A beautiful green finch with a black or red face, purple chest and yellow underparts. Face edged in blue and rump also blue. One of Australias most colourful native birds.


Diurnal, The call of the Gouldian Finch is very soft and is only heard by the trained ear. For a vividly coloured bird they are surprisingly difficult to locate in the wild. They fly fast and straight making identification hard. They are most often seen when they come in to drink.


Woodland, with grassy understorey on rocky hills interspersed with creeks. The presence of Salmon Gums (E.tintinans) or Snappy Gums (E. brevifolia) is essential. Inland waters and fringing forests.The birds move about in loose flocks throughout the year depending upon conditions (available water/ seed) but move back into the breeding areas at the start of the wet. Gouldians can tolerate very hot conditions and are often seen feeding in the middle of the day when other birds are resting.When disturbed, the flock will fly up into the gum trees and face away from the disturbance. They are the size, shape and colour of the gum leaves. In this way a flock of brightly coloured birds can suddenly vanish! When the danger moves away the birds turn around and display their colours again.


In the past Gouldian Finches have been trapped heavily in the N.T. for sale in Southern pet shops, but this practice has now legally stopped and the bird is now classified as 'Endangered'. A respiratory disease called 'Air-sack Mite' has also been found in wild birds and is thought to have caused the numbers of Gouldians to fall in recent years. This disease is now being treated by putting a chemical in their drinking water. Photo Mt Todd, NT.


January to April, sometimes later. Four to eight white eggs. Both sexes incubate and brood in shifts. Incubation period 12-13 days, young fledge in 21 days. Unlike most finches the nest is built inside a hollow branch of a special gum tree, such as Eucalyptus tintinans or E. brevifolia . The Gouldians identify strongly with these trees. A bulky grass nest is built in the hollow and defended fiercely against other Gouldians by the male bird. The chicks have three luminous spots on either side of their beaks to assist the parents feeding in the dark.


Kakadu National Park


Herbivore, Seeds of grasses and other plants Insects especially during the breeding season. Wild Sorghum (spear grass) seeds form a major part of the diet, particularly during the breeding season. The birds land on the stems, which can be 3 metres high, and bend them down to the ground to extract the seed from the seed head. Flocks of up to 100 birds can be seen feeding in this way during the wet season.


Common Name: Gouldian Finch Scientific Name: Erythrura gouldiae
Sub Order: Unavailable Order: Passeriformes
Class: Aves Category: Endemic
Status: Vulnerable Size: 130-140 mm.

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