Double-barred Finch (Taeniopygia bichenoii)

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Double-barred Finch
Taeniopygia bichenoii
Double-barred Finch (Taeniopygia bichenoii)
Name Double-barred Finch
Name Lat. Taeniopygia bichenoii
Synonym Poephila bichenovii
Family Estrildid Finches
Family lat. Estrildidae
Order Perching Birds
Order lat. Passeriformes
Origin Australia
Climate Subtropical - tropical
Diet Estrilded Finch seed, veggies, insects
Keeping Pair, group
Care Level Easy
Reproduction Finch nest
Life Span 5-10 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 10 cm
Temperature Room temperature
Housing 80 x 40 x 40 cm
US Units
Size 3.9"
Temperature Room temperature
Housing 30" x 15" x 15"

Distribution and habitat

The distribution area of the ringed astril is the north and east of Australia. They live in eucalyptus savannas as well as on field and forest edges, always near waterholes. Since the export ban in 1960 they are only available as offspring

Cage size

The minimum cage size is 80 x 40 x 40 cm (L x W x H) for a pair. The cage size must not be undercut even in case of justified single keeping. For an additional 2-3 birds, assuming species compatibility, the floor space must be increased by 25%. The cage must be placed in a bright, draught-free and quiet place at a height of at least 80 cm (except aviaries), have a rectangular base and be opaque on three sides, aviaries on one side. Keeping in an aviary is preferable.


The floor must be covered with sand, wood granulate, bark mulch or similar material and must be cleaned regularly. At least 3 perches made of wood or branches of varying thickness and height must be installed in such a way that they can only be reached by flying and that the longest possible flight distance is created. They need a bathing opportunity as well as biotope-like hiding, sleeping and nesting possibilities. It is recommended to provide them with grasses, twigs and bushes. The room temperature must not fall below 15 °C.


The species-specific feed offer consists of mixed seeds, available in specialized trade as "exotic feed" in premium quality, supplemented with red foxtail millet, green feed (chickweed, green panicle millet, fresh grass panicles, cucumber slices etc.), tangle grass seeds, insect feed and especially for the rearing of young germinated seeds (millet, oats) and insect larvae such as small skinned oats.), tangle grass seeds, insect food and, especially for raising young, germinated seeds (millet, oats), egg food and insect larvae, such as small, skinned, cut-up mealybug larvae, ant pupae, pinkies and small buffalos. Charcoal, vitamine lime and shell grit are needed as digestive aids. Drinking water must always be available in birdbaths or in stable, open containers. Food and water must be offered fresh daily, and the containers must be cleaned beforehand.

A varied diet promotes health and prevents deficiency symptoms.

Reproduction and breeding

The sex difference is difficult to discern. The males have broad black bands on the throat and chest, which are somewhat narrower in the females. The white between the throat and breast and above the eyes is slightly grayer in females. Males can be recognized by their mating song.

They like to nest in biotope-like facilities such as basket nests (bionesters) and half-open nest boxes of medium size or also freely in the branches (e.g. broom, bamboo, reeds). Suitable nesting material is sisal, coconut fibers, long grasses as well as animal hair and feathers for padding. The clutch consists of 4-5 eggs, the incubation period is about 12 days. The breeding season is, biologically speaking, year-round. When breeding, the room temperature should be at least 18 °C.


They must not be kept in a round cage. For flock keeping, an aviary is required. In the case of outdoor aviary keeping, they also need a heated shelter of at least 1 m² floor space and 1.70 m height, which can be visited by the birds at any time.  The temperature in the shelter must not fall below 15 °C and the furnishings must correspond to those of cage keeping.

They may only be kept in pairs or in a group or flock. Socialization with other finches is possible

In rooms, including shelters, sufficient daylight or flicker-free artificial light (stroboscopic effect) corresponding to daylight must be provided. The lighting duration shall be 8-14 hours per day and the natural day-night rhythm shall be observed. Adequate indoor climate shall be provided. The health condition of the birds shall be checked daily

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: Othmar Sieberer; Image: Franz Lowak

Source: BMELV (1995): Tierschutzgutachten - Mindestanforderungen an die Haltung von Kleinvögeln; BIELFELD (1996): Das Prachtfinken-Buch, Verlag Eugen Ulmer; GRUMMT & STREHLOW (2009): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Vögel, Verlag Harri Deutsch

  • Gemäß § 21 Abs. 5 Tierschutzgesetz idgF