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Bird Double-barred Finch (Taeniopygia bichenovii)

auscraft

Henry Arthur Readford
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Common Name: Double-barred Finch

Scientific name: Taeniopygia bichenovii

Family: Passeridae

Order: Passeriformes

Other Names: north Australia and along the eact coast down to Victoria

Distribution: native to Australia mainland.

Habitat: dry grassy woodlands and scrublands, open forests ,farmlands and never far from water.

Field Notes: one of the long-tailed grass-finches and is noted 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.

Photos by Auscraft, 2011. My Yard, QLD

View attachment 917

Photo By Auscraft Sept 2011
 
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Dusty Miller

Alexander Pearce
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dbf2-1.jpg

Pair sitting in nest at night.
 

Dusty Miller

Alexander Pearce
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Nearly took my head off when I walked past in the day time (rootstock of citrus tree, very very prickly) returned at night to see what they were, there are two nests in ths one small tree.

dbf1.jpg
 

Blake

Nest In the Hills
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Very cute bird. Great shots as usual guys. I'll keep an eye out for these guys. Do the stay reasonably close to water?
 

Dusty Miller

Alexander Pearce
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Hi Blake,

They seem to move around reasonable distances (~30 km) in large flocks over the seasons. The flocks here occasionally contain zebra finches as well.
They do not travel far from water but they don't need much water. So in areas with farmland, dams and cattle troughs assist them, as does the improved pasture which provides a year round supply of different types of seed. This is another species that has done well from European settlement. They even benefit from weeds like African boxthorn, which is very prickly and provides a sheltered nest site (important for small defenceless birds). These birds were in a very thorny citrus rootstock run wild.

They are often sold in pet shops too, having been a popular cage bird for many years.
 

Blake

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Thank you for that dusty miller. Very interesting. So do they tend to nest in natural vegetation only? Will you see them nesting around verandas or houses too?
 

Dusty Miller

Alexander Pearce
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I think in captivity they will make do with a great many receptacles, but yes, low thorny bushes are preferred for little birds generally. The nest is fairly large for such a small bird, I'll try to get some shots without undue disturbance. Being seed eaters, they like my unkempt grassy paddocks. I also have brown quail on my block too. City lawns are never allowed to seed, so there is nothing for them there.
 

Dusty

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These birds move so quickly, difficult to photograph. I was very fortunate to have this one stay a little while taking interest in what I was doing. I was fortunate to capture 360 degree aspect.

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Further Notes
There are two subspecies, eastern race bichenovii has a white rump where as the western race annulosa has a black rump. When nesting 1 m to 5 m from the ground they often are close to an active wasps' nest as a major feed source for their young.

Photo: Jan 2012 Location: Gordonbrook dam, SEQ.
 
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Dusty Miller

Alexander Pearce
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Some of them seem to have clear face markings, some appear less distinct and brownish rather than white, are these the juveniles?

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Hairyman

Ludwig Leichhardt
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Yes,.... according to Simpson and Day's depiction of a juv. double-bar
in their Field Guide.
 

Dusty

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This group hangs around our backyard. Photos show a mixture of both adults and juvaniles. The juvs are duller with indistinct chest bars.

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Dusty Miller

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DSCF4213 (640x480).jpg

This one has taken to eating moths off the window at night.
 
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