Fun Black Throated Finch Facts For Kids

Vineet Adnala
Feb 29, 2024 By Vineet Adnala
Originally Published on Aug 18, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Get to know about some really interesting black throated finch facts here
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.6 Min

The astonishing black throated finch (Poephila cincta), also known as a parson finch, belonging to the family of Estrildidae, is found in open grass woodland forests. In a genetic study in 2005 scientists believed that this bird deviated from the long-tailed finch 600,000 years ago. These birds were said to have originated from India first but were later seen to be distributed to the western part of the world.

There are said to be two subspecies of this black throated finch, the black-rumped subspecies and the white-rumped subspecies. The black-rumped subspecies, Poephila cincta atropygialis, also known as the northern subspecies, is found on the east coast far north in Queensland, Australia, extending its range in the northeast Cape York peninsula. This subspecies was first described by an Australian artist and later published in a local newspaper in 1876.

To know about some other interesting birds, be sure to check out ovenbird facts, or lyrebird facts.

Black Throated Finch Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a black throated finch?

The black throated finch, or parson finch, is a species of bird belonging to the family of  Estrildildae while these birds were earlier put down under the family of sparrows.

What class of animal does a black throated finch belong to?

The black throated finch is a tiny little bird, therefore it is in class Aves.

How many black throated finches are there in the world?

The range of these finches is only roughly calculated because of its declining rate. Around 800-1000 breeding birds can be found, the northern subspecies are said to be declining at 50% of their former range in the region of Cape York Peninsula. However, there are chances for the southern subspecies to expand its former range if there are occurrences of waterbodies.

Where does a black throated finch live?

Black throated finches live in grassy woodlands throughout northeast Australia from the Cape York Peninsula to parts of New South Wales. These birds build their nests on branches and tree limbs.  

What is a black throated finch's habitat?

The black throated finch's distribution and habitat are open grassland forests usually around trees and rivers or any water bodies. This species generally prefers a habitat that is around 1300 ft (400 m) from a riverside or coast, making their resources available to them for survival and breeding. Hence, we can observe them near central Queensland and New South Wales.

Who do black throated finches live with?

This species of bird is seen to be highly social and live in pairs or flocks of 30-40 birds. They can be found traveling from the north of Australia to the southern regions. In the non-breeding season, they are found in larger flocks (approximately 140-160 birds). During the breeding season, they are likely to stay close to their nesting sites which makes it is easy for the bird to forage and build their nest.

How long does a black throated finch live?

A black throated finch is said to live for up to five to eight years!

How do they reproduce?

These finches can breed in various nests including nest boxes or the ones they build on branches of trees or shrubs. Breeding can occur throughout the year in a conditional habitat with key resources, in some regions of north Queensland breeding is done during the wet season between the months of February to May and in the southern parts of Australia from September to January. Their nest is made out of twigs from shrubs and branches of trees. They lay up to three to eight eggs with an incubation period of 13-15 days done by both the parent birds. After three to four weeks the offspring are fed by both parents and can later start fledging, the offsprings reach their maturity in up to six months.

What is their conservation status?

The population of black-throated finches, Poephila cincta, has been seen to be decreasing for decades. The southern subspecies are listed as Endangered under the Australian government's EPBC act. In Australia, this act would require approval from the Federal environment minister if any action has impacted the black-throated finch (Poephila cincta atropygialis).

Black Throated Finch Fun Facts

What do black throated finches look like?

Read these amazing black throated finch facts

A black throated finch is a handsome little melanodera perching bird with brown feathers, a grey head, and a short black bill. The body of this bird is brownish pink with a black tail, the northern subspecies have a white rump on the base and ample plumage that is how we can distinguish between the two species. Their eyes are reddish-brown in color. Black-throated finches could be mixed up with the long-tailed finch or the masked finch but due to its short-cut tail, black bill, and grey head it is easy to differentiate between them!

How cute are they?

Black throated finches are songbirds that will charm you with their sweet vocals. This extremely cute little parson finch was titled the 'Australian Bird of the Year 2019'. They are much cuter than parrots or hummingbirds.

How do they communicate?

As they are passerine birds, these songs birds communicate by vocalizing and produce soothing songs with their tweeps. This kind of communication helps them in interacting and forming pairs for breeding.

How big is a black throated finch?

They are around 4 in (10 cm) long, they are not as big as other finches but are definitely appealing creatures. However, they are much smaller than the giants of the bird world, Ostriches.

How fast can a black throated finch move?

In their natural habitat, we can see a range of black throated finch flying with the speed of 7 mph (11 kph)

How much does a black throated finch weigh?

A black throated finch weighs around 0.034 lb (12-15 oz). They weigh a lot lesser compared to birds like Kori bustards.

What are the male and female names of the species?

These species do not have any sex-specifc names for males or females.

What would you call a baby black throated finch?

A baby of a black throated finch is called a chick.

What do they eat?

The black throated finch's diet consists of fallen seeds, various species of grass, ants, and other invertebrates. They also tend to pluck out seeds that are still in their harvesting period by weighing down the stems and plucking them from their seed heads. While most of their diet consists of seeds, sometimes spiders are plucked from their webs as an addition to their diet.

Are they dangerous?

They are not at all dangerous, in fact, they are quite social and interactive with other finches in their cages or in the wild.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, especially the southern subspecies are known for their obedient and calm nature. But in the southern part of Australia in New South Wales one would need a license to own a black throated finch as their conservation status is endangered it might be difficult to get a license permit.

Did you know...

It is difficult to identify between male and female throated finches, the male has a broader head and is grayish-pink in color while the females have darker brownish-gray coloration.

During the breeding season, there are a lot of loose colonies found with multiple nests due to which some birds do not have to build their own nests as it is already available.

A recovery team was formed in 2002 with the motive to revive the southern subspecies black throated finch due to its declining population, it was also approved by the federal minister in 2008.

The white-rumped subspecies, Poephila cincta cincta known as the southern subspecies is found in Townsville, central Queensland, and New South Wales. The only difference between the black-rumped subspecies and white-rumped subspecies is their tail, the black-rumped species is fully black while the white-rumped species is white at the base of its tail while black at the remaining part. The southern subspecies are now listed as endangered under Federal, New South Wales.

Is the black throated finch endangered?

Yes, the black throated finch is endangered, their conservation status is listed as Endangered by the IUCN. At present we can only find these species in north Queensland and northern regions of New South Wales. The main reasons for their declining conservation status are habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our giant cowbird facts and giant ibis facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable black throated finch coloring pages.

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Written by Vineet Adnala

Bachelor of Engineering specializing in Computer Engineering

Vineet Adnala picture

Vineet AdnalaBachelor of Engineering specializing in Computer Engineering

Vineet has a Bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Mumbai. With expertise in digital marketing, SEO, content creation, social media marketing, and content strategy. Vineet is also a talented painter and digital artist, with a passion for cooking, music, and football.

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