. Double bar finch
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- An Australian Finch
(Click on photo to enlarge)
- Scientific Name: Taeniopygia bichenovii
( or Poephila bichenovii )
- Common Name/s:
DOUBLE BAR FINCH, DOUBLE BARRED FINCH, BLACK RUMPED
DOUBLE BARRED FINCH, WHITE RUMPED DOUBLE BARRED FINCH,
OWL FINCH, BICHENO'S FINCH.
- Sub Species: 2....Taeniopygia
bichenovii bichenovii = white rump. Taeniopygia bichenovii annulosa
= black rump.
- Origin / Distribution: Top
part of Western Australia, Northern
and eastern Australia, down to southern New South Wales.
- Habitat In Wild: Diverse,
including farmland and has adapted well to urban areas.
- Status In Wild: Secure
- Status In (Australian) Captivity:
- Age To Sexual Maturity: Probably
about 6 - 8 months.
They form pair bonds early, usually before reaching sexual maturity. Although they are sexually mature at about 9 months of age, it is
better if the hens can be about 12 months of age prior to them laying.
- Adult plumage: attained at about 2
months of age.
- Best breeding years (estimate):
12 months to 4th year
- Lifespan (estimate):
about 7 years.
- Sexing: Monomorphic
/ Dimorphic. Difficult to sex.
- Mutations: One - Fawn
- Availability: Bird dealers
- Temperament: Does well as a colony
of breeding Double bars. They are usually non-aggressive birds and
are suitable for a mixed species finch
They are swift agile fliers.
- Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: -
Normal colour (Approx) Black rumped $100, White rumped $60.
- Description Of Adults: Smallest of
the Australian Grassfinches.
- Length: Approx. 110 - 115 mm (or about 4.5 inches)
- Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer
photos above -
top right of page. (Click on photo to enlarge).
- Weight: Approx. 7 gms (or 1/4 oz)
The Zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and the Double Bar finch
(Taeniopygia bichenovii) are the two members of the family Taeniopygia.
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.
If the Double Bar finches are kept
as one pair per aviary
they only need a small aviary. A larger aviary is required in they
are housed with other finches or as a colony. Like the Zebra finch
they can be bred in a cabinet style (canary breeder cage) cages, however
breeding results may be less than if housed in an aviary. 2 or 3 pairs
in an aviary will give good breeding results. Up to 6 pairs can
form a good breeding colony if space is available.
Usually housed in a fully roofed aviary.
A well planted aviary, including tall grasses is preferable.
The Double Bar finch are usually non-aggressive birds and are suitable for a mixed
species finch collection, however they should not be housed with other
species of aggressive birds. They do not handle aggression from
more dominant species and this may cause the Double Bar birds to fail to
breed or die.
Do not house the different types
together as they may hybridize. Keep the two breeding lines pure.
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 Double Bar finch requires a good quality finch mix, seeding grasses
and some fruits (e.g. apple) and green leafy vegetables. Live food is
beneficial, especially at breeding season. Small to medium size mealworms are commonly
used. Sprouted or soaked seed if available. Seeding grasses are an
important diet item for good results.
Basic seed mix should include Canary
seed, White French Millet, Japanese Millet, and Yellow and Red Panicum.
A basic overview only.
- Roosting nest: Yes, and
often shared by many birds.
- Nesting months: May
breed year round if conditions are suitable. Spring to early
autumn is preferable.
- Nesting receptacles:
The Double Bar finch will make their nest in shrubs or dry brush such as tea tree.
Will use half open nest boxes and other commercially available
nests. They may use an abandoned finch nest and
remodel it to their requirements.
- Nest: Both parents
build a dome shaped nest made from grasses, coconut fibre etc that may have an entrance tunnel. Nest is
lined with feathers and soft fine grasses. Swamp grass and
November grass are ideal.
- Who incubates the eggs:
Hen / cock / both share.
Double bar finches are generally intolerant of
nest inspections. Double Bar finches like a lot of privacy around
the nest site. The more privacy they get, often the better the
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.
Egg Colour White. Clutch/s
per year 2 - 3. Eggs per nest 4 - 6. Incubation
approx 13 - 14 days. Fledge approx. 21 days.
Independent approx. another 3 - 4 weeks. The young
will often return to the nest after they fledge.
Although they are sexually mature at about 9 months of age, it is
better if the hens can be about 12 months of age prior to them laying.
In an aviary it is generally safe to leave
the young in the same aviary as the parents after they become fully independent.
A leg ring will be necessary to identify individual birds in a colony.
As the young will obtain adult plumage at about 3 months of age, a
numbered leg ring may be the only way of identifying the young from
adult birds. Young
birds (when they become fully independent) must be removed when bred in
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 "Avian Health Issues"
web page option.
- 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.
- A/A Vol 59 No. 3 Mar 2005 Page 61-64 (Inc photo).
- A/A Vol 52 No.11 Nov 1998 Page 249-252 (Inc photo)
- A/A Vol 52 No. 7 July 1998 Page 159-161 (Inc photo)
- A/A Vol 52 No. 3 Mar 1998 Page 49-50 (Inc photo)
- A/A Vol 45 No. 8 Aug 1991 Page 181-182
- A/A Vol 42 No. 2 Feb 1988 Page 45-46
- A/A Vol 39 No. 12 Dec 1985 Page 289 (Inc
- A/A Vol 32 No. 11 Nov 1978 Page 165-166
- A/A Vol 30 No. 1 Jan 1976 Page
- A/A Vol 22 No 10 Oct 1968 Page 156-157.
- A/A Vol 20 No 2 Feb 1966 Page 14-15 (Black rumped).
- A/A Vol 14 No. 8 Aug 1960 Page 110-112.
- A/A Vol 9 No 12 Dec 1955 Page 141.
- A/A Vol 6 No 10 Oct 1952 Page 123.
- A/A Vol 3 No 9 Sept 1949 Page 98 (Sexing Aust. finches).
- A/A Vol 1 No 4 Apr 1947.
- The Bulletin No 24, Oct 1944 Page 2.
- Australian Birdkeeper
- ABK Vol 17 Issue 1. Feb-Mar 2004 Page 6-8
(Sexing Double bars).
- ABK Vol 13 Issue 6 Dec-Jan 2001 Page 311-314
- ABK Vol 2 Issue 11 Oct-Nov 1989 Page 435-438
- ABK Vol 2 Issue 9 Jun-July 1989 Page 334-335
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