I was walking outside (location: Netherlands) and just saw this little bird:

enter image description here enter image description here

Unfortunately I had to take a long range picture with my cell phone so the quality is quite bad, however I hope still someone can identify this species. Personally I think it escaped somewhere as we have never seen it before and also did not seem to be scared of us.


1 Answer 1


This looks a lot like a double-barred finch (Taeniopygia bichenovii). Your note about this being an "owl-like" bird is supported by it's less common name, the "owl finch", so named for the dark ring around the face.

enter image description here

Source: Wikipedia; Credit: Glen Fergus

If this is in fact the bird you saw, you're right that it's not native to your country (or continent or even hemisphere!). The Taeniopygia genus is in the Estrildidae family, and it only contains two species native to Australia! According to Wikipedia, T. bichenovii is found:

in dry savannah, tropical (lowland) dry grassland and shrubland habitats in northern and eastern Australia

You can read more at eFinch and The Atlas iof Living Australia.

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    $\begingroup$ @KingBoomie If there are any zoos in your area, you may want to give them a call to ask if they are missing this little fellow. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 9, 2019 at 4:41
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    $\begingroup$ @AndrewKozak good idea; also any local pet stores that sell exotic birds. Could be one of their customers has lost a pet! $\endgroup$
    – Dancrumb
    Commented Jul 9, 2019 at 19:12
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    $\begingroup$ Public aviaries (volière in Dutch) are also a possibility. Most exotic birds are not on the list of allowed pets in the Netherlands and although uncommon, aviaries are more common than zoos. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 10, 2019 at 9:22
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    $\begingroup$ @AndrewKozak Probably from a public aviary, while it had a ring there was no number on it so we gave it to a relative having birds himself and he would figure our where to bring the little fellow ;) $\endgroup$
    – KingBoomie
    Commented Jul 10, 2019 at 13:28

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