Double-barred Finch

Did you know?

The nestlings of Double-barred Finches beg with their heads down to one side. This is unique to the grass-finch and waxbill family.

Calls
A brassy, drawn-out 'tzeeaat, tzeeaat'; also a low 'tat tat'
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
No
Minimum Size: 
10cm
Maximum Size: 
12cm
Average size: 
11cm
Average weight: 
10g
Breeding season: 
After rain in north and inland.
Clutch Size: 
4 to 7 eggs
Incubation: 
14 days
Nestling Period: 
21 days
Conservation Status
Federal: 
NSW: 
NT: 
QLD: 
WA: 
Basic Information
Scientific Name: 
Featured bird groups: 
Atlas Number: 
655
What does it look like?
Description: 

The Double-barred Finch is one of the long-tailed grass-finches and is notable for its 'owl-faced' features, having a white face bordered black. It is grey-brown, with white underparts banded black above and below the chest, giving the species its name. The wings are black, spotted white, the tail is black and the bill and legs are blueish-grey. Juveniles are dulller, with indistinct chest bars. These grass-finches usually feed in flocks and have a bouncing, undulating flight pattern.

Similar species: 

There are two subspecies of Double-barred Finch: the eastern race has a white rump and the western race has a black rump. Otherwise, distinguished form other finches by its 'owl-face'.

Where does it live?
Distribution: 

The Double-barred Finch is found in the Kimberley region through to west of the Gulf of Carpentaria (the western race annulosa), and then from Cape York down the east coast to south-eastern Victoria (the eastern race, bichenovii).

Habitat: 

The Double-barred Finch prefers dry grassy woodlands and scrublands, open forests and farmlands. It is never far from water.

Seasonal movements: 

Nomadic; only an occasional visitor to extreme south-eastern part of range.

What does it do?
Feeding: 

The Double-barred Finch feeds on the ground on seeds. It will also take insects, especially when breeding. It usually feeds in groups or flocks of up to 40 birds.

Breeding: 

The Double-barred Finch builds a rounded nest, with a side entrance and short tunnel into a inner chamber lined with fine grass, feathers and plant down. The nest is placed between 1 m to 5 m from the ground in pandanus or thick shrubs, or even in the eaves of a building, often close to an active wasps' nest. Both parents incubate and feed the young.

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