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Gouldian Finch

Erythrura gouldiae
Conservation Status: 
Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List.
Range: 
Located in Northern Australia.
Habitat: 
Tends to live in scattered woodlands and tropical savannah.

Gouldian finches nest in tree cavities with low light levels.  Their chicks have iridescent beads on the corners of their beak to help guide the parent where to feed them!  The clutch is 4-8 eggs and both parents help with brooding. The chicks leave the nest around 19 to 23 days after birth and are independent at 40 days old.

75% of Gouldian Finches have black faces, about 25% have red faces. It has been shown that female Gouldian finches from Northern Australia can control the sex of their offspring by choosing mates according to their head color.

Gouldian finches feed mostly on ripe or half-ripe seeds of sorghum (a type of grass). In the wet season, they eat spinifex grass seed and in the dry season, they will mostly forage on the ground for fallen seed.

Gouldian Finches’ main threat in the wild is created by humans. Bushfires in the dry season are an issue. Humans have also introduced grazing animals like cattle, sheep, camels, and rabbits which eat the grasses that the finches rely on for food. The birds have also been taken out of the wild for the exotic pet trade, which has seen since banned.