Gouldian Finch

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image: gouldianfinch.jpg

Common Name: Gouldian Finch
Scientific Name: Chloebia gouldiae

Size: 5 ½ to 6 inches (14-15 cm)

Habitat: Australia; patchily distributed in tropical northern sub-coastal areas from Derby, Western Australia, to the Gulf of Carpentaria and thinly to central Cape York Peninsula, but is locally common in the north and north-western parts of its range. Seldom found far from water. Throughout its range the species inhabits the edges of mangroves and thickets, and savannas dotted with trees.

Status: Endangered (in the wild) Global population: 2,000 - 10,000 with a decreasing trend. Grazing and altered fire regimes are thought to be the main threats. Cattle and other livestock cause changes in grass species composition and phenology, with the most severe impact probably due to a reduction in the abundance of grass species that set seed earliest in the wet season. Also illegal trapping for the Pet Trade, along the susceptibility of the species to the parasitic air-sac mite, Sternastoma tracheacolum has reduced its numbers alarmingly.

Diet: Ripe or half-ripe grass seeds. During the breeding season, however, the diet consists almost entirely of insects. Insects are rich in protein and help satisfy the demanding appetite of the young birds. Birds feed in small to large groups, and food may be taken on the ground or in flight.

Breeding: Gouldian Finches breed readily both in colonies and as a pair in captivity. They use either open or covered nests. Both birds will build the nest. The female will lay a clutch of 4 to 8 eggs and they will hatch in 14 to 15 days. The young leave the nest about 18 to 21 days after they hatch and in 6 to 8 weeks will be on their own, after their first molt. Their adult plumage comes in between 6 and 12 months.

Cool Facts: This finch, sometimes called the “Lady Gouldian Finch”, was named for Elizabeth Gould, wife of the British ornithological artist John Gould. Since Gould was neither a lord nor a knight, Mrs Gould did not hold the title 'Lady', so this name is a modern misnomer. 'Gouldian Finch' is the more common and accepted name which is used internationally.

Gouldian Finches are the stars in the Viewsonic Corporation logos.

Gouldian Finches are social and live in large groups all year long in the wild. They are friendly with other finches and do well when kept in groups. If you wish to mix bird types, they do very well in aviaries with Zebra Finches and Society Finches.

Found in Pet Shop and Songbird ReMix Australia Volume III

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