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Gouldian Finch

About Gouldian Finch

This is a neat, plump-bodied little songbird with a thick concial bill. It has brilliant multicolored plumage, especially the male, with a black or red face, the throat is black and extends into a stripe along its bottom edge, with a pale blue band running from the rear of the crown to separate the purple breast; yellow belly and flanks; upperparts grass-green, including long shoulder feathers overlying brownish wings; shortish black tail with long, pointed central feathers; and pale pinkish or bone colored bill, pale brownish legs, dark eyes surrounded by white eye-ring. About 75 percent of adults have black heads, while 25 percent have red heads. There is also a very rare yellow headed breed.

This beautiful bird breeds from January to April during the wet season. They nest in tree hollows or in holes made by termite mounds. They lay 4-8 white eggs.

Up until 100 years ago this bird was common with a wide range of suitable habitat in Australia. But since then, populations have suffered a massive decline. This is the result of two sorts of impact by humans. The first was caused by large-scale trapping for the lucrative cagebird trade, until the practice was banned in 1986. But more seriously are the changes to its habitat, including burning of grassland in the wet season by farmers, which destroys their nest sites, their shelters, and their food plants.

Today there may be as few as 2,500 breeding adults left in the world.