OTHER NAMES: Banded Grass Finch, Black-rumped Finch, Black-rumped Grass Finch, Black Throat, Parson Finch, Diggle's Finch.
to large grassfinch which resembles the Long-tailed
Males have blue-grey heads with a blue-white ear patch. Throat and upper breast
is black. Flanks, belly and lower breast light brown, back fawn- brown. Black bar on rump, black patch between eye and bill. Bill
is black , legs orange-red.
Females resemble males, but are identified by having a comparatively smaller throat patch. Immature birds resemble adults but have duller plumage still.
Aviculturalists recognise a form found in northern Cape York Peninsula (P.c. nigrotecta) and is often referred to as the Chocolate Parson Finch or Chocolate Diggle's Finch. The essential difference between this and the nominate form is that it is darker brown in colour overall.
North-eastern Australia from Cape York southwards to northern New South Wales. Diggles occurs north of Cairns-Normanton (QLD).
Undergrowth in tropical and warm temperate savannah woodland - rarely far from water.
and half-ripe seeds of grasses, substituted with small insects, ants and
In captivity, a good quality finch seed mix should be the mainstay of the diet. This should be supplemented with greenfood (eg half ripened seed heads of grasses or most other herbs from the garden such as Shepherd's Purse, Dandelion and Chickweed, or any vegetables such as silverbeet, lettuce, etc.).
Many aviculturalists provide live food (often mealworms) during the breeding season although others have had good results without it. Lastly, it is important to provide birds with ample grit (fine) and perhaps cuttle-fish where possible.
year round, but mainly autumn in the north and spring in the south.
The nest is woven of dead grass and is flask-shaped (250mm long x 140mm high and 110mm wide). Usually placed in eucalypt twigs, but also hollows , termite mounds and even foundations of hawk nests.
Both sexes participate in construction of the nest and in the incubation of the eggs. At night, both birds may share the nest.
In captivity Black-throated Finches will accept a variety of nesting receptacles. For convenience and cost reduction it is probably best to provide them with woven cane baskets. Good pairs may produce as many as four broods a year.
Males approach females with a series of bobbing movements. The feathers on the head and chest are often ruffed. Females may also bob to some extent.
Most birds do not breed until second year.
4-5 white eggs (18-7mm x 12mm). Incubation period: 14 days. The young usually fledge at around 21 days.
Mutations and Hybrids:
are several known mutations for this species: The chocolate form is a naturally
occurring mutation. In captivity, the following colour mutations occur: Pied, White, Cream and Fawn.
Black-throated Finches are known to have hybridised with the Zebra Finch, Double-barred Finch, Masked Finch, Long-tailed Finch,Spice Finch, Cut- throat Finch, Red-headed Parrot-finch, Bengalese Finch and White-headed Munia.
Suitable Aviaries and Compatible Birds
breeding purposes Black-throated Finches will be quite happy in suspended cages
or breeding cabinets. These should have at least the following dimensions: 700mm(long) x 400mm x 400mm. These birds are at their best
in larger planted aviaries. Such an aviary should provde plenty of shelter and should probably have a roof
over at least half its area.
Black-throated finches will readily share an aviary with most other finches (eg. zebra, painted, parrot, etc etc), quail, doves and even neophema parrots.
Species Specific Problems
This species tends to be prone to infestation with endoparasites such as intestinal worms, and to Cocidiosis.