A small uniquely patterned, double-barred bird who does his very best to look like an owl!
THE DOUBLE-BARRED FINCH
The double-barred finch (Stizoptera bichenovii) has mainly brown upper parts right from the crown to the back, with weak blackish barring. Underparts, meanwhile, are mainly white, as is the throat which is boarded with a double narrow black band. The rump and upper tail-coverts are white while the tail is black. The breast is gray to white with faint grey barring on the sides. The forehead is black while the face is white, a pattern similar to facial disks some owl species have which are bordered in black. They have a strong pale blue bill, grey legs, and feet, and dark brown eyes.
Males and females look very much alike, though males have thicker chest bars and a more white face and breast.
– An eye-popping blend of outstanding orange and vivid vermillion well and truly sets him apart from the more mundane members of his species!
Juvenile birds have a similar pattern to adult birds, though their plumage is browner overall.
These birds can be found in northern and eastern Australia.
This is a bird that is never far from water, often frequenting open woodlands and forest edges, grassy woodlands, scrublands, farmlands, roadside shelter belts, parks, and rural and suburban gardens.
The Double-barred Finch feeds primarily on seeds from several types of grass and herbs. It may occasionally take insects and their larvae during the breeding season.
The breeding season for the Double-barred finch takes place in the second half of the west season in Northern Australia, however, it is all year round in Queensland and between July through to November in New South Wales. During this time these birds build a ball-shaped nest built with grass and a side entrance leading to an interior line with soft grass and down. This nest is built in a small tree or bush around 1 to 5 meters above ground level. The female lays 3 to 6 eggs within and incubates them along with the male for around 11 – 13 days. Chicks fledge after 19 days.
A bird sometimes kept as a caged bird, this species is not currently considered as threatened by the IUCN, in spite of some declines in the eastern coastal regions.
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