Our Gouldian Finches (video)

The Shirlmeister’s Gouldian finches are breeding up a storm – well over 50 at the moment.

I took this video yesterday (permission was granted to enter the aviary 😉 ).

They make such a sweet sound (turn up the volume).

We are hoping to move to acreage at the end of the year (so long sea change and hello tree change) and are planning to create some aviary heaven for our Gouldians. Something along the lines of a free flight aviary.

Did you know there are only about 2,500 Gouldian finches left in Australia (they are not found naturally in any other part of the world). They used to be found in Queensland but those days are gone! If they disappear from the wild completely a part of my heart will disappear along with them.

Such a glorious bird – they make my heart flutter every time I see them.

Skin Deep

God took a prized jewel
the precious gouldian finch
polishing the paint
off
a sparrow was left
the crowd
disappeared

____________________________________________________________

22 thoughts on “Our Gouldian Finches (video)

  1. Note: Another example of Andy the Great (the Shirlmeister) in action – he built all those nest boxes from scratch (and assembled and extended the aviary). I would not have a clue how to construct these things!

    • Truly tragic – but all it would take is a monster bush fire and the situation would be critical (plenty in captivity of course, but reintroducing them is very difficult unless they have been bred in high temperature, humid climates).

    • Thanks Ben 🙂 We can’t set them free as they would soon die in the wild around here – in the wild they are found much further North (Northern Territory). To release them you would need to breed them in a hotter place than this. We might sell some (get about $150 a bird depending on colour and whether male or female) or give some to the local bird park. We are probably going to build a free flight aviary which will have huge space for them to fly around (a place you can walk about it) and then the numbers are less important.

      • GB, why don’t they survive in the wild? Predators? Lack of habitat? You mention a “hotter place”—what degree of heat do they require and why?
        Good luck with your move. Am envious.

        • Native to the far north of Australia where it is tropical – hot and humid and the temperatures rarely drop low (that is the key issues – Gouldians don’t like the cold and a very cold night will kill them – some aviaries have heaters to avoid this). If we released our GF’s they would be quickly eaten by predators. Habitat loss, disease (air sac mite), bushfire are the main threats. You can read more here http://www.savethegouldian.org/

  2. I love the idea of the free-flight aviary for these beautiful birds, and this poem is another of my favourites of yours, Gabe – cleverly reveals a universal truth

    • Thanks bb 🙂 Yeah, I love free flight aviaries – we were in the Adelaide Hills years ago and there was a finch free flight aviary – it was amazing and very peaceful, with the humming sound of thousands of finches.

  3. You8 two are doing amazing things for the species… and that poem Gabe, such powerful brevity… like the life of too many Australian species…

    • I don’t know about that Graham – there are lots of people who breed Gouldians – but in the future we want to look at ways to help out (find out more about reintroduction into the wild). It’s one of my favourite poems Graham – thanks 🙂

    • hahaha – they love a poetry reading in the aviary – might have to arrange something like that in the future ‘free flight aviary) and the audience has to donate to the Save the Gouldian fund – haha

  4. I am in love with your finches, Gabe. IN LOVE. How sweet are they? I want an aviary like that so bad. It’s terrible to think there are so few of them left in the wild. I had no idea. My heart would be broken too if they were to disappear completely. Thank you so much for this video. You have put a little piece of sunshine into my day xx

    • Thank you Selma 🙂 They are easy to fall in love with – Tessa is now going into the aviary every afternoon – there is a baby finch that doesn’t fly well and is living on the floor of the aviary (eventually when it builds up strength it will join the other birds in the branches to sleep) and Tessa has taken it upon herself to make sure the baby is well cared for (we call it Bubba Blue) – so sweet 🙂 It’s amazing that we only started with 2-4 birds. You could have finches Selma but if the winter gets cold you might have to heat the cage – we had our first birds in a smallish cage in the house – they did quite well – very relaxing sound they make.

      • I would love to get an aviary, Gabe. It is one of my dreams. I saw these tiny all blue finches (sorry, don’t know what they were actually called) in the pet shop the other day and promptly fell in love with them. I keep walking to the pet shop with the intent of buying them even though I can’t afford them right now but they were oh so sweet. Birds lift our spirits so much, don’t they? I will get that aviary some day….

        • They do lift your spirits Selma, especially when they sing – pity you don’t live closer cause we could give you a few gouldians – they’re not expensive to look after if you have them in your house but you need to have a cage (and they can be expensive), two birds at least so they don’t get lonely, food/water containers, a blanket to cover the cage at night, finch seed (they don’t eat much) and be prepared to change the food and water containers every couple of days and keep the cage clean.

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