Sapphire

There is no bird quite like the charismatic and beautiful Gouldian Finch with it’s intense colours ranging from red, yellow, purple, green, blue, black, and white. It is only a small bird of about 130-140mm long and is found naturally in the tropical northern part of Australia where it is very hot and humid.

Jeff

The Gouldian Finch is one of the most popular pet birds throughout the world. This is just as well because their numbers have reduced dramatically in the wild and they are now an endangered species. Some scientists have estimated that there are only about 2,500 left in the wild. The decline is due to factors including loss of habitat, disease (air sac mites), and fire.

Zorro and kin (and Jeff)

We have begun to breed Gouldian Finches. Our first two Gouldian’s, Senorita and Zorro, were housed inside in a stock-standard bird cage. The male has what looks like a black mask on his face, hence the name. Senorita has since passed away but was replaced by Senorita. Zorro is a strong male and now proud father of 10 juveniles. Apparently it’s impossible to breed inside a house without artificial lights so my husband Andrew was pretty chuffed with himself for achieving the impossible. I personally think Zorro had a lot to do with it!

We also purchased another pair which we creatively named Jill and Jeff. Jeff has a red head and is completely jealous of Zorro’s achievements. Jill sadly passed away leaving Jeff broken hearted, but was quickly replaced with a stunner called Sapphire (dark red head).

A large outdoor aviary has since been built by Andrew to house the expanding collection. This is the Taj Mahal of aviaries and propably could withstand a cyclone. It is reinforced and insulated and has plumbing (a tap to attach a hose for cleaning – hubby is a plumber so piece of cake to install for him!). It has 2 gates (just like at the zoo) to ensure no escapees. It is padlocked and I have only had the pleasure of going inside twice – under supervision. Anyone would think he doesn’t trust me.

Aviary

Here is a link to the Save the Gouldian fund

14 thoughts on “The Gouldian Finch

  1. Oh, look at those little darlings. I am in love. It is so sad to think of them being endangered in the wild – makes me want to weep. I wish you every success with your breeding program and I hope you will include more stories about your dear little finches in the future!

    1. That’s the plan. I’ll be writing some stories for the Qld Finch Society and will put them on the blog as well. My next story will be on their mating antics – there is nothing funnier than a male finch trying to impress the girls.

    1. I hope we do to. It is quite difficult as they don’t like any cold weather and they are not as robust as some common finches like the Zebra finch. I’m sure it will be a good 2010, thanks Graham.

  2. beautiful colors! I am always amazed by the creativity of nature.
    What is the plan? A huge place for all the descendants or letting them go.
    They sure have a four stars hotel at your place.

    1. Yes 4 star definitely. Andrew is going to add another aviary, so we can segregate juveniles and mix up the gene pool a bit. We’ll sell pairs (male and female) when the numbers are large enough. We live too far South (sub-tropics) of their natural habitat to let them go, I think. There are release programs that will be implemented further North (where it is much hotter all year round – tropics).

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