Owl Finch

Owl Finch
Scientific NameTaeniopygia bichenovii
Common NameOwl Finch, Double-barred Finch
Care LevelIntermediate
Lifespan5-8 years
Adult Size4-4.5 inches
DietSeeds, insects, greens
OriginAustralia
TemperamentSocial, Gentle

History & Domestication

The Owl Finch, often referred to as the Double-barred Finch due to the distinctive double white stripes on its wings, is a native of Australia. Found primarily in the grasslands and forests of Northern and Eastern Australia, the Owl Finch has been admired for its unique appearance and gentle temperament.

Over time, bird enthusiasts worldwide took an interest in the Owl Finch, leading to its domestication. While the domesticated Owl Finch retains much of its wild behavior, selective breeding has resulted in variations in its color patterns, further increasing its appeal to avian hobbyists.

Size

The Owl Finch is a petite bird, measuring between 4 to 4.5 inches in length. Their small size, combined with their lively nature, makes them a delightful addition to any aviary. However, due to their activity levels, they require ample space despite their diminutive stature.

Lifespan

With proper care, Owl Finches can live anywhere between 5 to 8 years. Their lifespan can be maximized by ensuring they have a balanced diet, a clean habitat, and regular health check-ups.

Breeding

Owl Finches are known to be prolific breeders when given the right conditions. They typically prefer nesting in natural materials like grass and prefer a semi-enclosed space for added security. The average clutch size for Owl Finches ranges from 4 to 6 eggs, which usually hatch within 12 to 14 days. Both parents share the responsibility of feeding and taking care of the chicks until they’re ready to fledge, which is typically around 20-23 days post-hatching.

Unique Features

The Owl Finch gets its name from its facial appearance, which strikingly resembles that of an owl. This resemblance is due to the distinct white face and black eye bands. Furthermore, the double white bars on their black wings give them the alternative name, Double-barred Finch.

Behavior and Temperament

Renowned for their sociable nature, Owl Finches thrive when in the company of their kind. They’re peaceable birds and can be housed with other similar-sized finch species without much trouble. Their charming antics, playful behavior, and soft chirps make them a favorite among bird enthusiasts.

Handling

Owl Finches, like most finches, aren’t particularly fond of handling. They’re best appreciated from a distance. However, they can grow accustomed to their caregivers’ presence over time, especially if the interaction is consistent and non-threatening.

Grooming Needs

Being self-reliant in their grooming habits, Owl Finches love to indulge in bird baths. Providing them with a shallow dish filled with water will cater to this natural inclination. While they maintain their nails through regular activity, occasionally, they might require trimming if they grow too long.

Diet & Nutrition

A balanced diet for Owl Finches primarily consists of seeds, particularly millet. However, they also benefit from the occasional offering of leafy greens and small insects, providing them with essential nutrients. Ensuring they have access to clean water daily is paramount.

Temperature

Owl Finches, being natives of Australia, are used to warmer climates. Ideally, they should be kept in temperatures ranging from 65°F to 75°F. Sudden temperature drops or drafts should be avoided, as these can be detrimental to their health.

Common Health Issues

Owl Finches, like other avian species, can be susceptible to various health concerns. These include parasitic infestations, respiratory issues, and bacterial infections. Monitoring their behavior for any changes and scheduling regular vet visits can aid in early detection and treatment of potential health problems.

Habitat Requirements

To cater to their active nature, Owl Finches require a spacious cage or aviary. The environment should be enriched with perches, toys, and materials to engage in their natural behaviors like foraging. Avoid placing the cage in direct sunlight or drafty areas. Also, the habitat should be cleaned regularly to prevent bacterial buildup.

Cost of Care

While purchasing an Owl Finch might be moderately priced, prospective owners should account for the ongoing costs. This includes setting up an appropriate habitat, buying quality food, toys, and scheduling regular vet visits. However, for many bird lovers, the pleasure of observing and caring for these delightful creatures is well worth the investment.

Owl Finch FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)