" then "finch nests" and "finch nests photos" in the navigation bars.

Breeding: Egg Colour White.  Clutch/s per year 3 - 4.  Eggs per nest 4 - 7.  Incubation approx 14 days.  Fledge approx. 21 days.  Independent approx. another 21 - 28 days.  The young may return to the nest for about one week after fledging.

Form strong pair bonds.  Can be housed as a colony and the cock birds will defend the territory around their nest.  As with many other species of Australian finches in a colony situation, there will soon establish a pair that becomes the "dominant pair".  The dominant pair will usually produce more young than any other pairs of that particular species.  The least dominant pair may produce no young in a breeding season.  Removing the least dominant birds to an aviary without any other black throated finches will allow these birds to resume normal productive breeding behaviours and results.

Like most finch species, the Black throated finch hen should be allowed to fully mature and not be allowed to breed till about 12 months of age.

One pair will breed in a large Canary style cage.  Young can be fostered with Bengalese but the young must be removed as soon as they become independent and placed with their own species.  If they are left with the Bengalese too long they may imprint on the Bengalese and mimic some Bengalese traits such as the Bengalese song.  They may want to mate with a Bengalese instead of one of their own species when they become sexually mature.

Limit pairs to 3 clutches per year.  More than 3 nests per year may be detrimental to the long-term breeding health of the hen.

Nest inspection of the should be kept to a minimum.  The young Black throated finch can be leg rung as soon as they leave the nest.

Artificial incubation, hand rearing or fostering will not be covered on this web site.  It is too complex and diverse in nature to be attempted here.  Refer "Specific References" as listed below and "General References" listings.

Health Issues: Refer "Avian Health Issues" web page for information and references.

  • Worming and parasite control and Quarantine requirements of new birds or sick birds are considered to require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on this web site.  Refer above option "Avian Health Issues" web page.
  • Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace.  Keep updating your knowledge and skills.

General References:  Refer to references listed on "Book References" web page.

Specific References:

  • Australian Aviculture

  • A/A Vol 60 No. 6 Jun 2006 Page 133.
  • A/A Vol 58 No. 12 Dec 2004 Page 261-264.
  • A/A Vol 56 No. 8 Aug 2002 Page 172-173
  • A/A Vol 46 No. 12 Dec 1992 Page 292-294 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol 40 No. 11 Nov 1986 Page 257-258 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol 39 No. 12 Dec 1985 Page 287-288(Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol 36 No. 9 Sept 1982 Page 198-206 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol 33 No. 3 Mar 1979 Page 43-48 (Inc photos)
  • A/A Vol 25 No. 12 Dec 1971 Page 185-186.
  • A/A Vol 12 No 10 Oct 1958 Page 129-132.
  • A/A Vol 11 No 8 Aug 1957 Page 113.
  • A/A Vol  8 No 10 Oct 1954 Page 122-123.
  • A/A Vol  8 No 6 Jun 1954 Page 74-75.
  • A/A Vol  6 No 6 Jun 1952 Page 74, 69.
  • A/A Vol  4 No 1 Jan 1950 Page 11-12.
  • A/A Vol  3 No 9 Sept 1949 Page 98 (Sexing Aust. finches).
  • A/A Vol  1 No 12 Dec 1947.
  • Australian Birdkeeper
  • ABK Vol 14 Issue 10. Aug-Sept 2001 Page 578-581.
  • ABK Vol  4 Issue 8. Apr-May 1991 Page 381-385
  • ABK Vol  2 Issue 12. Dec-Jan 1990 Page 473-477

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