Black throated finch
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- An Australian Finch
- Scientific Name: Poephila cincta
- Common Name/s:
BLACK THROATED FINCH, DIGGLES FINCH, PARSONS FINCH, CHOCOLATE
DIGGLES FINCH, CHOCOLATE PARSON'S FINCH, BLACK THROATED
- 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
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
months of age. Good healthy birds present well with near perfect
- Best breeding years (estimate):
2nd - 5th
- Lifespan (estimate): About 7 - 8
- Sexing: Monomorphic
- Mutations: Yes
- Availability: Pet shops and bird
- 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:
- Length: Approx. 100 - 110 mm (or 4 - 4.5 inches)
- Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer
photo/s above if available.
- Weight: Approx. 20 gms (or about 2/3 oz)
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.
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
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
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.
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 /
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
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
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.
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
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.
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"
- Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace. Keep
updating your knowledge and skills.
Refer to references listed on "Book
References" web page.
- 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
- A/A Vol 39 No. 12 Dec 1985 Page
- 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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