Owl Finch Poephila bichenovi As their name suggests, owl finches look like little owls with their distinctive markings. These are curious and social little birds. COLOR: Black, Brown, White SIZE: small LIFESPAN: Up to 10 years SOUNDS: Chatterer INTERACTION: Hands off The owl finch a grass finch, also known as the Bicheno finch or the double-barred finch, is a lively addition to a community aviary and a good bird for the novice who may not have a lot of experience with birds. In terms of coloration, the owl finch can’t compete with another popular Australian citizen, the Gouldian, or even the common zebra finch, but its distinctive markings and social disposition give it a character all its own. It stands between 3 and 4 inches in length, and has two distinct black bars above and below a whitish-beige chest, one bar circling the underpart of the “chin,” and the other rounding the bird’s underside. The wings are brown with white speckles, and the “face mask” is white. The beak is gray and the eye is black. There is one subspecies, the black-rumped owl finch, which has, obviously, a black rump. Because of crosses with the nominate owl finch (which has a white rump), the rumps on some birds may be blotchy — not quite black, not quite white. The visual difference between the sexes is so slight, even owl finch experts have a difficult time telling the males from the females. The males are said to have thicker bands and a whiter chest, though this is not always consistent. Males do have a soft, sweet song and females do not, so separating birds and listening for the song is one way of determining gender.