The Bicheno Finch originates from Northern and
Eastern regions of Australia.
It is also known as an Owl Finch or Double –
The Bicheno is one of the smallest Australian
finches being approximately 4 inches in size.
It is an attractive, distinctively marked bird.
The average lifespan is 5 – 7 years.
Diet consists of foreign finch seed mix
They readily take eggfood ( which I mix with cous
They tend to not eat many greens.
Occasionally a spray of millet.
Always supply cuttlefish bone and oystershell
Can be housed in cages or indoor flights.
During Summer they may have access to an aviary.
During frosty conditions heating is required for
They should not be exposed to cold, draughty, wet
3 Bichenos + Cherry
Can sometimes be difficult to sex visually.
Hens tend to have slightly narrower breast bands
and a more of a creamy colour than white on the face compared to
Cocks seem to have wider black feathering above
If in doubt go by the cocks’ song.
I prefer to have them breeding during May –
Prior to breeding I feed them eggfood mixed with
Provide them with a finch nest box or domed nest
basket with coconut fibre as nest material.
Normally 4 - 6 eggs in a clutch.
I put some jute nesting
material inside the nest basket before putting the nest in
indoor flight /cage,
- then put the coconut fibre on
- The birds then weave the
coconut fibre round and round, lining the Nest basket.
- Try to put the nest in high
position and away from the cage front for more privacy.
They do not incubate the eggs until the 3rd
or 4th egg is laid.
Both parents incubate the eggs, taking turns or
both occupying the nest together.
Incubation 12 – 14 days
to feed chicks
They do not particularly tolerate nest–checks.
Sometimes foster parents are required,
In some cases the Bichenos fail to rear their
I experienced my Bichenos successfully
feeding 3 chicks for 2 weeks
then to my dismay on entering the birdroom
one day I found all 3 chicks dead on the floor
of the indoor flight.
My guess is that they threw the young from
the nest to concentrate on incubating further eggs,
which had been laid.
The young normally fledge between 22 – 26 days of
I continue with providing Egg Food with cous cous,
millet and foreign finch seed mix.
Providing they are feeding themselves
efficiently, they can be removed from their parents
at 5 – 6 weeks of age.
Bicheno’s can breed from the age of 9 months
Member's Experience with Bicheno's
We have two little owl finch babies and they are now starting to peck around but still being fed by mum and dad.
We have more nesting so we hope to get some more babies. They live with our Zebras, Bengalese and Silverbills and all get on really well. They are cheerful little birds. We have tried for 3 years to breed them and then we found an Australian website www.finchsociety.org which had loads of information on it about Bichenos. They told how to make a large mesh nesting unit which you made lots of small pigeon holes which you filled with straw and feathers and just let the owls do their own thing. We don't nest-check because they might abandon it if you do. We tried cages and nest boxes but the wire mesh unit has worked very well.